Ms He Ting Ru asked the Minister for Law for each of the last five years (a) how many cases were registered with the Community Mediation Centre for mediation; (b) what is the breakdown on the source of referrals for these cases; (c) how many cases did not proceed for mediation due to a party refusing to participate; and (d) whether the success rate of 88% is consistent over the past five years and if not, what are the respective rates.
Mr K Shanmugam: The Community Mediation Centre (CMC) is a centre run by the Ministry of Law that offers residents an avenue to resolve their disputes amicably through mediation.
Residents can apply for mediation directly or be referred to the CMC for mediation by public agencies (e.g., the Housing & Development Board and Singapore Police Force) and organisations such as Town Councils and Family Service Centres. Attendance for such mediation is voluntary. Voluntary cases make up about 86% of registered cases.
About 77% of voluntary cases do not proceed to mediation. Reasons include, among others, either party not responding to the CMC’s invitation to mediate or declining to mediate.
Cases are also referred to the CMC by the Magistrate’s Courts and Community Disputes Resolution Tribunals. Attendance for such mediation is mandatory. Such cases make up about 14% of registered cases.
Whilst 88% of neighbour dispute cases mediated at the CMC were settled in 2021, the overall settlement rate at the CMC over the last five years was about 80%.
Data on cases registered at the CMC between 2017 and 2021 is provided in Table 1 below.
As the Government has stated several times, there has been a low take-up rate for community mediation. This is due to several factors, including the fact that community mediation is voluntary, and parties are not obliged to proceed to mediation, particularly if they are the ones whose conduct is in question. The Government had said earlier this year that it is considering what can be done to increase the participation in mediation.
The CMC encourages residents who face relational disputes to attempt mediation at the CMC, so that they would have an opportunity to discuss mutually acceptable solutions.
Ministry of Law
2 August 2022