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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


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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


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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.


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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).


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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.”


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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).


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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)




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Automated Traffic Offence Management System (ATOMS)Internet Interface


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Automated Traffic Offence Management System (ATOMS)Electronic Kiosks Interface


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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


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Applications & Cases E-Management System (ACES)Alerts Interface


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Applications & Cases E-Management System (ACES)Pre-Trial Conference Interface


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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)




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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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