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Media Release: Court Volunteers Young and Old Honoured by the Singapore Judiciary

Three outstanding court volunteers from the State Courts received awards for their commitment and dedication to pro bono work. They include Dr Ong Geok Quee, a passionate learner in his 70s who has embraced technology to further his capabilities as a professional mediator, Ms Miranda Tan, a fresh law graduate who had spent more than 50 volunteer-hours assisting unrepresented accused persons to ensure that they are fairly heard, and Ms Deborah Koh Leng Hoon, a lawyer who actively serves in the State Courts despite her busy practice.

2   The awards, including the Long Service Awards which recognise volunteers who have been working with the Singapore Courts for at least 10, 15, and 20 years, were given out by The Honourable the Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon at the Judiciary Volunteers Appreciation Lunch on 29 November 2022 held at Furama City Centre.

3    Chief Justice Menon addressed about 200 court volunteers from the Singapore Courts in person for the first time in over three years. He expressed his heartfelt appreciation towards all volunteers for dedicating their time to the important cause of access to justice in Singapore, even as they faced disruptions in their own daily lives due to the pandemic.

4    Court volunteers take on a range of work, from conducting mediation to assisting litigants who cannot afford legal representation. They play a critical role in the delivery of justice in Singapore.

Issued by: Singapore Courts

Annex A

Judiciary Volunteers Appreciation 2022 - Award recipients

About the Judiciary Volunteers Appreciation

The Judiciary Volunteers Appreciation recognises the sterling contributions of court volunteers who have assisted and supported the Judiciary’s various programmes for litigants and court users. Comprising members of the Bar, professionals and individuals from diverse backgrounds, court volunteers play an important role in the Judiciary’s effort to ensure that everyone who needs to access justice before the Courts is able to do so.

Outstanding Court Volunteer Awards 2022

The Outstanding Court Volunteer Awards (Advocate & Solicitor Category and Open Category) are conferred by the State Courts and presented to individuals who have demonstrated outstanding commitment and dedication as volunteers. The Outstanding Court Volunteer Award (Student Category), conferred by the State Courts, recognises students who volunteer their time. Students work closely with the State Courts in a range of projects based on their relevant academic experience and expertise.

The Outstanding Court Volunteer Awards 2022 in three categories were presented to the following individuals:

1. Advocate and Solicitor Category: Ms Deborah Koh Leng Hoon
2. Open Category: Dr Ong Geok Quee
3. Student Category: Ms Miranda Tan

Long Service Awards

The Long Service Awards were presented to the following individuals:

SN Name of Volunteer   Court  Long Service Award  
 1 Mr Moiz Tyebally
Family Justice Courts
 10 years
 2  Ms Cheryl Lim Li  Family Justice Courts  15 years
 3  Mr Cheong Khim Teck  State Courts  20 years
 4  Mr Chia Ah Sah  State Courts  20 years
 5  Mrs Chia Swee Tin  State Courts  20 years
 6  Mr Chng Beng Guan  State Courts  20 years
 7  Mr Choo Si Sen  State Courts  20 years
 8  Mr Jamshid K Medora  State Courts  20 years
 9  Mr Koh Lian Huat  State Courts  20 years
 10  Mr Kong Mun Kwong  State Courts  20 years
 11  Prof Low Cheng Hock  State Courts  20 years
 12  Mr Shriniwas Rai  State Courts  20 years

Annex B

Outstanding Court Volunteer Award Recipients

Ms Deborah Koh Leng Hoon

Associate Lawyer, DennisMathiew
Award: Outstanding Court Volunteer Award (Advocate & Solicitor Category) – conferred by State Courts

Ms Deborah Koh is one of State Courts' most active volunteers who volunteered to mediate cases at the Small Claims Tribunals and Court Dispute Resolution on almost 50 occasions over the past three years - half of these in the past year alone, which far exceeds the minimum of three sessions per year required of court volunteer mediators. She is a versatile and highly competent mediator who has committed her time to the State Courts since 2013, in addition to conducting mediation at the Syariah Courts and the Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management despite her busy practice. Some litigants have officially expressed gratitude towards Ms Deborah Koh for her professionalism, negotiation and mediation skills.

Dr Ong Geok Quee
Associate mediator, Singapore Mediation Centre
Award: Outstanding Court Volunteer Award (Open Category) – conferred by State Courts

Dr Ong Geok Quee has consistently been amongst the top five mediators with the highest number of cases mediated in the Small Claims Tribunals over the last three years. At 74 years old, he is one of State Courts’ most senior and experienced volunteer mediators, and has passion for learning. Dr Ong was keen to adapt and embrace technology to further his capabilities as a professional mediator, recognising that such knowledge and skills were critical for justice to remain accessible amidst the pandemic. Dr Ong had successfully acquired e-Mediation skills and today, he conducts e-Mediation regularly.

Ms Miranda Tan
Fresh Law Graduate
Award: Outstanding Court Volunteer Award (Student Category) – conferred by State Courts

Ms Miranda Tan committed more than 50 volunteer-hours in the Aid-in-Person Pilot Project where she assisted unrepresented accused persons who were pleading guilty to offences including outrage of modesty, criminal intimidation, harassment, and voluntarily causing grievous hurt. She wanted unrepresented accused persons to be fairly heard and had interviewed them to ensure factual accuracy in their mitigation pleas. Through her legal research and her ability to cite the relevant case precedents in court effectively, she had helped the Courts mete out sentences that were fair.


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