Media Releases

More Judiciary Volunteers Recognised in First Tri-Court Volunteers Appreciation Dinner

For the first time, the Judiciary (comprising the Supreme Court, the State Courts and the Family Justice Courts) has come together to show its appreciation and recognise the contributions of volunteers in pro bono work. The inaugural Tri-Court Volunteers Appreciation Dinner; hosted by Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon; will be held on 1 November 2016 at the Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel. 

2          Judiciary volunteers play an important role in the effort to ensure that every one who needs to access justice before the courts are able to do so with the help of lawyers and other volunteers. They provide support services ranging from pro bono legal support for needy Singaporeans to schemes like the “Friends of the Court” to help to demystify court processes. The total number of judiciary volunteers which includes lawyers as well as volunteers from different walks of life such as engineers, lecturers and retirees who volunteer as mediators and counsellors has grown by about 20 per cent over the last three years, from 229 in 2014 to 284 in 2016. 

3          Chief Justice Menon will present the following awards at the dinner:

·         Legal Assistance Scheme for Capital Offences (“LASCO”) Award by the Supreme Court of Singapore

·         Outstanding Court Volunteer Awards by the State Courts and the Family Justice Courts

o   Advocate and Solicitor category

o   Open Category

LASCO Award 

4          The essence of LASCO is to ensure access to justice for those charged with criminal conduct and facing a capital charge. Since inception, it has stood as an important feature in our criminal justice landscape ensuring fairness is observed in the criminal justice process. The LASCO award, conferred by the Supreme Court, is presented to a deserving counsel in recognition of the counsel’s commitment and contributions to LASCO and service rendered to the State and the community. This year’s award recipient is Mr Eugene Thuraisingam of Eugene Thuraisingam LLP. Mr Thuraisingam is a senior and well-respected member of the Criminal Bar who has served as a member of LASCO for 12 years and taken on 13 cases which includes 6 trials and 7 appeals as defence counsel since January 2012.   

Outstanding Court Volunteer Awards

5          The Outstanding Court Volunteer Awards (Advocate & Solicitor Category and Open Category), conferred by the State Courts and Family Justice Courts, are presented to individuals who have demonstrated outstanding commitment and dedication as volunteers with the State Courts or the Family Justice Courts. This year’s award recipients for the Outstanding Court Volunteer Awards are as follows:

Advocate and Solicitor category (State Courts)

Mr Kamalarajan Malaiyandi Chettiar of Rajan Chettiar LLC and Resolvers Pte Ltd is a mediator for both Civil Disputes and Magistrate Complaint matters. He has volunteered on 17 occasions in the past year and is one of the longest-serving volunteers for civil disputes, joining the panel since 2009. 

Advocate and Solicitors category (Family Justice Courts)

Ms Asiah Zam Zam of A Zamzam & Co joined the Court’s volunteer programme in 2003. Her knowledge and experience especially in Syariah law has helped parties with maintenance issues. 

Open category (State Courts)

Mr Lim Soon Hock of PLAN-B ICAG Pte Ltd has spent more than 25 years in public and community service and has served as a volunteer mediator for Magistrate Complaints since 2013. In the past year, he has volunteered on 19 occasions with the State Courts.

Open category (Family Justice Courts)

Ms Annie Seah Hwee Kheng, a freelance counsellor, has been a volunteer mediator for 13 years. She is able to speak a third language – Malay which helps when the Maintenance Mediation Chambers (MMC) has a shortage of Malay-speaking mediators.

6          Expressing his deep appreciation to the award recipients for their contributions in pro bono work, Chief Justice Menon said, “It is heartening to see more lawyers, mediators and counsellors giving so much of their time volunteering in the courts to make sure that people in need will have access to justice. They do not seek recognition or the limelight but quietly go about making an immense difference to those in need. They are truly our unsung heroes and the courts recognise and appreciate their contributions."