Written Answer by Second Minister for Law Edwin Tong to PQ on Statistics of Applications to Public Defender's Office
22 November 2023 Posted in Parliamentary speeches and responses
Ms He Ting Ru (Member of Parliament for Sengkang GRC)
To ask the Minister for Law since the establishment of the Public Defender’s Office (PDO) (a) how many applications have been received by the PDO; (b) how many applications have been rejected; and (c) what is the breakdown for the unsuccessful applications in terms of the applicants failing the (i) means or (ii) merits test.
- As of September 2023, the Public Defender’s Office has received around 1,300 applications, of which close to 580 were assessed as eligible for criminal defence aid under the Public Defenders Act.
- Out of about 420 rejected applications, about half did not satisfy the prescribed means criteria. Almost 30% were assessed to have a lack of merits. Other reasons for rejection include the applicant already being represented by a private lawyer or not yet charged in court.
- The remaining 300 applications are either ongoing, or closed due to reasons such as withdrawal or applicants not following up.
Last updated on 22 November 2023