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What is mediation?
Mediation is a way of resolving a dispute without going for a trial in court. It is known as an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) method.
Mediation 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.
How is mediation different from a trial?
The table below sets out the main differences between these two processes.
Court hearing fees are charged after the first day of trial (at least $250 per day).
Apart from court hearing fees, you would have to pay legal fees for preparing and going for a trial.
Most disputes are resolved within 3 ½ sessions. Many of these have even been settle within half a day.
Trials can be long due to the tedious processes of fact-finding and cross-examination to verify the accuracy of the facts.
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.
A court trial is formal.
In reaching a decision, the Judge has to ensure that court procedures and existing legal principles are followed.
The discussions between all the parties during a mediation session will remain private and confidential. If you and 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.
Benefits of mediation
When is mediation appropriate?
Every dispute differs in character, and you have to consider whether your dispute is suitable for mediation. Mediation may be effective in the following situations:
Mediation programmes in the State Courts Small claims
The Small Claims Tribunals (SCT) were set up to provide a quick and inexpensive forum to resolve small claims, without the use of lawyers. If you have filed a claim through the Community Justice and Tribunals System (CJTS), you will be asked to attend a mediation session at the SCT. Please refer to www.statecourts.gov.sg (Filing a claim at the Small Claims Tribunals) for more information. Civil suits
If 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:
Relational disputesThe State Courts may refer you to mediation in the State Courts Centre for Dispute Resolution in other relational disputes, including Magistrate's Complaints or applications under the Protection from Harassment Act.
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