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UMF v UMG and another [2018] SGHCF 20

Outcome: Appeal dismissed


1 The grand-aunt of a four-year old child appealed against the decision of the Family Court dismissing her application for custody and care and control of the child. The Family Court found that she had no locus standi to make the application under section 5 of the Guardianship of Infants Act (Cap 122, 1985 Rev Ed) ("GIA").

Court’s Decision:

2 Section 5 of the GIA is an enabling provision through which parents and court-appointed guardians can apply for custody of, access to and maintenance of a child. The grand-aunt was neither and hence did not have locus standi to invoke that provision: at [29] and [31].

3 However, the Family Justice Courts may also exercise wardship jurisdiction, and in so doing, it possesses all the necessary powers to make orders for the child’s welfare: at [54] and [55].

4 Adults other than parents or court-appointed guardians may invoke wardship jurisdiction. However, the jurisdiction should only be invoked where a child is in some need of protection: at [65] and [67].

The full text of the decision can be found here.

This summary is provided to assist the public to have a better understanding of the Court’s judgment. It is not intended to be a substitute for the reasons of the Court. All numbers in bold font and square brackets refer to the corresponding paragraph numbers in the Court’s judgment.
Subject Matters: General children issues

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