Case: CAI v CAJ [2021] SGHC 21 – arbitration award set aside for breach of natural justice

Significance: the General Division of the Singapore High Court (S Mohan JC) set aside part of an arbitral award and the 3-member Tribunal’s decision on an extension of time defence for breach of natural justice. Judgment here.

Instead of remitting the matter, the Court ordered that the award read that the delay was X no. of days (so that the factual findings are not otherwise disturbed while the LD compensation quantum would follow from that).

The Court found that the Tribunal granted this defence even though it was only raised effectively at closing submissions. The claimant was not given a reasonable opportunity to marshal evidence on the issue.

Further, the Tribunal ruled on this issue not based on any evidence adduced but its own “experience”.

And as the issue was never expressly mentioned in the pleadings, terms of reference, list of issues, or terms of submission to arbitration, the Tribunal was found to have exceeded its jurisdiction.

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