New Institute to Establish World-Class Mediation Standards

The Singapore International Mediation Institute (SIMI), which is housed at the National University of Singapore (NUS) Faculty of Law, was officially launched today by Ms Indranee Rajah, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Law and Ministry of Education. The new institute has been established to set world-class mediation standards in Singapore and the region.

The institute is a non-profit organisation founded by NUS with support from MinLaw. It also shares a partnership with the International Mediation Institute (IMI), a non-profit public interest initiative to drive transparency and high competency standards into mediation practice across all fields, worldwide.

SIMI’s operations will run independently from NUS and its role includes setting world-class standards of mediation, providing impartial information about mediation, helping parties make basic decisions about mediation, and to increase awareness and promote the use of mediation.

Dean Simon Chesterman of NUS Law, said, “As the mediation sector in Singapore expands, key issues that it will confront relate to training, accreditation, and quality control. All these are within SIMI’s remit and clear opportunities exist to link those challenges to the research and teaching mission of NUS Law. The result, we hope, will be a strong and sustainable mediation sector, firmly supporting Singapore’s claim to be the legal hub of Asia.”

SIMI’s board of directors is led by Chairman Associate Professor Joel Lee, who is also Vice Dean at NUS Law. He is assisted by the Institute’s Deputy Chairman Mr Michael Leathes, who is a member of the IMI Board of Directors. The other members of the Board include Ms Josephine Hadikusumo, regional legal counsel for Texas Instruments; Professor Nadja Alexander, conflict resolution specialist, mediator, and professor of law based in Hong Kong and Mr Poon Hong Yuen, Deputy Secretary of MinLaw.

SIMI’s executive team is currently headed by NUS Law alumnus Mr Marcus Lim, a lawyer who was previously with Rajah & Tann LLP, a leading Singapore law firm.

Assoc Prof Joel Lee, Chairman of SIMI, said, “SIMI will operate to develop the mediation space in Singapore and the region in a variety of areas. These include the continued professionalisation of mediation through high standards of accreditation, raising awareness among users of the benefits and suitability of mediation, and spear-heading further research into the field.”

Opening Address by Assoc Prof Joel Lee

Speech by Prof Simon Chesterman

Speech by Ms Indranee Rajah, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Law and Ministry of Education