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12 th Conference of Chief Justices of Asia and the Pacific. Overcoming Backlogs. Speech of the Honourable the Chief Justice of Singapore CJ Chan Sek Keong. Introduction – Then & Now. Magna Carta: “to no one will we refuse or delay justice” Then:.

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12th Conference of Chief Justices of Asia and the Pacific

Overcoming Backlogs

Speech of the Honourable the Chief Justice of Singapore CJ Chan Sek Keong

introduction then now
Introduction – Then & Now
  • Magna Carta:

“to no one will we refuse or delay justice”

  • Then:
  • More than 2,000 cases set down for trial but trial dates only available 3 years or more later;
  • More than 10,000 inactive cases, some of them for over 10 years;
  • 44% of cases took between 5-10 years to dispose
introduction then now3
Introduction – Then & Now

1. Appointing more judges;

  • Backlogs tackled swiftly:

2. Changing rules of procedure;

3. Denying adjournments;

4. Giving hearing dates to moribund cases;

5. Expanding jurisdiction of subordinate courts.

introduction then now4
Introduction – Then & Now
  • Backlog of cases awaiting trial dates reduced from 2,059 in 1991 to 175 in 1993.
  • Results:
  • Appeals reduced from 275 (1991) to 71 (1993).
conceptualising backlogs
Conceptualising “Backlogs”
  • Defining “backlog” and its link to socio-economic costs
    • “Justice delayed is justice denied”
  • When & how to know a backlog exists:Benchmarks & Performance indicators
    • “Justice is like a train that is nearly always late.”
slide6

Facilitative Measures

Diversionary Measures

Overcoming Backlogs

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution Singapore Arbitration Centre & Singapore Mediation Centre
  • Pre-action protocolsfor NIMA and medical negligence cases
  • Diversionary Programmeto extra-judicial resources (e.g. Financial Industry Disputes Resolution Centre, in association with Monetary Authority of Singapore)
  • Debt Repayment Scheme under public consultation
  • Manpower(a) Judges; (b) Justices’ Law Clerks (JLCs)
  • Court Processes(a) AEICs; (b) Opening statements;(c) Appellate advocacy – submission of cases & skeletal arguments; (d) Selective docket system (High Court) & Specially Managed Civil List (Subordinate Courts);(e) Differentiated Case Management.
  • Technology(a) Electronic Filing System (EFS) & integrated Electronic Litigation System (iELS); (b) Digital Transcription System;(c) Automated Traffic Offence Management System (ATOMS).
slide7

Facilitative Measures

Dispositive Measures

Diversionary Measures

Monitoring & Control

Overcoming Backlogs

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution Singapore Arbitration Centre & Singapore Mediation Centre
  • Pre-action protocolsfor NIMA and medical negligence cases
  • Diversionary Programmeto extra-judicial resources (e.g. Financial Industry Disputes Resolution Centre, in association with Monetary Authority of Singapore)
  • Debt Repayment Scheme under public consultation
  • Manpower(a) Judges; (b) Justices’ Law Clerks (JLCs)
  • Court Processes(a) AEICs; (b) Opening statements;(c) Appellate advocacy – submission of cases & skeletal arguments; (d) Selective docket system (High Court) & Specially Managed Civil List (Subordinate Courts);(e) Differentiated Case Management.
  • Technology(a) Electronic Filing System (EFS) & integrated Electronic Litigation System (iELS); (b) Digital Transcription System;(c) Automated Traffic Offence Management System (ATOMS).
  • Pre-trial Conferences
  • Peremptory Orders (“Unless orders”)
  • Trial date certainty & hearing fees
  • Costs orders
  • Regular statistical reports & Applications & Cases E-Management System (ACES) (alerts and almost-live statistics)
  • Auto-discontinuance
  • Auto-discontinuance
  • Peremptory Orders (“Unless orders”)
  • Night Courts
  • Mediation in the Courts

(a) Primary Disputes Resolution Centre (PDRC)

(b) Community Mediation Centre (CMC)

(c) Family Relations Centre (FRC)

automated traffic offence management system atoms electronic kiosks interface
Automated Traffic Offence Management System (ATOMS)Electronic Kiosks Interface
slide12

Facilitative Measures

Diversionary Measures

Monitoring & Control

Overcoming Backlogs

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution Singapore Arbitration Centre & Singapore Mediation Centre
  • Pre-action protocolsfor NIMA and medical negligence cases
  • Diversionary Programmeto extra-judicial resources (e.g. Financial Industry Disputes Resolution Centre, in association with Monetary Authority of Singapore)
  • Debt Repayment Scheme under public consultation
  • Manpower(a) Judges; (b) Justices’ Law Clerks (JLCs)
  • Court Processes(a) AEICs; (b) Opening statements;(c) Appellate advocacy – submission of cases & skeletal arguments; (d) Selective docket system (High Court) & Specially Managed Civil List (Subordinate Courts);(e) Differentiated Case Management.
  • Technology(a) Electronic Filing System (EFS) & integrated Electronic Litigation System (iELS); (b) Digital Transcription System;(c) Automated Traffic Offence Management System (ATOMS).
  • Pre-trial Conferences
  • Peremptory Orders (“Unless orders”)
  • Trial date certainty & hearing fees
  • Costs orders
  • Regular statistical reports & Applications & Cases E-Management System (ACES) (alerts and almost-live statistics)
  • Auto-discontinuance
slide15

Facilitative Measures

Dispositive Measures

Diversionary Measures

Monitoring & Control

Overcoming Backlogs

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution Singapore Arbitration Centre & Singapore Mediation Centre
  • Pre-action protocolsfor NIMA and medical negligence cases
  • Diversionary Programmeto extra-judicial resources (e.g. Financial Industry Disputes Resolution Centre, in association with Monetary Authority of Singapore)
  • Debt Repayment Scheme under public consultation
  • Manpower(a) Judges; (b) Justices’ Law Clerks (JLCs)
  • Court Processes(a) AEICs; (b) Opening statements;(c) Appellate advocacy – submission of cases & skeletal arguments; (d) Selective docket system (High Court) & Specially Managed Civil List (Subordinate Courts);(e) Differentiated Case Management.
  • Technology(a) Electronic Filing System (EFS) & integrated Electronic Litigation System (iELS); (b) Digital Transcription System;(c) Automated Traffic Offence Management System (ATOMS).
  • Pre-trial Conferences
  • Peremptory Orders (“Unless orders”)
  • Trial date certainty & hearing fees
  • Costs orders
  • Regular statistical reports & Applications & Cases E-Management System (ACES) (alerts and almost-live statistics)
  • Auto-discontinuance
  • Auto-discontinuance
  • Peremptory Orders (“Unless orders”)
  • Night Courts
  • Mediation in the Courts

(a) Primary Disputes Resolution Centre (PDRC)

(b) Community Mediation Centre (CMC)

(c) Family Relations Centre (FRC)

conclusion
Conclusion
  • George Santayana: “Those who speak most of progress measure it by quantity and not by quality.”
  • George Bernard Shaw: “Justice is justice though it’s always delayed and finally done by mistake.”
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