Singapore: A Mix of Traditional and New Rules
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The applicable rules differ depending on whether the Singapore High Court (not including the Singapore International Commercial Court), the Singapore International Commercial Court (“SICC”), or a foreign forum is named in an optional choice of court agreement. If the Singapore High Court (not including the SICC) or a foreign forum is named in the agreement, the traditional rules apply, although there are certain differences depending on whether the chosen court is local or foreign and the context of the case. The SICC regime departs from the traditional rules by relying on a presumption of exclusivity if party intentions as to the nature of the choice of court agreement are not made clear, and by abrogating the need to obtain leave to serve the writ on a defendant abroad. The test for the exercise of jurisdiction is also different and generally designed to make it harder for the SICC to refuse jurisdiction.
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