Previous IA Lectures

2021: Parallel proceedings in international arbitration: theoretical analysis and search for practical solutions
2020: A Response to DFAT’s Review of Australia’s Bilateral Investment Treaties 2019: Arbitration in Australia – Rising to the Challenge 2018: "The Need for Speed – Is International Arbitration Becoming Overly Fixated with Efficiency?” 2017: How worldly is it?” by The Hon Sir Bernard Eder2016: “International Arbitration and Independence – Off the Beaten Track” by Elliott Geisinger2015: “Dynamics, discretion and diversity - A recipe for unpredictability in international arbitration?” by Hilary Heilbron QC2014: “Commercial Courts and International Arbitration– Competitors or Partners?” by Michael Hwang SC2013: The authority of the arbitrator - its sources, limits and importance2012: The Impact of International Arbitration on the Rule of Law2011: Islamic influences on international arbitration2010: 仲裁 - Speaking your language? What is the language of resolution in the Asia-Pacific region?2009: The Day Before Tomorrow: Future Developments in International Arbitration2008: Inside Out: A User's View of International Arbitration2007: When Arbitrators Facilitate Settlement: Amiable Imposition or Actual Solution?2006: Enterprise v State: The New David and Goliath?2005: Litigate, Arbitrate, Mediate, Frustrate? Breaking the Dispute Deadlock2004: Apes, Neanderthals and Missing Links: Evolution in International Business Arbitration2003: East meets West: Tradition, Globalisation and the Future of Arbitration2002: Arbitration, Imagination and the Culture of Compromise: The Inaugural Clayton Utz International Arbitration Lecture

2014: “Commercial Courts and International Arbitration– Competitors or Partners?” by Michael Hwang SC

About the lecture

In most countries with developed arbitration laws, the concept of partnership is typically expressed by pronouncements from the Courts that their role in acting as the supervisory court of any arbitration is to be “arbitration-friendly”. On the other hand, there still remain jurisdictions where Courts insist on reserving to themselves certain overriding powers (eg. UAE and India).

Partnership versus competition has become a topic of speculation after the announcement by the Supreme Court of Singapore of the forthcoming establishment of the Singapore International Commercial Court (“SICC”).

This lecture discussed: The implications of the SICC for arbitration in Singapore, and will compare it with the experience of a similar international court, the Dubai International Financial Centre (“DIFC”) Courts; and Impacts of a new Practice Direction for public consultation which seeks to provide a protocol for conversion of DIFC Courts judgments into arbitration awards.

About the speaker

Michael is a Senior Counsel of the Supreme Court of Singapore, and Chief Justice of the Dubai International Financial Centre Courts.

Michael has had a distinguished legal career, and has served as:

  • Judicial Commissioner of the Supreme Court of Singapore;
  • Singapore’s Non-Resident Ambassador to Switzerland;
  • President of the Law Society of Singapore;
  • Vice Chairman of the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chambers of Commerce;
  • Vice-President of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration;
  • Court Member of the London Court of International Arbitration;
  • Council Member of the International Council of Arbitration for Sports;
  • Visiting and Adjunct Professor at the National University of Singapore; and
  • Commissioner of the United Nations Compensation Commission which assessed claims against Iraq arising from the First Gulf War.


He has two law degrees from Oxford University, where he was a College Scholar, and in 2014 he was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws by the University of Sydney.

Lecture speech

Video clips

Part 1


Part 2


Part 3


Part 4