RANKINGS IN INTERNATIONAL SURVEYS
Singapore has performed consistently well in international surveys conducted by the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) and Political and Economic Risk Consultancy (PERC). The Republic received top rankings in the categories “Legal and Regulatory Framework” and “Expatriate Perceptions of Judicial System Quality” respectively, clinching first place in the IMD survey and second in Asia in the PERC survey.
In the IMD survey, Singapore maintained its lead at the top of the rankings with the same score as last year, 8.65. Score gradings range from zero to 10, where a higher score indicates that competitiveness of enterprises is more greatly encouraged in that country. Hong Kong and Denmark were ranked second and third respectively, with scores of 7.48 and 6.74.
In the PERC report, Singapore was ranked second out of 12 jurisdictions in Asia in the category “Expatriate Perceptions of Judicial System Quality” with a score of 1.92, slightly behind Hong Kong which received a score of 1.45. The scores range from zero to 10, with zero being the best score possible. The report said that “expatriates working (in Singapore) clearly have a great deal of confidence in the quality of the judicial system and the integrity of the country’s Judges and political leaders.”
Assistant Registrars Tan Wen Hsien and Denise Wong also visited the Willesden County Court and attended a conference on electronic discovery with the Senior Master. The study visit concluded with a video-call between Acting Registrar Mr Foo Chee Hock and Senior Master Whitaker to ratify the meaningful relations between the respective Registries.
The delegation met with Judges and Registrars of the Hong Kong High Court and the Hong Kong District Court for a detailed briefing on the civil justice reforms which the Hong Kong Judiciary had just completed. The aim of the reforms was to ensure and improve access to justice at a reasonable cost and speed.
The delegation also learnt more about the Hong Kong Judiciary’s case management system and use of technology, as well as the areas of judicial administration work undertaken by the Hong Kong Courts.
Assistant Registrar Cornie Ng was attached to the New South Wales Supreme Court (NSWSC) in Australia from 7 - 18 July 2008. She sat in with Judges from the Common Law and Equity Division to observe how they conducted and managed court proceedings. She also held meetings and discussions with court managers and Registrars to gain further insight into the NSWSC’s processes and policies.
As the NSWSC is a strong proponent of case management, Assistant Registrar Ng was able to observe the strict protocols which the Court used to manage and dispose of cases, as well as its initiatives relating to the management of expert evidence, electronic discovery, the Electronic Court Book and stopwatch hearings to assist it in reaching its timelines and performance targets.
From 3 - 7 November 2008, Director (Legal) Ms Helen Yeo and Deputy Director (Legal) Ms Tang Meen-Er paid a visit to the New Zealand Higher Courts in Wellington, New Zealand to study their case management system and court administration practices. What stood out was the level of judicial involvement in the managing and monitoring of cases in the Courts and the focus on the cross functional training of case management staff, who were assigned specific cases that they see through from filing to disposal. Ms Yeo and Ms Tang also observed the digital transcription services of the New Zealand Courts, which were able to deliver transcripts to counsel within 30 minutes of a hearing taking place.
HOSTING OF ATTACHMENT PROGRAMMES
Malaysian Registrars' Attachment Programme
The Supreme Court hosted three attachment programmes in 2008 for Judges and legal officers from overseas Courts. Each attachment was designed to provide an overview of all aspects of judicial and administrative work undertaken by the Supreme Court. Court and chamber sit-ins were arranged for a variety of trials and applications and thorough briefings were conducted by the Registry staff covering topics such as case management and the use of information technology in court hearings.
11 – 15 Feb Attachment Programme for Ms Sunita Upbinder Johar, Acting Registrar, Dubai International Financial Centre
13 – 16 May Attachment Programme for Judges of the Small Claims Tribunal, Dubai International Financial Centre17 – 21 Nov Attachment Programme for Registrars of the Supreme Court and High Court of Malaysia
VISITS BY DISTINGUISHED GUESTS
Visits by Foreign Delegations
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