HANOI, Vietnam – On 16th August 2023, Vietnam International Arbitration Centre (VIAC) and Vietnam Mediation Centre (VMC) warmly welcomed and engaged in a working session with the representative and more than 40 attorney members of the Law Society of Singapore (LSS) at the VIAC’s Head Office in Hanoi.
VIAC/VMC warmly welcomed and had a working session with the Law Society of Singapore (LSS) and more than 40 attorney members
On behalf of VIAC and VMC, there are Mr. Vu Anh Duong – Permanent Vice President cum Secretary General of VIAC, Mr. Phan Trong Dat – Acting Director of VMC (a division of VIAC), and Ms. Vu Thi Hang – Deputy Director of the VIAC Secretariat and Head of International Cooperation. The working session also had the presence of Mrs. Lisa Sam Hui Min – Vice President of LSS, Mr. Gregory Vijayendran – Chairperson of the International Relations Committee of LSS, and members of LSS who are seasoned in arbitration.
The working session between LSS and VIAC exemplified the cooperation between the two parties and the close tie between Vietnam and Singapore, particularly as both nations commemorate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations and the 10th anniversary of strategic partnerships in 2023. Moreover, Singapore’s ranking second on the list of countries with the most foreign investments in Vietnam reiterates the importance and efficiency of bilateral cooperative relations. Thus, the working session is an opportunity for sharing and discussing practical experiences on international trade dispute resolution and arbitration and mediation in Vietnam and Singapore.
Mr. Vu Anh Duong – Permanent Vice President cum Secretary General of VIAC and Mr. Gregory Vijayendran – Chairperson of the International Relations Committee of LSS
In the opening session, Mr. Vu Anh Duong, on behalf of VIAC and VMC, sent the warmest greeting and delight to the delegates of LSS. He also shared the VIAC’s vision and mission as the first and leading institution of arbitration, mediation, and other alternative dispute resolutions (ADRs) in Vietnam.
On behalf of LSS, after presenting on the operation of LSS, Mr. Gregory Vijayendran congratulated and highly appreciated the accomplishment that VIAC and VMC achieved in arbitration and mediation in Vietnam. Therefore, the working session was expected to be a forum for participants to intensely discuss the new insights and findings on ADRs activities in both Singapore and Vietnam.
Mr. Phan Trong Dat – Acting Director of VMC (a division of VIAC), and Ms. Vu Thi Hang – Deputy Director of the VIAC Secretariat, shared on arbitration and mediation in Vietnam
Ms. Vu Thi Hang, as the representative of VIAC, briefly introduced VIAC and key statistics on arbitration at VIAC. As the most longstanding arbitration institution in Vietnam, VIAC has handled more than 2,500 both domestic and international disputes with a diversity of parties, properties, types, and values of dispute, etc. During 30 years since its establishment, VIAC has constantly reinvented itself to align with international commercial arbitration standards by updating arbitral procedures and keeping up with global trends such as online dispute resolution (ODR).
Mr. Phan Trong Dat, Acting Director of VMC – a division of VIAC, shared the mediation landscape in Vietnam and the operation of VMC. He emphasized the promising development of mediation in Vietnam in general and the potential for mediation at VMC via the Arb-Med-Arb protocol, online mediation platform, etc.
Representatives from both parties had an intense discussion on arbitration and mediation practices in Vietnam
The parties then further discussed the practice of arbitration and mediation in Vietnam, particularly at VIAC. Mr. Nicholas Narayanan, a member of LSS, questioned the emergency arbitration practice in Vietnam. Ms. Vu Thi Hang, a representative of VIAC, replied that there is an absence of emergency arbitration in Vietnam’s regulatory framework, and accordingly, the VIAC Rules of Arbitration do not regulate this. However, as per relevant laws and rules, in cases the arbitral tribunal has not been established, parties in dispute can request the Court for interim measures if they find it needed. The statistics show that between 2015 and 2017, there are 30 interim measures requests filed by arbitrating users at VIAC were granted by the Court – which acts as an efficient assistance of the Court to arbitration. Currently, VIAC has not learned whether the Court in Vietnam granted interim measures to arbitrating users at foreign arbitration institutions.
In relation to mediation, representatives of VMC and LSS have intense discussions on the recognition of mediated settlement agreement (MSA). As Vietnam has not been a signatory to the Singapore Convention on Mediation, questions regarding the practice of MSA recognition in Vietnam were raised by a member of LSS. In reply to these concerns, Mr. Phan Trong Dat stated that VMC, as a mediation center, is looking forward to Vietnam being a party in the Singapore Convention, which concretely enables the recognition and enforcement of MSA in signatories’ jurisdiction and, consequently, facilitate mediation as an effective ADR. In Vietnam, MSA can be recognized by filing a request for MSA recognition at the Court or requesting the arbitral tribunal to recognize MSA in the Arb-Med-Arb protocol at VIAC.
Moreover, VIAC, VMC, and LSS discussed other issues on expedited arbitration, arbitral tribunal’s jurisdiction on real estate disputes, etc. Participants proactively engaged and shared valuable information on the arbitration and mediation practices in Vietnam.
In the closing remarks, Mr. Gregory Vijayendran expressed delight and gratitude to VIAC for the time and effort in this working session. He also appreciated that the working session was informative, as LSS’s participants had acquired knowledge on arbitration and mediation in Vietnam and at VIAC. On behalf of VIAC, Mr. Vu Anh Duong also appreciated the cooperation between LSS and VIAC and looked forward to upcoming working sessions to reinforce the cooperative relations and further discuss ADRs to facilitate their development in Singapore and Vietnam.