Ministry of Law - Addendum to the President's Address Nov 2006
09 NOV 2006
9 Nov 2006 Posted in Speeches
- MinLaw will further strengthen Singapore’s legal infrastructure and develop the legal services sector. We will also (a) enhance our insolvency regime; (b) optimise our land resources to support Singapore’s efforts to seize new opportunities; and (c) leverage and build on our Intellectual Property (IP) reputation and strengths to contribute to the growth and development of Singapore as a knowledge hub.
- To ensure that our legal system remains relevant and responsive to the needs of Singapore, we will work closely with the Attorney-General’s Chambers to further strengthen the legal infrastructure. We will also work with other Government agencies to ensure that legislation keeps pace with socio-economic developments and are updated to combat emerging threats such as terrorism and other trans-national crimes. It is also important that the public have trust and confidence in the legal profession, and we will work with the Law Society to ensure this.
- A more globalised economy, strong economic growth in Asia and the rise in cross-border transactions present significant opportunities for our legal services industry. International arbitration in particular presents enormous potential for growth. Given our reputation and strengths, Singapore can be a location of choice for the conduct of international arbitration work, especially for the Asian region. Minlaw will work with other agencies to achieve this goal. We will set up an international dispute resolution complex, encourage major international arbitration institutions to be based here, and work with local and foreign institutions and law firms to attract more international arbitration work to Singapore.
- Growing opportunities in arbitration and other international legal services will require us to build up the necessary legal talent pool in Singapore. We will ensure that existing and recently introduced schemes provide not only the numbers but also the quality of lawyers needed to meet the demands. We will also continue to explore new schemes for the supply of high quality legal talent to support the growth of our legal services industry.
- In addition to measures already announced, we will also examine longer term strategies to enhance Singapore’s position as an international centre for the provision of legal services. These will include identifying core areas of excellence for the legal sector and how they may be developed; promoting Singapore as a key provider of legal services in Asia, particularly for cross-border commercial transactions, and setting future directions for the legal profession as a whole.
- MinLaw will continue to ensure the provision of quality legal aid and assistance to persons of limited means. We will ensure that the civil legal aid system has the latitude and flexibility to help all those who are deserving of legal aid. We will also work closely with the Law Society and other partners to encourage greater volunteerism in the provision of legal aid and assistance to the needy.
- In support of cultivating a more harmonious society, MinLaw will continue to promote the resolution of community-based disputes via mediation. We will enhance our efforts to create and maintain public awareness of community mediation and to encourage greater use of the schemes available for mediation of social and relational disputes. We will continue to ensure that the demand for mediation services is met. Towards this end, we will also work to increase the capacity and capabilities of our mediators.
- To promote enterprise and entrepreneurship, our debt recovery system must balance between instilling financial discipline and providing a fresh start for debtors. While we increase efforts to promote prudent financial management, we will also put in place alternative schemes for financially distressed individuals to repay their debts without having to go into bankruptcy. We will also review and improve the corporate insolvency regime to balance the interests of creditors and failed businesses.
- In support of Singapore’s economic growth and development, MinLaw will continue to play an active role in optimizing our land resources. We will work closely with other Government agencies to identify and facilitate the use of State land and properties to better meet the needs of new industry sectors and businesses.
- MinLaw will also do its part to make Singapore a great global city to work, live and play in. We will continue to devise new schemes and innovative mechanisms for letting out State land and properties to encourage the development of a vibrant cityscape and revitalize our neighbourhoods. We will encourage more innovative use of State land and properties, and will tap the public for new ideas. We will also make available land resources to promote social harmony and community bonding, for example for sports and recreational uses.
Intellectual Property (IP)
- With the advent of the knowledge economy, there is great potential for us to build on our reputation and strengths in IP to spur Singapore’s economic growth and development. MinLaw will intensify efforts to leverage and improve on the good reputation of our IP regime to support the development of Singapore as a knowledge hub and a centre for creative and high-tech industries. We will also further promote the growth of a vibrant IP services industry in Singapore, including working with the industry to deepen core IP capabilities such as in patent drafting and IP strategy advisory services. We also aim to develop Singapore into a recognised IP education and training centre for the region.
Last updated on 25 Nov 2012