Chief Justice's Foreword

2021 was, for many, a difficult and unusual time as the COVID-19 pandemic entered its second year. But it was also a full and fruitful period. In 2020, many had still hoped for a return to pre-pandemic life. In 2021, we came to terms with the fact that we would have to learn to live with it.

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Message from the Presiding Judge of the State Courts

It was another challenging year and, in popular parlance, the year of the “new normal”. Fundamental paradigm shifts which were key in allowing the wheels of justice to continue turning during the COVID-19 pandemic have become a core part of what the public expects of the Judiciary in providing access to justice.

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Message from the Presiding Judge of the Family Justice Courts

2021 was a very busy and fruitful year. It followed our milestone Workplan 2020, titled “Today Is a New Day”, where we intentionally adopted Therapeutic Justice (TJ) as a new system of family justice.

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Throughout the year, the SG Courts notched several significant milestones and organised major events which attracted global audiences.

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  1. Opening of the Legal Year

    For the first time, this annual event was streamed live from the State Courts’ Havelock Hall to about 1,000 participants on Zoom.

  2. Singapore International Commercial Court Conference

    The Singapore Bench and International Judges of the Singapore International Commercial Court (SICC) came together virtually to discuss and assess legal developments, as well as chart the course for the year ahead. The theme this year was “Transforming Justice in Pursuit of a New Normal”.

  3. Singapore International Commercial Court Symposium

    Themed “Trends & Developments in International Commercial Litigation”, the live webinar brought together key players in the international commercial dispute resolution landscape. Distinguished local and international speakers engaged in in-depth panel discussions on the new procedural rules of the SICC, emerging trends and opportunities for commercial courts, and other dispute resolution options in a post-pandemic world.

  4. Protection from Harassment Court in Session

    A new specialised court was established in the State Courts to hear all criminal and civil matters under the Protection from Harassment Act.

  5. Mass Call

    A total of 457 newly minted Advocates and Solicitors were called to the Bar virtually this year. In Chief Justice Menon’s speech titled “The Legal Profession Amidst the Pandemic: Change and Continuity”, he said the pandemic had brought the use of technological tools into the mainstream of many legal tasks and processes and accelerated the migration of traditional processes to a digital format.

  6. Courts (Civil and Criminal Justice) Reform Bill Becomes Law

    Legislation designed to transform and future-proof the legal system was passed in Parliament. The Bill will support the digital transformation of the Courts and the implementation of the new Rules of Court, provide a statutory framework for the Attorney-General to intervene in court proceedings, enable courts to grant freestanding interim relief, and harmonise and enhance court processes.

  7. Judicial Service Commission Gets Approved

    Parliament approved the creation of a new commission that effectively separates the judicial and legal services in Singapore. It comes after six decades under an “integrated” system where a single Legal Service Commission oversaw officers deployed to both the judicial and legal branches. The structural changes aim to put both services on a better footing by allowing them to reap the benefits of greater specialisation and prepare for future challenges.

  8. SG Courts Website Is Launched

    The new website at provides an integrated gateway to information on the Judiciary of Singapore, with information presented in layman’s terms to demystify court processes alongside user-friendly and intuitive features.

  9. New Rules of Court Are Gazetted

    The Rules of Court 2021 aim to transform the nation’s civil litigation process by enhancing the efficiency and speed of adjudication while keeping legal costs reasonable.


Demonstrating integrity, dedication and professionalism, those who collectively make up the Singapore Judiciary embody its mission to ensure proper administration of justice.