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Media Release: Volunteers recognised for sterling contributions to the work of the judiciary

The Supreme Court, State Courts and Family Justice Courts appreciate and honour the hard work and invaluable contributions of 12 volunteers for their exemplary commitment to pro bono work. The volunteers were conferred awards which included the Legal Assistance Scheme for Capital Offences (LASCO) Award, three Outstanding Court Volunteer Awards and eight Long Service Awards.

2          Apart from the award recipients, 328 Judiciary volunteers were also recognised for their support and dedication to the administration of justice. In total, a 340-strong pool of volunteers had served across the three Courts this year.

3          Volunteers play a critical role in supporting the Judiciary’s efforts to ensure access to justice for all, especially for the disadvantaged who require legal assistance but may not be able to afford legal representation. It is particularly heartening to see the growing pro bono spirit in Singapore, with 10 more volunteers being added to the list in 2021. Please refer to Annex A for the full list of award recipients and Annex B for details of the LASCO Award and Outstanding Court Volunteer Award recipients.

4          Extending his sincere gratitude in a message to all volunteers, Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon said: “I want to convey my deep appreciation for your efforts as a judiciary volunteer and to say that your stellar contributions in various ways, including as pro bono lawyers, mediators, and members of committees and projects have been inspiring. Each of you has played a critical role in supporting the delivery of justice despite the many difficulties posed by the pandemic – including the disruptions you have had to face in your own lives. Please accept my heartfelt thanks for your selfless dedication to the cause of ensuring that justice remains accessible to all”.

5          Despite our sincere wish to express our appreciation in person to all our volunteers at the traditional Judiciary Volunteers Appreciation Dinner, this will again not be possible this year given our need to see to their safety and well-being. As a token of the Judiciary’s appreciation for the court volunteers’ support and contributions, a 4-piece coaster set produced by Highpoint Community Services Association, a charitable organisation that works with ex-offenders, single parents and others, as well as a thermal glass mug and a message from Chief Justice Menon were delivered to the volunteers. Please refer to Annex C for the message.

Issued by:

Supreme Court, State Courts and Family Justice Courts

30 November 2021

Enclosed:

  1. Annex A: List of Award Recipients at the Judiciary Volunteers Appreciation 2021
  2. Annex B: Details of the LASCO Award and Outstanding Court Volunteer Award Recipients
  3. Annex C: Message from the Chief Justice: Judiciary Volunteers Appreciation 2021


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 with the help of lawyers and other volunteers.

Legal Assistance Scheme for Capital Offences (LASCO) Award

The Legal Assistance Scheme for Capital Offences (LASCO) Award, conferred by the Supreme Court, is presented to deserving LASCO counsel to recognise their pro bono contributions in ensuring access to justice for those who are charged with capital offences.

Outstanding Court Volunteer Award

The Outstanding Court Volunteer Award recognises individuals who have contributed significantly as committed volunteers with the State Courts and Family Justice Courts. There are three categories for the award, namely, Advocate & Solicitor category, Open category and Student category.

Long Service Court Volunteer Award

The Long Service Court Volunteer Award recognises court volunteers who have given their continued support and valuable time in serving the State Courts and the Family Justice Courts.

            Annex A

Full List of Award Recipients

LASCO Award

Name of Court

Name of Volunteer

Supreme Court

Mr M Lukshumayeh



Outstanding Court Volunteer Awards

Name of Court

Name of Volunteer

Award

State Courts

Mr Zechariah Chan

Outstanding Court Volunteer: Advocate & Solicitor Category

State Courts

Mr Mathavan Devadas

Outstanding Court Volunteer:

Open Category

State Courts

Ms Tan Yean San

Outstanding Court Volunteer:

Student Category


Long Service Awards

Name of Court

Name of Volunteer

Award

Family Justice Courts

Mr Krishna S/O Veerappen

Court Volunteer (10-year)

State Courts

Mr Ang Wee Tiong

Court Volunteer (10-year)

State Courts

Mr Deepak Natverlal

Court Volunteer (10-year)

State Courts

Ms Gloria James-Civetta

Court Volunteer (10-year)

State Courts

Mr Melvin See Hsien Huei

Court Volunteer (10-year)

State Courts

Mr Raymond Lam Kuo Wei

Court Volunteer (10-year)

State Courts

Mr Richard Lim Teck Hock

Court Volunteer (10-year)

State Courts

Ms Viviene Kaur Sandhu

Court Volunteer (10-year)

 

Annex B

Details of the LASCO Award and Outstanding Court Volunteer Award Recipients

(i) LASCO Award Recipient:

Mr M Lukshumayeh

Mr M Lukshumayeh, who has been working with LASCO for almost 23 years, is the recipient of the 7th LASCO Award this year. Emplaced as Lead Counsel in March 2017, he continues to tirelessly take up LASCO assignments.

(ii) Outstanding Court Volunteer Award Recipient (Advocate & Solicitor Category):

Mr Zechariah Chan

Mr Zechariah Chan is a Volunteer Mediator whose commitment to helping disputants resolve their differences amicably has seen him mediate both civil cases and Magistrate’s Complaints. In the last year, he made an extraordinary contribution by volunteering to act as a mediator on 21 occasions. Of the cases he mediated, he achieved a 75% settlement rate.

