Media Releases

Press Release: Singapore played Host to the Standing International Forum of Commercial Courts (SIFOCC) Third Meeting

For immediate release




The Supreme Court of Singapore hosted the third meeting of the Standing International Forum of Commercial Courts (SIFoCC) from 11 to 12 March 2021. For the first time, the meeting, which involved participants from over 35 jurisdictions, was conducted virtually.

2 Chief Justices, Judges, senior judicial representatives, renowned speakers and distinguished delegates from 31 countries, including Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, Qatar, Singapore, South Korea, The Gambia, Uganda, United Kingdom and the United States attended the meeting.

3 Ms Indranee Rajah SC, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister for Finance and National Development, delivered the opening remarks where she spoke about the impact of COVID-19 in relation to dispute resolution. She noted that technology had enabled the connection of courts and judiciaries and the opportunities to re-shape the face of commercial dispute resolution amongst others. Mr Edwin Tong SC, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Second Minister for Law, spoke about the impact of commercial litigation funding, the role of commercial litigation funders within a justice system, and international consistency in the regulation of third-party funding. He also participated in a judicial roundtable discussion on commercial (third party) litigation funding. 

4 The meeting saw SIFoCC members exchanging in-depth views and engaging constructively in a variety of topics including third-party litigation funding, arbitration and the Courts, enforcement of commercial judgments for money, international best practice in case management, and the use of technology, including artificial intelligence (AI), in today’s technological age.

5 Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon said: “It has been a privilege to host the third meeting of the SIFoCC, and I am delighted that we were able to do so virtually this year despite the many challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the years, the SIFoCC has established itself as an invaluable forum at which commercial judges and court administrators can come together to exchange views and share best practices. I am confident that the continuing collaboration, cooperation and contact that the SIFoCC fosters amongst its members will enable commercial courts to better address the opportunities and challenges that will surely arise amidst the rapidly changing landscape of international commercial dispute resolution.”

6 Lord John Thomas, Chair of the SIFoCC Steering Group said: “The meeting provides a forum for the discussion of cross jurisdiction understanding in the commercial courts as well as technical development and it is an important step in the collaborative effort of Commercial Courts across the world. The third meeting of SIFoCC will provide a unique opportunity for judges to share experiences, post pandemic, on this scale. We are extremely grateful to the teams in London and Singapore for the work that has made the event possible.”

7 Prior to the SIFoCC meeting, the Supreme Court of Singapore facilitated a virtual Judicial Observation Programme from 4 to 5 March and 8 to 9 March for three Judges from Uganda, Sri Lanka and Kenya (member countries of SIFoCC). The foreign Judges were each attached to a High Court Judge, appointed as their Judge Mentor and participated in daily dialogues with them. During the programme, the foreign Judges also observed court hearings and met with the Supreme Court Bench and Senior Management to learn more about our court practices and processes.

8 The SIFoCC meeting, which was originally scheduled to be held in Singapore last year, was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The first two meetings in 2017 and 2018 were held in London and New York respectively.

9 With the growth in the volume of global trade and investment in recent years, it is imperative that judiciaries around the world keep pace with these rapid changes and collaborate to develop international commercial law and best practices to support the growth in international trade and businesses. The Supreme Court of Singapore remains committed to enhancing international commercial dispute resolution.          


Glossary of Terms

Third Meeting of the Standing International Forum of Commercial Courts


Commercial Litigation Funding


Role of Commercial Litigation Funders Within a Justice System


Third-party Litigation Funding


Enforcement of Commercial Judgments for Money


Judicial Observation Programme





17 MARCH 2021