The Supreme Court has been working with the Singapore Academy of Law to promote the resolution of disputes by way of mediation. Cases considered suitable for mediation have been identified by the Supreme Court and, with the parties' consent, referred to the Commercial Mediation Service of the Singapore Academy of Law. The promotion of the use of mediation is another extension of the judiciary's efforts to encourage litigants to settle their disputes amicably.
As a further step, with effect from April 1997, the judiciary can give waivers and refunds of court hearing fees to disputants who have tried in good faith to mediate their disputes through the Commercial Mediation Service. Such parties may apply to the Registrar for a waiver or refund of part or all of the court hearing fees that will be or have already been paid. The mediation process may be initiated by one or all of the parties. The Academy of Law will assign the most suitable mediator to the dispute in question. The Mediation Procedure prescribed by the Academy is uncomplicated, minimizes the formality involved and stresses that the mediation will be conducted in confidence. The mediation fees charged by the Academy of Law range from S$750 (US$530) to S$1,500 per party per day.
It is hoped that disputants will be encouraged by the substantial savings in time and costs they would enjoy if they resort to mediation instead of allowing their case to proceed to trial.