1. The first phase of the State Courts’ Community Justice and Tribunals System (CJTS) was launched today, and all claims filed at the Small Claims Tribunals will now be filed online. With this new system, parties who wish to file a small claim, can now do so from the comfort of their homes, 24/7.
2. In addition to providing members of the public with the convenience of filing a claim online, the new system will also offer a suite of services that improves the efficiency of the small claims process.
Key features of the CJTS
3. From filing a claim, to e-negotiating for a settlement, to obtaining a court order, the CJTS empowers parties by availing these built-in capabilities to them at their fingertips. Through the CJTS, parties can submit their Small Claims documents online, make payments online, and select their court date. Parties will also be able to view documents submitted by the other party and monitor their case developments online.
4. A key development in the small claims process under the new CJTS, is the ability for parties to e-negotiate a settlement on a secure, confidential platform before the parties come to court. For example, when a settlement offer is made by the respondent, the claimant will receive a notification to log on to consider the offer or make a counter offer.
5. If an amicable settlement has been reached through e-negotiation, the parties may apply online for a Tribunal Order directly from the system without having to come to court. If the parties are unable to reach a settlement via the CJTS, the claim will then proceed to the consultation and hearing stages of the Small Claims process. 2/3
6. Before a claim can be filed, the CJTS will first take claimants through a prefiling assessment to ensure that they are ready to proceed with filing a claim. Once a party is ready to file a claim, the CJTS will assist them in completing the claim form and the submission of supporting documents for their claim. The claimants will also be able to choose their preferred court date within a fixed given period, giving parties more flexibility in arranging their schedules.
7. With the introduction of these functions, the claimants will be able to reduce errors in filing, increase the likelihood of settling a dispute on their own terms, and save some time to attend court in order to resolve a Small Claims dispute. Instead of expending a full day’s leave from work each time to attend to various Small Claims Tribunals matters, some components in the small claims process such as filing a claim, can now be reduced to as little as 15 minutes which can be easily exercised during a typical lunch hour. (Please refer to Annex A for the Small Claims process flow)
8. Individuals can access the CJTS with their SingPass, and corporate entities with their CorpPass.
9 Amongst the State Courts Tribunals, the Small Claims Tribunals sees a higher volume of more than 10,000 cases per year. Before the introduction of the CJTS, the small claims process was conducted in a largely manual fashion. Parties would have to come to the Small Claims Tribunals at the State Courts in person, to file their claim and submit the relevant hard copy documents. They would then have to attend Mediation and Tribunal Hearings, before a Tribunal Order may be made.
10 The introduction of the CJTS for claims filed at the Small Claims Tribunals will enhance the quality of access to justice. Presiding Judge of the State Courts, Justice See Kee Oon said, “Since 1985, the Small Claims Tribunals have been in operation to provide a speedy and cost efficient means to resolve disputes between consumers and suppliers. The launch of the Community Justice and Tribunals System builds on this premise to provide court users with more convenient and efficient access to the resolution of small claims. ” 3/3
11 The implementation of the Community Disputes Resolution Tribunals and the Employment Claims Tribunals processes into the CJTS will be progressively rolled out from the first quarter of next year.
Issued by: State Courts, Singapore
Date: 10 July 2017
(i) Annex A – Small Claims Tribunals Process Flow and Features of CJTS
(ii) Annex B – About the CJTD and Translation of Key Terms
For further information or clarification, please contact:
(i) Ms Vivian Heng, Deputy Director, Communications Directorate
Tel: 6435 5045 / 9722 6139
(ii) Ms Marilyn Tan, Assistant Director, Communications Directorate
Tel: 6435 5652 / 9722 6139
Small Claims Tribunals Process Flow
Community Justice and Tribunals System will help court users to:
About the Community Justice and Tribunals Division (CJTD)
The Community Justice and Tribunals Division (CJTD) was established on 24 April 2015 and oversees community and relational dispute matters as well as tribunal claims. It comprises the Small Claims Tribunals, the Community Disputes Resolution Tribunals, and the Employment Claims Tribunals.
The CJTD handles a hybrid of both civil and criminal matters, and serves as a one-stop location for all community justice issues and tribunal claims so that court users with such matters that span the civil and criminal jurisdiction can be served at the CJTD.
Translation of key terms