Free Mediation for Wedding Couples and Vendors Affected by Recent COVID-19 Restrictions
12 Jul 2021 Posted in Press releases
- The Ministry of Law (“MinLaw”) will introduce the MinLaw COVID-19 (Wedding) Mediation Programme (“the Programme”), to provide free mediation for parties in wedding events (i.e. wedding couples and vendors) affected by the COVID-19 restrictions under the Heightened Alert, which first took effect on 8 May 2021.
- The Heightened Alert was imposed to curb COVID-19 infections in Singapore. These stricter rules aimed to reduce the risks of transmission by reducing the attendance for wedding solemnisations and receptions and imposing pre-event testing requirements.
- In some cases, affected parties were able to work out alternatives, such as agreeing to reschedule or downsize the event or the provision of goods or services. However, not all affected parties have been able to resolve the matter through direct negotiation.
MinLaw encourages these parties to consider mediation. Mediation has several recognised benefits, including:
a. High success rate of settlement
b. Savings of time and money for parties
c. Preserves relationships between parties
- To facilitate settlement between these couples and vendors, MinLaw will be providing free-of-charge mediation, if both parties agree to mediate. The mediation will be facilitated by a neutral trained professional in a non-adversarial and confidential setting. Mediators will facilitate the discussion and help parties work towards a mutually acceptable solution. This will be a useful channel for parties to explore and come to an amicable solution, as opposed to resolving the dispute in court.
Parties must fulfil two key criteria to be eligible for the Programme:
a. First, both parties must be in a contract (written or otherwise) for the sale of goods or services in relation to a wedding event.
b. Second, the scheduled wedding event date must be between 8 May 2021 and 31 July 2021 (both dates inclusive).
- Any party interested in mediating their dispute through the Programme may submit a request for mediation and a copy of the contract by email to MinLaw. Details on how the request for mediation may be submitted will be published at https://www.go.gov.sg/request-for-mediation from 14 July 2021 onwards.
Parties must submit the request for mediation between 14 July 2021 and 10 September 2021.
a. Prior to submitting the request for mediation, it will be useful to seek the other party’s agreement to participate in the mediation. This will expedite the arrangement of the mediation.
b. However, where the parties have not already agreed to mediate at the outset, the counterparty who receives a copy of the request for mediation will have to confirm that they agree to participate in the mediation. If the counterparty does not agree, mediation will not be arranged. The parties will have to resolve their dispute through other ways.
c. Once both parties agree to the mediation, MinLaw will arrange the session and allocate a mediator. MinLaw will target for the session to be held within two weeks after both parties have agreed to mediate, subject to the mediator’s and the parties’ availability.
d. The mediation session will generally be scheduled for two hours and conducted virtually via videoconference.
e. If the parties are able to reach an agreement during the mediation session, the mediator will assist parties in drawing up a settlement agreement according to the agreed terms.
- We encourage eligible parties to participate in the Programme with an open mind, and to be fair and reasonable to each other. The COVID-19 restrictions have affected both wedding couples and their vendors, and mutual understanding of the difficulties faced will help them reach a better outcome. For parties who are not eligible for the Programme, we encourage them to conduct their own negotiations in the same spirit of understanding.
- More information on the Programme is available at https://www.go.gov.sg/mediation-programme.
MINISTRY OF LAW
12 July 2021
Last updated on 12 July 2021