Mediation is form of alternative dispute resolution in Singapore. According to the Law Society of Singapore, there is a general culture in Singapore which prompts parties in a dispute and their lawyers to consider mediation first hand, without the need for a full trial or arbitration. In civil claims or civil dispute matters filed in court, there is a presupposition of alternative dispute resolution for all civil claims. Mediation is seen as the most referred to form of dispute resolution. Civil cases in the State Courts are automatically referred to the most appropriate mode of alternative dispute resolution unless parties decide to opt out of using it. In the process of mediation, the civil claims mediator will act as a neutral third party who facilitates and guides parties into resolving their civil dispute, out of the confines of the courtroom. This method of alternative dispute resolution is seen as an effective way to resolve differences and disputes.
A civil dispute arises when there is conflict or dissent between individuals, or between an individual and a business or corporate entity. Parties to a civil dispute can resort to legal counsel and the courts to resolve their civil dispute. Civil disputes encompass anything from disputes regarding tenancy or property to corporate disputes. A civil action is officially initiated when a writ of summons is filed by the court.
In civil litigation, a party called the plaintiff will commence legal proceedings against a defendant, in pursuance of his or her civil claim. Although, every civil claim that is filed in the State Court will be first referred to mediation, a method of alternative dispute resolution. Mediation services provided by the Singapore dispute resolution centre resolves 80% of civil claims. In addition, mediation services addresses the main concerns faced by civil litigants at a much lower cost, should the civil claim eventually proceed to trial.