SINGAPORE: Disputing neighbours in some cases, such as those involving noise, will be required to go for mandatory mediation, with penalties imposed on them if they fail to show up, Second Minister for Law Edwin Tong said on Monday (Feb 27).
These plans are part of the Ministry of Law’s (MinLaw’s) efforts to improve the take-up of mediation among disputing neighbours at an early stage.
Neighbours who do not attend their mandatory mediation will also face another hurdle: They won’t be able to take their case to the Community Disputes Resolution Tribunal, which hears cases on neighbourly disputes.
Mediation is done by the Community Mediation Centre, which looks to settle disputes before they reach the stage of needing adjudication by the tribunal.
In some cases, disputes between neighbours may re-emerge even after being settled by the Community Mediation Centre, or new issues relating to the original dispute could resurface.
In such cases, the Community Mediation Centre will also be able to mandate parties to go through mediation again, Mr Tong said. He was speaking during a debate in Parliament on MinLaw’s budget.
Mr Tong also said that MinLaw will require disputing neighbours to undergo mediation before they can file a claim to the Community Disputes Resolution Tribunal. This will prevent disputes from escalating to court unnecessarily.
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