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About the State Courts' Court Dispute Resolution Cluster

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:

  • Mediation.
  • Conciliation.
  • Neutral evaluation.

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.

  • Civil claims in the Magistrate's Court or District Court.
  • Personal injury or non-injury motor accident (PIMA or NIMA) claims.
  • Complaints under the Community Disputes Resolution Act or Protection from Harassment Act.
  • Magistrate's Complaints and private prosecutions.

Judge-led approach

Judges lead the dispute resolution process at the CDRC.

This means you can tap the expertise of the judges, who can:

  • Facilitate discussions between you and the other party.
  • (For conciliation) Suggest possible solutions to help you resolve your dispute.
  • (For neutral evaluation) Provide a realistic assessment of the strengths of the case should it proceed to trial.

Request for dispute resolution

If you do not have a lawyer and wish to request for dispute resolution, refer to the respective pages:

Estimated fees for dispute resolution

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

Free

District Court cases:

  • For non-injury motor accidents.
  • For damages for death or personal injuries.
  • Under the Protection from Harassment Act.

Free

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)

Free

How long dispute resolution takes

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.

Before your dispute resolution session

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:

Video conference sessions

If your session is scheduled to be conducted remotely through video conference, refer to the Guide to video conference hearings on Zoom.

What happens during dispute resolution

Refer to the respective pages:

Need help?

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

Resources

For civil cases, refer to the brochures on:

For Magistrate's Complaints, refer to the brochures on:

Related questions

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 statecourts_cdr@statecourts.gov.sg 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.


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