Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Singapore Government’s “circuit-breaker” measures, the 2020 edition of the Singapore Institute of Arbitrators’ annual and signature International Entry Course (IEC) was conducted only in September this year and, for the first time in the Institute’s history, it was conducted completely online. Lectures were delivered online by way of Zoom webinar recordings which could be accessed remotely and on demand during the course duration. Tutorials were led by tutors in live interactive classes conducted virtually on the Zoom meeting platform, and the written assessment was conducted virtually on Zoom with live invigilation. There were altogether 4 modules comprising a total of 8 lectures and 2 tutorials. The total duration of lectures was about 9.5 hours and that of tutorials was about 5 hours. The written assessment was a 2.5 hour open-book examination. The entire course was conducted over the period from 1st to the 21st of September 2020.

Despite the fact that IEC 2020 was an online course, it remained true to its tradition of being a comprehensive and substantive programme that covered the entire spectrum of the law and practice of arbitration, from key and fundamental concepts and principles, to the commencement of arbitration, issues concerning the constitution, jurisdiction and powers of the tribunal, to the arbitration procedure from statements to the evidentiary hearing, and on to the award, its recognition and enforcement, as well as challenges to the same.

There were 45 participants from various professions and disciplines who attended IEC 2020. Other than those who resided in Singapore, there were participants from Malaysia, Philippines, India and Australia. The feedback from the participants was extremely positive and encouraging, especially with regard to conducting the course online.

 The Course Director for IEC 2020 was Mr Chia Chor Leong. The teaching faculty comprised Mr Chia Chor Leong, Ms Delphine Ho, Mr Edmund Kronenburg and Mr Shourav Lahiri, as well as tutors Mr Toh Chen Han and Ms Viviene Sandhu. Their selfless contribution of time and effort and the knowledge that they so generously shared and imparted to the participants was truly invaluable, and the Institute owes each of them a great debt of gratitude.

 The Institute is also grateful to the members of the Education and Training Committee for their help with the course materials and for their ideas in making this Course a success.

Finally, the Institute acknowledges with special thanks the tremendous work done by Ms June Tan and her team at Intellitrain who designed and put up the Institute’s online course portal from scratch and within a punishing time frame, and then administered the Course with their usual efficiency and competence, and along the way dealt with the myriad technical and technological issues with patience and composure.


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Reported by: 

Chia Chor Leong - Council Member, SIArb; Chairman, Education and Training Committee; Chairman, Scheme Arbitration Committee

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