The Justice Statement
State Courts Logo
History of State Courts
Court Governance and Administration
Construction of State Courts Towers
Join us as a Court Volunteer
List of Court Volunteers
Roles of Court Volunteers
Appreciating Court Volunteers
Training and Networking Sessions for Court Volunteers
Recognising Court Volunteers
Positions in State Courts
[For lawyers only] Common e-filing errors in eLit
How do I start a civil proceeding?
How do I file a Magistrate's Complaint?
How do I file a claim against my neighbour
How do I file an appeal against a sentence or order made by the Court
How do I conduct a criminal case myself
How do I apply for court records
FAQ about Night Courts
How do I pay Court Fines?
Types of Claims which the ECT can hear
Before filing a Claim
Filing a Claim
After a Claim is filed
Settlement of disputes and Appeals
Compliance and Enforcement of Settlement Agreement and Tribunal Order
SMALL CLAIMS TRIBUNALS
How do I appeal against the Registrar's discontinuance order to the Referee (Small Claims Tribunals)?
How do I enforce an order of the Small Claims Tribunals
How do I file an appeal to the High Court against the decision of the Referee, Small Claims Tribunals
How do I file for debt recovery
How do I file a claim at the Small Claims Tribunals
Justice@State Courts mobile app
Small Claims Tribunals
Virtual Tour of Courtrooms
Annual Reports 2003 to 2018
Interested in Mediation/Conciliation/ADR
Employment Claims Tribunals
Annual Workplan Speeches
Annual Workplan Speeches and Themes
FAQs on court reporting
Legislation and Practice Directions
Legislation, Registrar's Circular, Practice Directions and others
International Framework for Court Excellence
International Consortium for Court Excellence
Judiciary Times (newsletter)
State Courts Judgment
Judgments published by LawNet
English to Chinese - Glossary of Terms
English to Malay - Glossary of Terms
English to Tamil - Glossary of Terms
SINGAPORE GOVERNMENT WEBSITES
Community Mediation Centre
Family Justice Courts
Insolvency and Public Trustee's Office
Legal Aid Bureau
Ministry of Education
Ministry of Law
Ministry of Social and Family Development
National Youth Council
Supreme Court of Singapore
Asean Law Association
Community Development Councils
Criminal Legal Aid Scheme
SG Heart Map
Singapore Academy of Law
Singapore Children's Society
Singapore Institute of Legal Education
Singapore International Arbitration Centre
Singapore Mediation Centre
The Law Society of Singapore
Commissioner for Oaths
Integrated Criminal Case Filing and Management System
Community Justice and Tribunals System
Court Fine Payment
Why NOT a trial?
If you are involved in a legal dispute, you may be considering taking the matter to trial to protect your interests. However, you may also be concerned about the potential downside of a trial, for example, the need to spend time and money to prepare for the trial and the pressures and risks associated with it.
Trials are not the only way to resolve your dispute. The State Courts encourage you to explore alternative processes which may be more suitable for you.
What are the alternatives to trial?
You can consider the following Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) options:
Mediation is a process in which a neutral third party, i.e. a mediator, facilitates and guides the parties in negotiating a mutually acceptable settlement to their dispute. The mediator does not determine who is at fault in the dispute. Instead, he helps the parties to focus on finding solutions that meet their concerns, without forcing a decision on either party. Mediation is a service provided by the State Courts Centre for Dispute Resolution (SCCDR).
Neutral Evaluation is conducted by a neutral third party, i.e. an evaluator, who will review the case and provide an early assessment of the merits of the case. During Neutral Evaluation, the parties, with their respective lawyers, will present their case and the key evidence to the evaluator. The evaluator will then provide his best estimate of the parties' likelihood of success at trial. Neutral Evaluation is a service provided by the SCCDR where a judge will be your evaluator.
Conciliation is a court dispute resolution process for you and the other party in your case to resolve your dispute without going for a trial in Court. It allows you and the other party to seek guidance from the Judge during the conciliation session and tap on his experience and knowledge to come up with an optimal settlement for all of you.
Arbitration is a process where parties agree to resolve the dispute by bringing the matter before a neutral third party, i.e. an arbitrator, for decision. During an arbitration hearing, both parties, with their respective lawyers, will present their case to the arbitrator. The arbitrator will make a binding decision based on the merits of the case, i.e. the parties must obey the arbitrator's decision. The Law Society of Singapore provides low-cost arbitration services through the Law Society Arbitration Scheme (LSAS).
If you wish to find out more about these ADR options, you may refer to the relevant sections on our website.
Which ADR option should I choose?
You should choose the option that best addresses your needs. Most litigants are concerned about issues such as legal costs, the duration of the litigation process, confidentiality, and the extent of their control over the outcome of the case. Other concerns may include the merits of your case, the desire to preserve your relationship with the other party, and the preference to avoid the formalities of a trial. You should consider carefully what is important to you, and then choose the option which best addresses your needs.
Consider which of the following factors are important to you:
Choosing the right ADR option
Mediation is generally regarded as the default ADR option as it addresses most of the concerns commonly faced by litigants. However, if you have special considerations, you may consider other options which are better able to meet your needs. For example, if an assessment of the merits of your case is important to you, neutral evaluation, arbitration or even trial may be more suitable for you.
The diagram below provides the most prominent features of each ADR process. It is also designed to help you decide on the option that is most suitable for your needs.
Do all claims in the State Courts go for ADR?
The State Courts encourage parties in all claims to consider ADR as the "first stop", before proceeding for trial. ADR services are provided by the State Courts Centre for Dispute Resolution.
If you have a personal injury or a "non-injury motor accident claim" (NIMA for short), your case will be automatically referred for ADR. You will receive a notice from the Court about the details of the ADR session. The ADR process used will be a very brief form of Neutral Evaluation. Lawyers normally represent the relevant insurers and clients at the brief neutral evaluation session. In general, you need not attend the first session. Where necessary, you may be directed to be present in subsequent sessions.
If you have any other civil case in the State Courts, you and the other party may request for ADR at any time in the proceedings. This request has to be filed in the online eLitigation system. You and the other party may choose to use the process of mediation, conciliation or neutral evaluation.
A judge in the State Courts may also refer your case for ADR at any stage of proceeding. For instance, if the plaintiff (the person making a claim) has filed a summons for directions, all parties and their lawyers have to complete and file the ADR Form before the hearing. At the summons for directions, the judge may refer your case for mediation after looking at each party's ADR Form and discussing with the lawyers. For more information, please refer to Part VI of the State Courts Practice Directions.
Information is easy to understand.
Information is useful.
Information is easy to find.
Tell us how we can improve this page.
Please email if you would like us to respond to your enquiries.
We will use your contact infomation for feedback related to the website only.
You are being redirected to an external source.
Do you want to proceed?
Thank you for your feedback.
Oops, that can't be blank....