Ministry of Law Addendum to the President's Address 2009
23 MAY 2009
23 May 2009 Posted in Speeches
- We will strengthen Singapore’s legal infrastructure in support of Singapore’s social and economic progress. We will also optimise the management of state land; and promote a conducive climate for the creation and protection of intellectual property in support of our knowledge-based economy.
- We will work closely with the Attorney-General’s Chambers to continue improving our legal infrastructure, ensuring a modern and robust framework of laws.
- We will continue to introduce changes in our criminal justice system and processes, to secure fair and transparent outcomes. To this end, we will review our Criminal Procedure Code and provisions.
- We will improve the quality and depth of legal services in Singapore to support the development of key economic sectors. We will also capitalize on the increasing amount of cross-border legal work to promote the legal services sector as an engine of growth. We had liberalised the legal services sector with the introduction of the Qualifying Foreign Law Practice Scheme. We will review the scheme’s implementation with a view to further liberalising the legal services sector.
- We will continue to actively promote Singapore as a venue of choice for international arbitration in the Asian region, an area which has large potential for growth. We have secured the commitment of world-class arbitration institutions to conduct work in Maxwell Chambers, a dedicated facility for arbitration. We will continue to work with local and foreign institutions and law firms to attract more international arbitration work to Singapore.
- We will put in place a robust framework to ensure that enough lawyers of the requisite calibre are admitted to the Singapore Bar to meet the demand for legal services in Singapore. We will revamp the criteria for admission to the Singapore Bar and training requirements to allow for a more holistic and meaningful system of post-graduate professional training for local and overseas law graduates seeking to practise Singapore law.
- We will promote Singapore as a regional hub for legal education. We will work with local universities to expand both undergraduate and graduate legal education programmes. Together with stakeholders in the legal community, we will introduce a programme for mandatory continuing legal education. We will establish a new institution to co-ordinate, administer and oversee all these initiatives relating to legal education and training.
- We will ensure that legal aid remains available and accessible to the needy and deserving. We will review the Legal Aid and Advice Act to refine the framework for provision of legal aid. We will work with the Law Society to encourage and facilitate pro-bono activities that complement our legal aid and assistance schemes.
- We have introduced the Debt Repayment Scheme to help individuals with lower levels of debt avoid bankruptcy. We will carefully balance the interests of debtors and creditors, and introduce any necessary refinements to the Scheme to ensure that it is fair and effective. We will also review corporate insolvency provisions to improve the options available to companies in financial difficulty, and work towards the introduction of omnibus insolvency legislation for both individuals and companies.
- We will promote the use of mediation to resolve community disputes. We will introduce legislative changes to further strengthen the use of mediation. We will increase public awareness of the advantages and workings of the mediation process, and encourage youths to be open to amicable dispute resolution. We will introduce training to equip community mediators with advanced skills, and maintain the necessary infrastructure to meet the needs of the community.
- We will review our legislative framework and policies to ensure optimal use of Singapore’s scarce land resources. We will manage State land and properties to enhance their value and make them available to the public and business users. We will also leverage on new technologies to enhance the delivery of land administration, registration and surveying services.
- We will work with other government agencies to develop a national spatial data infrastructure. The infrastructure will allow greater sharing of and access to geospatial data for both the government agencies and the private sector. This will not only reduce duplication of effort and improve efficiency and effectiveness in the public sector; it will also offer potential for new business opportunities.
Intellectual Property (IP)
- In support of our development as a knowledge-based economy, we will review and strengthen our IP legislation and regime, attract relevant IP services firms and encourage the development of skilled IP professionals. We will promote awareness of IP in the business community, especially among small and medium enterprises, to encourage the appropriate protection and exploitation of their intellectual assets.
- We will monitor how other countries implement arrangements to process patent applications more expeditiously, to facilitate the protection of the interests of overseas businesses. We will also support and nurture Singapore’s standing as a centre of excellence for IP education and training.
Supplementary information (0.02MB)
Last updated on 27 Nov 2012