(iii) Outstanding Court Volunteer Award Recipient (Open Category):

Mr Mathavan Devadas

Mr Mathavan Devadas is a Volunteer Tribunal Magistrate who heard 18 Small Claims Tribunals hearings in 2021, which is almost half of the total number of cases heard by the Judiciary’s Volunteer Tribunal Magistrates. He has helped resolve various disputes ranging from contracts for the sale of goods and services, to damage to property and residential leases.

(iv) Outstanding Court Volunteer Award Recipient (Student Category):

Ms Tan Yean San

Ms Tan Yean San is a student from the National University of Singapore who volunteers under the Student Representatives Programme. Besides her core task of assisting litigants-in-person, Ms Tan was appointed a Senior Representative and took on the additional responsibilities of managing the cohort of student volunteers, recruiting new student volunteers as well as training and supervising her juniors.


Photos of 2021 LASCO Award and Outstanding Court Volunteer Award Recipients

Mr M Lukshumayeh

Mr M Lukshumayeh 

Mr Zechariah Chan

Mr Zechariah Chan 

Mr Mathavan Devadas

 Mr Mathavan Devadas

Ms Tan Yean San

Ms Tan Yean San






 

Group photo

JVA Volunteers Group Photo





 

Annex C

Message from the Chief Justice: Judiciary Volunteers Appreciation 2021

19 November 2021 

        I hope you are keeping safe and well in these trying times. Around this time of the year, we customarily get together at the annual Judiciary Volunteers Appreciation event, when the Supreme Court, the State Courts and the Family Justice Courts are afforded the opportunity to acknowledge and express our gratitude for your contributions to the work of the Judiciary. Unfortunately, with the COVID-19 restrictions in place and prioritising our collective safety and well-being, we are once again unable to gather for this event.

2        Nonetheless, I want to convey my deep appreciation for your efforts as a judiciary volunteer and to say that your stellar contributions in various ways, including as pro bono lawyers, mediators, and members of committees and projects have been inspiring. The Judiciary is privileged to have been able to call upon a total of 340 volunteers serving across the three courts this year. Each of you has played a critical role in supporting the delivery of justice despite the many difficulties posed by the pandemic – including the disruptions you have had to face in your own lives. Please accept my heartfelt thanks for your selfless dedication to the cause of ensuring that justice remains accessible to all.

3        As a token of our appreciation for your support and contributions this past year, you will receive a 4-piece coaster set produced by Highpoint Community Services Association (HCSA) and a thermal glass mug within the next few days. HCSA is a charitable organisation that works with ex-offenders, single parents, and others. The coasters were designed by 16-year-old Amy who is with one of its programmes – the HCSA Dayspring Residential Treatment Centre. This programme endeavours to provide a therapeutic environment for teenage girls who are victims of abuse. Amy’s love for drawing has given her an avenue to express herself, and this form of art therapy has helped in her recovery from trauma. The words Hope, Love, Peace and Harmony on the coasters represent the wishes of all of HCSA’s beneficiaries.

4        In recognition of the immense contributions of our outstanding judiciary volunteers, we will be presenting the LASCO Award, three Outstanding Court Volunteer Awards and 8 Long Service Awards this year. A full list of this year’s award recipients is set out in the attached document.

5        I would like to commend in particular the contributions of Mr M Lukshumayeh, the recipient of the 7th LASCO Award. Lukshumayeh first joined LASCO as Assisting Counsel on 5 December 1998. He was emplaced as Lead Counsel on 1 March 2017. In all, he has been working with LASCO for almost 23 years and continues to tirelessly take up LASCO assignments.

6        Mr Zechariah Chan receives the Outstanding Court Volunteer Award under the advocate and solicitor category. Zechariah is a Volunteer Mediator whose commitment to helping disputants resolve their differences in non-contentious ways has seen him mediate both civil cases and Magistrate’s Complaints. In the last year, he made an extraordinary contribution by volunteering to act as a mediator on 21 occasions. Of the cases he mediated, he achieved a 75% settlement rate.

7        Mr Mathavan Devadas is the recipient of the Outstanding Court Volunteer Award recipient in the open category this year. Mathavan is a Volunteer Tribunal Magistrate who heard 18 Small Claims Tribunals trials this year, which is almost half the total number of cases heard by our Volunteer Tribunal Magistrates. Mathavan helped resolve disputes ranging from contracts for the sale of goods and services, to damage to property and residential leases.

8        In the student category, the Outstanding Court Volunteer Award is given to Ms Tan Yean San, an NUS student who volunteers under the Student Representatives Programme. In addition to her core task of assisting litigants-in-person, Yean San was appointed a Senior Representative and took on the additional responsibilities of managing the cohort of student volunteers, recruiting new student volunteers, and training and supervising her juniors.

9        I am also deeply grateful to the eight recipients of Long Service Award for their decade of sustained service and commitment to access to justice.

10      Thank you so very much for your continued support and contribution to the important work of delivering justice to all. Until we meet again, I wish you and your family good health and the very best for the new year.

Sundaresh Menon

Chief Justice

2021/11/30

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