18 May 2006

New specialist Community Court to be set up

Channelnewsasia.com: "SINGAPORE: A new specialist Community Court will be set up next month to deal with young offenders, those with mental disabilities and attempted suicide cases.

A Family Centre will also be launched to help couples deal with the legal and emotional aspects of divorce.

These were unveiled by Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong at his first Subordinate Courts Workplan address.

All these are part of the need for new responses to meet the more complex challenges at home and internationally.

The Community Court will deal with cases involving
- young offenders between 16 to 18 years old;
- offenders with mental disabilities;
- parties in neighbourhood disputes;
- offenders in attempted suicide cases;
- young offenders in carnal connection offences;
- those in family violence cases;
- offenders who abuse animals; and
- cases which impact race relations.

'There will be sufficient linkages with community resources to allow for the successful re-integration of individuals back into community settings. In appropriate cases, offenders who would ordinarily be prison-bound would be linked to long-term community-based treatment. To further enhance the administration of criminal justice, I will chair a review panel to look at how current sentencing and bail guidelines can be further improved and rationalised,' said Chan Sek Keong, Chief Justice.

Court 20 at the Subordinate Courts has been designated the new Community Court.

Such a Community Court is seen as timely, as the number of youth offenders went up 14% last year compared to 2004.

The aims of the Community Court are the same as other courts - to prevent and reduce the incidence of crimes.

But there is also the recognition that special management of these offenders may lead to a higher chance of rehabilitation.

'We also try to map out their future plans by putting them in schools, employment, national service. In prison, they are locked up and when they come out, they may not have all this support,' said Razwana Begum, Probation Officer for the Community Development, Youth and Sport Ministry.

The Family Relations Centre at the Family & Juvenile Court will be staffed by specialist judges and trained counsellors to provide divorcing couples legal and therapeutic solutions on custody and other matters.

Other changes announced include a pro-active approach to manage medical negligence cases to promote the resolution of cases without the need for court action. The new initiatives will be implemented in the year ahead. - CNA /dt

Our CJ has been busy indeed.


Anonymous said...

Its a good development since there is a contradiction in ages you are treated as an adult (too young to vote and old enough to go to jail).

Wonder why parliament does not do anything about this, after all they are the ones making law in singapore and surely they should harmonise such differences in treatment to its people.

quzy said...

Brace ourselves for more positive propoganda from our courts and the Ministry of Justice, as our judiciary system goes under international scrutiny.

Anonymous said...

To quzy,

Not to nitpick but there is no Ministry of Justice, it should be Ministry of Law.

The courts exist as organs-of-state are they include:
a) Judiciary, Industrial Arbitration Court (IAC)

b) Judiciary, Subordinate Courts (SUBCT

c) Judiciary, Supreme Court (SUPCOURT)

Difference between Ministry and Organ-of-state is that there is a Minister in charge of each ministry but for organ-of-state, they report in the case of Judiciary to Chief Justice.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Is attempted suicide a crime in Singapore??

Anonymous said...

Attempted suicide is a crime under legislation.

Say what you like, other than political judgements,all other cases are treated equally by the courts ignoring legal resources issues which occurs everywhere.

Anonymous said...

Further to elaborate, "political" judgements in the eyes of netizens here at the least follow the judicial philisophy of literal reading or construction. Whilst most here would pick and choose between the judicial philisophy of living law.

Capt_Canuck said...

So what is the punishment for attempted suicide in Singapore? execution by hanging? so is there is a punishment for actually commiting suicide in Singapore? Do they fine the dead persons family, or just imprison the body for a period of time?

Come on, that is a valid question considering reading some of the laws that exist in Singapore.

Allowed to cane men, can not cane women. A man commits incest with a relative over 14 and he gets up to 5 years, under 14 he gets up to 14 years in jail (but the law states that 'if the woman is found to be under the age of 14 the offender shall be punished...', what about if the relative is a male?) HOWEVER, a woman can have sexual relations with any relative of any age and get up to 5 years?

so, yeah, think my questions are legit here.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Too many laws, too little freedom.

Eventually, everyone's a criminal - as the state pokes its nose into every aspect of life.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't say 'too many laws, too little freedom'. More like 'safety first: nobody moves, nobody gets hurt'.

Nice to see that the powers that be in Singapore care so much for everyone that they want to keep everyone safe.

Easiest way to accomplish this: don't allow anyone to do anything. After all, how can the 'children' hurt themselves when the 'parents' won't let them out of the house? Aslong as the 'children' don't stand up against the 'parents' and demand freedom and responsibility, who is getting hurt, lah?

Matilah_Singapura said...

So how then? Later on the same govt encourages people to "take risks" and be "entrepreneurs".

Which means breaking rules. And getting in harm's way.

Haha... the state and its contradictions!