RHTLaw Taylor Wessing’s Managing Partner Tan Chong Huat shared his views in this week’s topic in the Business Times’ weekly column, Views from the Top. This article was first published in The Business Times on 24 July 2017.
"Sorry" - the magic word?
Monday, July 24, 2017
THIS WEEK'S TOPIC: Should Singapore consider introducing an apology law? What would be the pros and cons?
Tan Chong Huat
RHTLaw Taylor Wessing LLP
INTRODUCING an apology law in Singapore has its merits as it is likely to facilitate settlements and is consistent with Singapore's policy, as seen by the recently introduced Mediation Act, to promote the use of mediation.
Moreover, apology legislation has been enacted in a number of leading common law jurisdictions, such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. Hong Kong also conducted a comprehensive study before enacting its own apology law.
We will therefore have a good base on which to formulate our own apology law.
Some issues that will need to be addressed include the definition of an apology, the types of proceedings that the apology law should apply to and the extent of the immunity that will be granted.
Ultimately, a well-crafted apology law will help to strengthen Singapore's position as an international dispute resolution services hub in Asia.
RHTLaw Taylor Wessing Family & Matrimonial Partner Michelle Woodworth was interviewed by Channel 5 on the topic of family dispute resolution. The interview was featured on Channel 5 News segment Talking Point on 20 July 2017.
This interview makes relation to the rise in the number of family disputes and cases handled by the Family Justice Courts in Singapore over the years.
Michelle, a certified IMI Mediator and Collaborative Family Practitioner, pointed out that many come to her thinking that court is the only option, unaware of other alternatives such as Collaborative Family Practice (CFP) and Mediation.
She elaborated how CFP is “an interest-based process and is non-tactical” and is “meant to bring parties to the table to talk about each other’s needs, their own needs, and then come up with solutions for themselves”. She added that families ended up in court when “they could not put themselves through an alternative process”, including Mediation and Negotiation; or when one does not find the right kind of support to accommodate their needs, for instance if a party involved has a mental health issue.
Please watch the video for the full interview.