State Courts fare well in opinion polls

State Courts fare well in opinion polls

The State Courts continue to enjoy a high standing among the people they serve, going by the latest public confidence survey.

About 97 per cent of more than 1,000 Singaporeans and permanent residents polled last December to January have given the courts the thumbs up.

They agreed that the State Courts have administered justice fairly and effectively, in results similar to previous polls done on the Subordinate Courts, as the State Courts were formerly known.

Some 97 per cent also agreed that the State Courts have met public expectations, according to survey results released yesterday.

Respondents also feel that the courts have contributed to the development of Singapore.

Some 99 per cent of those polled feel that the State Courts have been responsive and provide good court services, and believe in the integrity, independence and impartiality of the courts.

Lawyer Chia Boon Teck of Chia Wong LLP was not at all surprised when told of the results.

"The efficiency of our courts and the quality of our judicial officers are world class," he said.

The courts had commissioned marketing research firm Nexus Link to conduct the survey, which assesses the general public's view of the courts. Nexus interviewed 1,006 people aged 17 and above face to face in December and January.

But the results also indicated areas that the State Courts can improve on, such as using technology to boost the efficiency of court services and processes.

As Judicial Commissioner See Kee Oon, Presiding Judge of the State Courts, told The Straits Times over e-mail: "While the survey results are uniformly positive, there are areas that we can further improve upon, such as accessibility to information on court processes and procedures."

The poll showed that 93.8 per cent of respondents find information related to the State Courts accessible. This is even though the State Courts have introduced initiatives like setting up an in-house call centre last August to provide the public with information.

There is also an electronic library at the State Courts Atrium, said Mr See. A revamp of the State Courts website to facilitate easier navigation with better access to information is also on the cards, he added.

The Nexus survey is part of surveys done regularly by the State Courts so as to better serve the public, a spokesman said in a media release yesterday.

The State Courts hear civil cases in which the value of the claim is below $250,000, and criminal cases involving sentences of less than 10 years in prison.

A survey of the Subordinate Courts in 2006 had found that 95 per cent of about 1,000 respondents had full confidence in the fair administration of justice here.

joycel@sph.com.sg

This article was published on May 10 in The Straits Times.

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