Access to Justice for the Poor: The Singapore Perspective

Publication Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date



The focus of the project is to examine the programs, plans and procedures to improve access to justice for the poor and the role played by the courts in Singapore. The role of the Singapore judiciary may be assessed in the following ways: economic, procedural and institutional (or organizational). In this context, the economic approach refers to fiscal measures undertaken by the judiciary to reduce the economic burden of the indigent litigant with a view to improving the litigant’s access to justice. By the ‘procedural’ approach, I refer to the use of court procedures and rules to enhance access to justice for the litigants. This may include procedural reforms via amending court rules, developing the rules of locus standi through case-law and streamlining court processes to reduce delays in the judicial system. Whilst ‘institutional’ measures would often embody procedural measures, they tend to be large-scale and often require a revamp or overhaul in the way we conceive the court’s roles. In this category, I would include the workings of the small claims tribunals, Alternative Dispute Resolutions mechanisms and courts' assistance to litigants-in-person. I will make an overall assessment of the court's efforts in maintaining and promoting access to justice for the poor in Singapore.


Asian Studies | Law | Legal History

Research Areas

Law, Society and Governance


Law and Society Association Annual Meeting, Berlin, 25-28 July 2007

City or Country

Berline, Germany

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