Litigants In Person


Litigants in Person: Principles and Practice in Civil and Family Matters in Singapore

Author Jaclyn Neo and Helena Whalen-Bridge
Publication Date January 2021
ISBN 9789811492761
Format Softcover
Publisher Singapore Academy of Law

The first scholarly examination of litigants in person ("LiPs") in the Singapore legal system is presented in this book. In Singapore's judicial system, LiPs play a vital role. High levels of self-representation can generate numerous separate access to justice challenges for LiPs and other players in the court system under our adversarial adjudication heritage. This investigation of LiPs in the Singapore system, which focuses on civil and family court processes, is part of a larger understanding of access to justice, which is based on the need to ensure practical and effective access to justice. A doctrinal legal analysis, a literature assessment of academic writings, policy papers, and government reports, and an empirical examination of published court judgments regarding LiPs are all used in the book. The book also includes results from in-depth interviews with a small number of LiPs performed with the help of the Community Justice Centre, as well as a poll of attorneys conducted with the help of the Law Society of Singapore. These blended techniques are used to create a three-part framework for analysing the current system's status, needs, and impact on self-representation. The three-part structure focuses on the viewpoints of three key stakeholders: LiPs, judges and court employees, and lawyers representing other parties in a case.

The book analyses areas where there appears to be a gap between the "normal" operation of the legal system and the demands of LiPs. When litigants represent themselves, it affects not only the system's efficiency, but also all parties involved, including judges and courts, lawyers representing opposing or other parties, and the litigant himself. Any solution to managing increased burdens when litigants self-represent in an adversarial system that presumes the existence of attorneys must be multi-pronged, one that conceptualises the administration of justice as a legal ecosystem of interconnected players.

TABLE OF CONTENTS of Litigants in Person

1. Introduction
2. Litigants in Person in Singapore and Other Common Law Systems
3. Judicial Approached to Litigants in Person in Civil and Family Proceedings
4. Experiences of Litigants in Person with the Court Process
5. Lawyers and Litigants in Person: Inequality of Arms?
6. Innovations to Better Serve Litigants in Person
7. Conclusion

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