Singapore and Brunei Enhances Bilateral Judicial Cooperation

Chief Justice of Singapore Supreme Court Sundaresh Menon, along with a delegation visited Brunei, as both countries further extended their bilateral judicial cooperation.

According to a government press release, the visit began on July 3, and ran through July 5.


Judicial Cooperation Pivotal for Economic Development

During the visit, Menon addressed the Brunei judiciary and said that the judiciary has a crucial role to play in enhancing economic and cultural development.

He also pointed out that supporting the broader transnational system of commercial justice will provide a sound legal framework for transnational commercial activity that is conducted on a globalised basis.

"Given the importance of economic development as a means of improving the wellbeing of our societies, I suggest that it is the responsibility of the judiciary to do what it can to support this broader goal," said Menon.

Highlighting the role of judiciary in economic growth, the apex court chief justice said that a robust rule of law framework provides a stable and predictable environment governed by clear and transparent rules, in which commercial parties can transact with one another with the confidence that property rights will be protected and contractual obligations will be enforced.

"It is wholly unsurprising that studies have noted a positive correlation between the rule of law and economic growth," said Menon.

He added: "Indeed, I would go so far as to say that this has been an integral part of the Singapore story. Since our independence, the strength of the rule of law has provided the foundation for our journey and our transformation from what was famously described by our Founding Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, as a "political, economic and geographical absurdity – in the context of Singapore being a very small nation lacking natural resources – to a leading financial and business centre today."

During the visit, Menon also visited his counterpart in Brunei and discussed ways to elevate judicial cooperation between both nations.

Justice Kannan Ramesh, who was part of the Singapore delegation, briefed Bruneian stakeholders and government agencies on Singapore's insolvency and restructuring regime.

He also spoke about Singapore's experience in reforming and modernising Singapore's legal frameworks for insolvency and restructuring, and in particular on Singapore's adoption of the UNCITRAL Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency, and on the development of the Judicial Insolvency Network's Guidelines and Modalities.

Bilateral Relation Continues Between Singapore and Brunei

In June, Singapore Prime Minister and Finance Minister Lawrence Wong, who took charge in May completed his introductory visits to Brunei and Malaysia.

During his visit to Brunei, Wong and his delegation were received by Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office of Brunei Darussalam.

Moreover, the trade relationship between Singapore and Brunei was always strong with Singapore's exports to Brunei reaching $683 million in 2022.

On the other hand, Brunei's exports to Singapore reached $402 million in 2022.