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Lawyers play significant role in family justice system

The Law Society is disappointed with the views expressed by Ms Jocelyn Wong Jia Min (Establish robust, constructive framework to engage family lawyers; Dec 17).

Lawyers act on the instructions of their clients. To assert that family lawyers encourage conflict or an exaggeration of events is mischievous.

Matrimonial disputes are particularly emotional and challenging, be it in the arena of litigation or alternative dispute resolution, where the parties (and their children) are in the throes of reconstructing their lives.

It is unfair to tarnish the standing of family lawyers who provide valuable services that include advice on mediation, collaborative family practice and other tools to resolve familial issues.

It is also flawed to contemplate fee caps and an accredited family lawyers scheme before making the conclusion that there is no necessity to engage lawyers in family proceedings.

Family lawyers play a significant role in facilitating access to justice in the Family Justice System, and remain committed to continuing our work with all stakeholders to improve the family ecosystem and in supporting our clients.

Michelle Woodworth (Ms)

Co-Chairman, Family Law Practice Committee

Law Society of Singapore

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 24, 2017, with the headline 'Lawyers play significant role in family justice system'. Print Edition | Subscribe