Singapore launches e-filing and e-negotiation for Small Claims

Priyankar Bhunia on

“The State Courts in Singapore have introduced an electronic case filing and management system, called the Community Justice and Tribunals System (CJTS) on July 10, which allows parties involved in ‘Small Claims’ disputes to file claims and access court e-services from the comfort of their homes or any place with an internet connection.

​The Small Claims Tribunals are part of the State Courts of Singapore. The Tribunals were established on 1 February 1985 to provide a quick and inexpensive forum for the resolution of small claims (not exceeding S$10,000 or up to S$20,000 if both parties agree in writing) between consumers and suppliers. Types of claims could include contracts for the sale of goods or for the provision of services involving skill and labour, damage to property (except for damage arising from the use of a motor vehicle), certain cases under the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading Act) such as the refund of motor vehicle deposits and lease of residential premises not exceeding 2 years.

Previously, claimants were required to go to court to file claims, make payments, and attend consultations and hearings. CJTS allows pre-filing assessment and filing of the claim to be done online. For pre-filing, users will be asked a series of questions to determine if their disputes can be filed in the Tribunals. There are guided online forms to help in filing cases, and users can upload attachments/ supporting documents for their cases.

CJTS offers an electronic diary to schedule hearing dates and timeslots for accepted applications. Users will be able to look up their case details online, view submitted documents and correspondences from court and check hearing dates.

The system also has an e-Negotiation feature, which allows the parties to negotiate and reach a settlement on the disputed claims without having to go to the courts.”

read more

brāv free ODR training, June 28th at noon Eastern

If you haven’t heard of brā you should check it out.  It’s one of the most innovative ODR sites available right now — and it’s tailored specifically to appeal to the younger generation.  The user experience is quite slick, and the platform is well thought out.

brāv is holding an e-event tomorrow at 12pm Eastern (9am Pacific) to train users on its platform.  It’s free to attend, and I think it will be quite interesting.  Please attend if you have the time… I look forward to seeing you there.

Goodbye to The Haggler

David Segal, aka The Haggler, is a New York Times reporter who for the last eight years has written a consumer help column. If his columns were compiled, they would provide an interesting overview, written in an entertaining style, of the plight of the modern consumer. Mr. Segal announced this week that he has been reassigned to the London bureau of the Times and will no longer be The Haggler. His farewell column is worth a read. Thanks for an informative and entertaining run.

Online court won’t repeat failure of Dutch model, MoR claims

 has a new piece on the Law Society Gazette website detailing a lecture delivered this month by Sir Terence Etherton about the new UK Online Court.  From the article:

“The failure of a pioneering online court in The Netherlands should not deter efforts to build more ambitious version in England and Wales, the Master of the Rolls has said. In a lecture this month, Sir Terence Etherton laid out for the first time the scale of the ambition behind the proposed ‘Online Solutions Court’, which will be designed to operate largely without lawyers and to dispense with ‘preventive justice’… the online court would ensure the core functions of the civil courts are ‘not simply maintained but augmented’. While the process will be designed so that individuals can access the system without the need for legal advice, he conceded that lawyers ‘will no doubt continue to play an important role in many cases’ especially those that proceed to disposal by a judge.”


“Rechtwijzer: why online supported dispute resolution is hard to implement”

Great, frank assessment on the blog of the challenges behind the Rechtwijzer project, with some valuable takeaways and lessons learned:

“The main providers of justice – such as courts, legal aid boards, ministries and law firms – cannot implement online supported dispute resolution under the current regulatory regimes. Offering ODR to citizens as an independent service is an option, but it is uncertain whether it will succeed without some form of government support. Although many forms of alternative dispute resolution failed to make a breakthrough in the past, a smart ODR offering may yet be able to do this… The broader lesson is about innovation in legal dispute resolution systems. That is hard to achieve. ODR is no different from mediation, problem-solving courts, fast tracks, ombudsmen and countless other attempts to replace traditional court procedures by more innovative mechanisms. The demand for better procedures from citizens is huge. But the government institutions to which we entrust adjudication and legal aid do not have processes for implementing and scaling up innovation. Truly opening up to innovation. That should happen first.”

Read the full article here.

New Article on Judicial Online Dispute Resolution Systems

Ayelet Sela, a long time ODR pioneer (and now Professor at Bar Ilan University Faculty of Law) has published a great article entitled “Streamlining Justice: How Online Courts Can Resolve the Challenges of Pro Se Litigation” in the Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy, Vol. 26, No. 2, 2016.   This piece is an excellent distillation of the value ODR can bring to court and justice-sector resolution systems.  Check it out here.


“The tide of pro se litigation in the American justice system imposes significant constraints on self-represented litigants’ (SRLs) access to justice and courts’ ability to administer justice. Mitigating the challenges requires a systemic institutional and procedural reform. Advancing this approach, the Article proposes that online courts would alleviate many of the challenges associated with pro se litigation, and puts this proposition to an empirical test. To that end, the Article analyzes the challenges experienced by SRLs and courts and models the procedural and technological properties that would promote SRLs’ “day in court” as well as courts’ provision of fair and efficient access to justice. Based on the analysis and on a review of successful implementations of judicial online dispute resolution (JODR) systems, the Article proposes a detailed policy design framework for a JODR system for pro se litigation. Finally, the Article reports and discusses the results of an experiment evaluating the effect of the proposed framework on SRLs’ procedural justice experiences.”