31 March 2022

I hope everyone is in good health! “Living with covid” has new personal meaning for me as I write this note on day four of my first experience of being covid positive. While I still feel quite uncomfortable, I’m thankful that the symptoms aren’t deadly like Delta and I certainly look forward to fully recovering soon.

In our planning for 2022 and beyond, Council has been working hard to explore new modalities for organising courses, events and activities to engage with members (both local and overseas), including predicting what our programming would look like post-pandemic.

For instance, given that our events now also draw an audience from overseas members and non-members, we will explore the extent to which we continue to hold virtual-only events or lectures; and, as the cost of holding hybrid-events come down, we will explore this as an option for some of our more significant or popular activities, including our courses.

In this connection, last week’s announcement in Singapore of the easing of safe management measures has been particularly timely because Council is in the middle of planning the timing of major in-person events for later this year.

One key event to look forward to is our popular and much-missed Annual Dinner, which will also serve this year to commemorate SIArb’s 40th milestone. We are presently looking at a date in the last week of November so please look out for an early save-the-date flyer as we would expect tables to be relatively in demand this year. Our activities committee is also excited about making this year’s dinner a more special and memorable one.

Our CPD and arbitration bar committees are also working hard to bring back the ever popular annual arbitration Symposium this year – in-person, and at the old Parliament Chamber if possible. In addition, as SIArb is chair of the Regional Arbitral Institutes Forum (RAIF) this year, we are exploring possibly triple billing the Symposium, a RAIF event and our 40th anniversary dinner, so that our members and our friends from overseas RAIF institutes have more to look forward to when they converge in Singapore.

Finally, global events such as the War in Ukraine, volatility of energy and commodity prices, global inflation, and restructuring of supply chains remind us that we are living in a time of disruption. As arbitration practitioners, we have to be alive to these issues because they will impact our practices directly and indirectly. SIArb’s Beyond Arbitration Lecture series was inaugurated a few years ago precisely so that our members can engage with topics that extend beyond arbitration alone. This year, we are pleased to be hosting Mr Bilahari Kausikan as our speaker. As many of you may know, he is a former Permanent Secretary and Ambassador-at-Large at the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He has served as Singapore’s ambassador to Russia and to the United Nations. He is also an academic and delights at the monicker “Singapore’s undiplomatic diplomat”. We are honoured that Bilahari has agreed to speak with us Beyond Arbitration and he will certainly be a provocative and engaging speaker. We hope to put out some publicity on this soon so please look out for it too.

Meanwhile, please keep well and I hope we can see each other at an in-person Members Night gathering soon.

Tay Yu-Jin
SIArb 2021-2023


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