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Singapore Mediation Centre sees bumper crop of new cases in 2016
THE number of new cases filed for mediation at the Singapore Mediation Centre (SMC) last year was at an all time high.
About 500 cases went through SMC in 2016, a record high in its 20-year history. It is also a 72 per cent increase over the number of cases in 2015.
Also at a record high: The total quantum of disputed sum of $775 million.
The disputes were commercial in nature, with construction and company/shareholder conflicts being most common.
Since it was established in 1997, SMC has played a key role in changing society's mindset to embrace mediation to amicably resolve disputes.
SMC executive director Loong Seng Onn said: "We work closely with businesses and professional bodies to promote the use of mediation. Over the years, SMC has also trained numerous lawyers, judges and judicial officers to equip them with mediation skills."
"As mediation gains traction, the next phase of our work is to make mediation a viable full-time career. We are working to create specialist panels to meet the needs of users," he added.
The Mediation Bill, which was passed recently, supports commercial mediation by, for instance, strengthening the enforceability of mediated settlements.