Written Answer by Minister for Law, Mr K Shanmugam, to Parliamentary Question on Community Dispute Resolution Tribunal (CDRT) Claim Submissions Between 2017 and 2019
02 Nov 2020 Posted in Parliamentary speeches and responses
Dr Tan Wu Meng (Member of Parliament for Jurong GRC)
To ask the Minister for Law (a) what is the number of Community Dispute Resolution Tribunal (CDRT) claim submissions in 2017, 2018 and 2019 respectively, broken down by age group; and (b) what avenues of access to CDRT processes and the Community Justice and Tribunals System are available for elderly Singaporeans without IT access or SingPass.
- The number of claims filed with the Community Disputes Resolution Tribunal (“CDRT”) from 2017 to 2019 is as follows:
|Number of Claims||57||108||108|
- The CDRT does not track the age of its applicants and is hence unable to provide a breakdown of applications by age group.
- Nevertheless, the State Courts pays close attention to litigants who may need extra assistance, including elderly litigants, and takes additional effort to assist them better.
- The CDRT processes have been designed to ensure accessibility for litigants. Application forms are simplified, and proceedings are judge-led. All CDRT applications are done online, via the Community Justice and Tribunals System (“CJTS”), which allows individuals to file a claim at their own time and convenience, and from the comfort of their own home, using their SingPass. This also benefits those who may face mobility issues.
- Individuals who have difficulties accessing and navigating the CJTS, can reach out to the State Courts’ Registry for assistance, over the phone, via email, or in person at the State Courts’ premises. They can also make an appointment for the State Courts Registry staff to assist them to use computer terminals at the State Courts’ premises to file the application.
- Where an individual is unable to file or present his case by reason of old age, illiteracy or infirmity, it is also possible for a third party, who is duly authorised in writing and approved by the CDRT, to file a claim and make representations on behalf of the individual. In addition, under the Community Justice and Tribunal Divisions Friends Scheme, individuals can apply for a family member, friend, or volunteer to assist with the filing of a claim, and also to provide support throughout the CDRT process.
- Apart from that, there are various programmes that offer solutions to assist litigants-in-person who require help navigating the justice system. One such programme is the Community Justice Centre.
- Even as we make the CDRT accessible, the Ministry of Law encourages individuals to consider legal proceedings as a last resort to resolve neighbour disputes. Often, neighbour disputes can be resolved quickly and efficiently if neighbours are willing to discuss their grievances directly or have a mediator help them to do so. This will help prevent the matter from escalating into a legal dispute unnecessarily, and strengthen the parties’ relationship in the long-term.
Last updated on 02 Nov 2020