Just being civil – recent procedural reforms in other business hubs

Back to story Reforming the civil legal process

Dubai
The United Arab Emirates recently ratified the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards.

The convention, which came into force in June 1959, sets out the procedures for recognising and enforcing foreign arbitral awards, while specifying limited grounds on which a contracting state may refuse to recognise and enforce such awards.

The convention was the first of a series of major steps to aid the development of international commercial arbitration and has more than 135 signatories.

Most of the world’s major trading nations have acceded to the convention including much in theMiddle East. A notable exception had been the UAE, where the absence of internationally recognised rules governing the enforcement of foreign awards – with the exception of treaties with France and the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council – meant that foreign arbitral awards could not be enforced by the UAE courts.

Ireland
The Irish Ministry for Justice Equality and Law Reform is in the process of drafting a bill to transpose the EU’s Third Money Laundering Directive into Irish Law. The Bill is intended to strengthen Ireland’s legislative provisions with regard to the prevention of money-laundering and terrorist financing.

The requirements of the 3rd EU Directive on Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing were the subject of extensive consultation with interested bodies including other government departments and members of the Money Laundering Steering Committee which comprises representatives of the banking sector, financial services, the legal and accountancy professions among others.

The proposed money-laundering legislation will address recommendations arising from the Financial Action Task Force mutual evaluation report on Ireland’s efforts to combat money- laundering and terrorist financing, published in 2006, and on the Council of Europe Convention on Laundering Search Seizure on the Confiscation of the Proceeds of Crime and on the Financing of Terrorism. Ireland’s current anti-money laundering legislation is contained, primarily in the Criminal Justice Act 1994, as amended.

Singapore
This year, the republic passed the Securities and Futures (Amendment) and the Financial Advisers (Amendment) bills.

Highlights of the two bills include introducing a continuing licensing regime for licence holders so they don’t have to renew licences every three years and that people who enter an arrangement which could result in them obtaining control of either service, must gain the prior approval of the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

The securities bill also regulates the disclosure obligations of directors and CEOS of a listed company in relation to their interests, or changes in their interests, in voting share of the listed company.

Of the financial advisers bill, the monetary authority is now empowered to object to a controller or a potential controller of financial advisers licence holders.