In BTN and another v BTP and another  SGCA 105, the Singapore Court of Appeal dismissed an application that an award should be set aside on the ground of public policy because the arbitral tribunal before which the appellants appeared held that they were prevented by the doctrine of res judicata from litigating on a component of their defence. Since there was no allegation that the appellants were prevented from presenting their cases on the res judicata issue before the tribunal, the tribunal did precisely what was intended by disposing of the parties’ agreed issues, which included the issue of the res judicata effect of the relevant prior decision. A tribunal’s decision on the res judicata effect of a prior decision is not a decision on jurisdiction, but a decision on admissibility, and the courts cannot review it on its merits.
About Phillip Rompotis
Phillip practices as a barrister and arbitrator in Hong Kong. He has over 25 years’ litigation and arbitration experience in commercial disputes relating to construction & engineering, financial services, joint venture & shareholders agreements, technology, trusts, property and landlord & tenant. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, the Hong Kong Institute of Arbitrators, the Singapore Institute of Arbitrators, the Malaysian Institute of Arbitrators, and a member of various lists/panels of arbitrators.View