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     Government: Legal Matters


     Singapore Law

     Law Websites

          - Ministry of Law launches Law Town and LawConnect Web sites

     New Wills Registry set up - a world's first

     Mediation Centres/Ad-hoc Venues (for disputes)

     Singapore Statutes Online

     Notaries Public - List

     Small Claims Tribunals - How to file a claim


          - Census of law firms and lawyers in Singapore





SMU starts School of Law

"The Third Committee on the Supply of Lawyers estimated that an additional 140-150 legal professionals will be required each year from 2010 until 2015 to meet the needs of Singapore’s legal industry.

"To meet this number, the SMU School of Law will take in 90 students in AY2007, reaching a steady-state intake of 120 from AY2008 onwards.
"The NUS Faculty of Law will also increase its intake from the current 220 to 240 beginning in AY2007..."




Singapore eases admission criteria for new lawyers

"Government announced on 17 August 2006, its in-principle acceptance of the recommendation of the Third Committee on the Supply of Lawyers chaired by the former Attorney-General, to allow Singaporean citizens or Permanent Residents ("PRs") who graduated from Overseas Scheduled Universities with Second Class (Lower Division) Honours to practise law in Singapore, provided they possessed certain relevant work experience or qualifications..."


     - Chief Justice expresses shock about lawyer's alleged misappropriation of clients' moneys


     - Small Claims Tribunal to cover short-term residential tenancy agreements

     - Police raid company using pirated software


Financial Industry Disputes Resolution Centre launched

"First, by handling all disputes that relate to forms of financial transactions, it provides consumers the convenience of a one-stop centre...

"Third, FIDReC is affordable. To ensure easy access, mediation services will be free. If current trend continues, it means that 95% of all cases handled by FIDReC will be free. Should adjudication be needed, consumers will pay just $50."


      - Give your view on changes to Income Tax Act

     - Parliamentary Elections (Amendment) Bill 2005

     - Singaporeans engaging in sex with minors overseas

Registration of Criminals (Amendment) Bill 2005

"We are amending the Registration of Criminals Act or 'RCA' to allow the record of a conviction kept in the Register of Criminals for a less serious crime to be considered as spent if the person stays clean after a specified period...

"As we are making a start in this area, we have decided to do so on a more cautious note, by providing for criminal records to become spent. In the light of experience gained, we can consider expunging criminal records in the future..."



      - DNA Database launched in Singapore

      - Rules on use of national symbols relaxed from 1 Jan 2004



More aggrieved parents are turning to mediation centres instead of the Maintenance of Parents Tribunal. Since 2001, community mediation centres here have heard about 14 cases yearly involving maintenance of parents, a spokesman for the mediation centres said. The Maintenance of Parents Tribunal has heard about seven cases a month this year, compared with about 25 a month in 1996. Tribunal president Mr K.S. Rajah said that almost 60 per cent of the 773 cases the tribunal handled from 1996 - 2001 involved parents suing either one or two children for maintenance. In only 30 per cent, the parents sued three, four or five children for support. (Straits Times 13 Sep 2003 H10) 

 A 35-year-old lawyer, who is being sued by five people who said they had handed him about S$4.5 million, has gone missing. Mr TAN Cheng Yew is a former partner at a local law firm. (Straits Times 25 Feb 2003)(3)

  Mr Philip Jeyaretnam, 38, Mr LEE Seiu Kin, 48, Mr LIM Teong Qwee, 67, Ms Indranee Rajah, 39, and Mr Andre YEAP, 41, were appointed as Senior Counsel yesterday. They will add to the elite numbers of 31 Senior Counsel - Singapore's version of Britain's Queen's Counsel - who are appointed each year by a select committee. The scheme started in 1997. (Straits Times 5 Jan 2003) (26)

  Chief Justice YONG Pung How noted that lawyers were still being indiscriminate about the number of documents they filed, despite his warning last year that substantial court costs would be imposed against them. He cited a recent example in which a lawyer whose firm filed more than 2,000 pages did not refer to a single page during his 75-minute submission in court. CJ YONG added that in future, the court would not hesitate to exercise its discretion in making errant lawyers pay for costs arising from any irresponsible conduct. (Straits Times 5 Jan 2003)(3)

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