Parliament: Panel to be formed to study ways to improve family justice system

Senior Minister of State for Law Indranee Rajah said her Ministry is looking at improving the practice of family law in Singapore.
Senior Minister of State for Law Indranee Rajah said her Ministry is looking at improving the practice of family law in Singapore.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - A government committee will be set up to study how to improve the family justice system, with an eye on easing the pain and healing ties when families break up.

This move to address the emotional and psychological well-being of the family members was announced by Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee on Monday (Nov 6).

It will be headed by the permanent secretaries of the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) and Ministry of Law - the top bureaucrats in the ministries - and the Presiding Judge of the Family Justice Courts, Mr Lee said in response to a question from Mr Seah Kian Peng (Marine Parade GRC).

The committee will also include representatives from the social services sector, legal system, judiciary and academia.

It will start work by the end of this year, but Mr Lee did not say when its recommendations can be expected.

Separately, Senior Minister of State for Law Indranee Rajah said her Ministry is looking at improving the practice of family law in Singapore.

"Work is underway to design a specialist family law and multi-discipline training for family lawyers," Ms Indranee said in response to a question from Ms Rahayu Mahzam (Jurong GRC).

Lawyers who have undergone specialist training in the field will also be accredited under a new Family Law Practitioner scheme.

She also disclosed that disputes in the Family Justice Courts are being resolved faster.

Interim judgements for divorce cases took an average of 53 days to obtain last year, down from 67 days in 2012.

At the same time, the average time for divorce cases to be resolved dropped from 155 days in 2012 to 115 days last year.