Why is a settlement agreement that results from mediation better than one that results from negotiations alone?

The answer has to do with enforcement.

Under the new Singapore Convention on Mediation, International Commercial Mediated Settlement Agreements (ICMSA) are given a new elevated legal status.

In signatory countries, a party is able to receive relief from a court (or other competent authority) by providing direct evidence that their agreement resulted from mediation. Thus, the Singapore Convention gives mediated settlement agreements the same legal status for enforcement as an arbitration award or court judgment.

This enforcement benefit is not available for settlement agreements negotiated directly by parties or their lawyers outside of mediation.

Consequently, the enforcement advantage is one extra reason why parties and lawyers should consider involving a mediator in settlement negotiations.

Singapore Convention on Mediation

(Updated)

Enforcement of agreements to settle international commercial disputes is about to get much easier.

Under the new Singapore Convention, which countries started signing in August 2019, International Commercial Mediated Settlement Agreements (ICMSA) will be given a new elevated legal status.

In signatory countries, a party to an ICMSA will be able to receive relief from a court (or other competent authority) by providing direct evidence of their agreement. Thus, the Singapore Convention puts an ICMSA on par with an arbitration award or court judgment.