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1. What is mediation?
Mediation is a way of resolving a dispute without going for a trial in court. It is a flexible process in which a neutral mediator facilitates the parties' settlement negotiations, to help them reach their own solution. The focus of mediation is on finding solutions that will meet the parties' concerns. The mediator will not make a decision concerning who is at fault in the dispute.
2. How is mediation different from a trial?
Mediation is usually known as an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) method; it is an alternative to having a court trial. The table below sets out the main differences between these two processes.
The mediator will not make a judgment or determine who is at fault in your dispute. The mediator will focus on helping you and the other party find solutions that will meet your concerns and needs.
You and the other party are the ones who will decide whether to settle your dispute, and the details of your settlement.
The discussions between all parties during a mediation session will remain private and confidential. If you are the other party reach a settlement, you may also decide to keep the details of what you have agreed to confidential.
If there is no settlement and the case proceeds to trial, the trial will be held before a different Judge.
Court hearing fees are charged after the first day of trial.
Apart from court hearing fees, you would have to pay legal fees for preparing and going for a trial.
3. What are the benefits of mediation?
4. When is mediation appropriate?
Every dispute differs in character, and you have to consider whether your dispute is suitable for mediation or for a trial in court. Mediation may be effective in the following situations:
However, there are certain disputes in which mediation may not be appropriate. These are instances where:
5. Mediation programmes in the State Courts If you have a case in the State Courts, there is a range of mediation services that you may use to resolve your dispute.
Small claimsThe Small Claims Tribunals (SCT) was set up to provide a quick and inexpensive forum to resolve small claims, without the use of lawyers. In general, the SCT deals with claims that are less than $10,000.00. If you have filed a claims there, you will be asked to attend a mediation session at SCT. Please refer to "Filing a claim at Small Claims Tribunals" for more information.
Civil suitsIf you have filed a Writ of Summons or Originating Summons in the State Courts, or you have been served such a document by another person, you may consider the following:
a. Mediation in the State Courts Primary Dispute Resolution CentreThe mediators in this Centre are State Courts Judges who have been specially appointed and trained in mediation, and court volunteers who are lawyers trained and accredited by the State Courts and Singapore Mediation Centre. A mediation session will usually take one morning or afternoon. To request for mediation, please consult your lawyer or refer to information on mediation process/ alternative dispute resolution.
b. Mediation in the Singapore Mediation Centre
The Singapore Mediation Centre offers a range of mediation services for different disputes. You may wish to contact them for more information.
The State Courts may refer you to mediation in other relational disputes, including Magistrate's Complaints in the Crime Registry or applications under the Protection from Harassment Act.
Code of EthicsClick here to access the State Courts' Code of Ethics and Principles of Court Mediation. This document sets out the ethical principles underlying mediation in the State Courts. It elaborates on court mediators' shared values and the key principles governing how mediation should be conducted in the State Courts.
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