The State Courts encourage all parties in civil cases, criminal cases and community disputes to explore alternative dispute resolution (ADR) options before going to trial.
The Court Dispute Resolution Cluster (CDRC) provides the following options:
The courts may refer you and the other party for ADR or you may request for it at any time during a case.
If your case is heard at the CDRC, you will go through a judge-driven court dispute resolution (CDR) process that gives you the opportunity to resolve your dispute faster and more economically than through a trial.
Judges lead the dispute resolution process at the CDRC.
This means you can tap the expertise of the judges, who can:
If you do not have a lawyer and wish to request for dispute resolution, refer to the respective pages:
There are no fees for dispute resolution by the CDRC except for District Court cases where each party needs to pay $250.
Refer to this table for the exceptions and details:
Type of case
Cost of CDRC dispute resolution
All Magistrate's Court cases
District Court cases:
All other District Court cases
Each party pays $250
Other cases not mentioned above (such as Community Courts and Tribunals cases or Magistrate's Complaints)
A dispute may be resolved after 1 to 3 sessions of ADR. Each session typically lasts about 3 hours, but more complex sessions may require a day.
The duration and number of sessions may vary depending on the complexity of the case and the parties' attitudes. Some cases may even reach a settlement within half a day.
The CDRC will inform you of the details of your session through a notice by post.
The session may be conducted in one of the following ways:
If your session is scheduled to be conducted remotely through video conference, refer to the Guide to virtual court sessions.
Refer to the respective pages:
The information here is for general guidance as the courts do not provide legal advice. If you need further help, you may want to get independent legal advice.Find out more
For Magistrate's Complaints and cases that are filed in the Protection from Harassment Court or the Community Disputes Resolution Tribunals, refer to the brochure on:
You may refer to the letter you received from the Court Dispute Resolution Cluster (CDRC) informing you of the details of the session or the hearing list.
If you cannot attend your session on the scheduled date and have valid reasons, you should file a request to the court for another date. You will need to provide supporting documents, such as a medical certificate or overseas itinerary.
For civil cases, you need to first seek the other party's consent to reschedule the court date. If they agree, you may file a Request for Re-fixing/Vacation of Hearing Dates through eLitigation . Indicate that you have obtained the other party's consent and include the dates when both parties will not be available to attend court.
For mediation for Magistrate's Complaints, send an email to the Court Dispute Resolution Cluster (CDRC) at email@example.com with your request. State the reason for rescheduling the case and provide supporting documents. You do not need to obtain the other party's consent.