Rights and Responsibilities of Self Represented Parties in Civil Proceedings

Any person faced with any form of court action has the right to pursue or defend the matter by engaging the services of a lawyer or by representing himself in court. Conducting a case without formal legal training is not easy and many can find it difficult to understand the legal rules and court procedures. For this reason, self-represented litigants are always encouraged to seek professional legal advice or legal assistance. However, if you have decided to represent yourself, it is important you understand that you have to conduct yourself and your case in accordance with the law and court procedures. You will also need to do research and learn about relevant laws, case law and the procedures and rules that govern the court processes.

This publication has been prepared for people who are considering self-representation or are presently representing themselves in a civil case in the High Court, State Courts or the Family Justice Courts (collectively “the Courts”) and it explains their Rights and Responsibilities in Civil Proceedings. This note is intended for general guidance only; to help you navigate the civil justice system and to help you understand what is expected of you and what you can expect of the Courts and the opposing party. It is not to be regarded as legal or other professional advice. If you do not understand some of the words or legal phrases used in civil cases, you may look at the glossary provided in the website links set out in Annex A.

There are also other sources that provide basic information on court procedures such as the websites of the Courts, the Law Society of Singapore, the Courts’ Information Counters and Community Justice Centre HELP Services.

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