Justice for the small Sinkies
The cost of going to court is becoming very prohibitive to many ordinary Sinkies. It can be worst than hospitalization especially when there is no equivalent of the Medisave or the 3Ms to lower the cash outlay. There is a piece of good news announced by Wong Meng Meng, Law Society President, that measures have been taken to allow the average Sinkies to have their legal matters settle through Alternative Dispute Resolution methods such as arbitration, mediation and adjudication. Such methods would spare the average Sinkies from expensive legal bills payable to the courts and the learned counsels for their services.
Many minor or frivolous cases have been applied for judicial judgement that were not necessary, and often an abuse of the legal system by parties that have the money to do so and to use the court as their hatchet men. Poor Sinkies who have no money to engage brilliant counsels often have to suffer injustice at the mercy of the rich rogues. And it is this very injustice that the Law Society is trying to prevent, to ensure that all Sinkies could have a fair hearing and justice, and not be deprived of justice because they could not pay for it.
The ADR methods or alternative method to allow petty and frivolous cases to be heard in a manner without prohibitive legal fees is something that is badly needed for the average Sinkies. Maybe appearance in such courts should be made simpler and less costly by not allowing legal counsels to represent their clients. The military has been practicing such a system for ages. The litigants could explain their cases or maybe with the assistant of a court appointed representative if they are unable to do so. Such cases are normally factual in nature and a good judge should be more than adequate to assess the merits of the parties involved.
Such an alternative will free the courts and legal counsels to handle more important legal conflicts and issues. And legal counsels could upgrade themselves to a higher level of litigation instead of petty quarrels between neighbours. It is quite malu for learned counsels to be making their pile from petty quarrels of the small people.
With the opening up of the legal practice and the establishment of an international arbitration centre, legal counsels could have plentiful of meaningful and rewarding cases to handle and need not depend on poor Sinkies to feed their overheads and profits.
There is plenty of money to be made in serious legal disputes. Spare the average Sinkies from hefty legal fees. Spare the courts to deal with legal issues befitting the attention of the judges. Spare the legal counsels to attend to cases that will tax their training in law schools and their understanding of the law, and an improvement in their incomes.
And most important, allow the average Sinkies the right to justice without having to pay an arm or a leg, and preventing the rich rogues to abuse the courts to attack their victims.