Significance: the Singapore High Court (coram: Belinda Ang J) commented obiter dicta on the approach which the Singapore courts will likely take on the applicable law in determining non-contractual obligations e.g. tortious liability and the conflict of laws doctrine renvoi, i.e. whether the reference to a foreign law includes the foreign law’s choice of law rules or not.
In sum, the Court opined that there is large support for the view that the applicable law be the contractually chosen law, which would govern contractual obligations. This approach gives weight to the party’s autonomy in their contractual choice.
As regards renvoi, the Court opined that a case-by-case approach to deciding the issue is uncertain. As for contract-related matters, the approach would likely be that reference to a foreign law only includes the domestic law of the foreign law and not also the choice of law rules. (If the reference includes the foreign choice of law rule, there could be a double renvoi where the choice of law might point to a third set of laws or back to Singapore law).