Family Therapeutic Justice Certification Programme (Jul 2024)

Date: 8 & 9 July 2024

Day 1 and 2: 9.00am - 5.30pm

Venue: SAL, Stamford 1 & 2, The Adelphi #08-08, 1 Coleman Street (S179803) 

This 2-day course comprises 3 modules of in-person learning to arm the family lawyer with competencies to support their clients and stakeholders to achieve therapeutic justice. The course is developed by the Singapore Academy of Law in conjunction with the Singapore University of Social Sciences, and is supported by a working group comprising Judicial Officers of the Family Justice Courts and senior family lawyers.


SkillsFuture Credit
 
(for self-funded individuals only)

All Singaporeans aged 25 and above can utilise their SkillsFuture Credit from the government to cover a wide range of approved skills-related courses. You can explore available courses on the MySkillsFuture website.  Please click here and complete the form if you are interested in using SkillsFuture Credit.


SkillsFuture Funding
 
(for self/company-funded)

As an Approved Training Organisation (ATO), this training programme is subsidised by SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG).  Course Fee Funding and Training Allowance / Absentee Payroll  are available to self /company funded individuals. Please click here and complete the form if you are interested in using SkillsFuture Funding.

Remarks: SkillsFuture (SSG) Funding and SkillsFuture Credit are distinct. If you are self-funded, you may combine usage of SkillsFuture Funding and SkillsFuture Credit to cover your course. Please click here and complete the form if you are interested in using both SkillsFuture Funding and SkillsFuture Credit.

SGD 2,180.00

SGD 2,180.00

CPD Points : 12.5

Family issues

Family matters

Personal Injury

CS CPD SF
+
-

Type

Category of Individuals

Singapore Citizens and Singapore Permanent Residents

Employer-sponsored and self-sponsored Singapore Citizens aged 40 years old and above

SME-sponsored local employees (i.e. Singapore Citizens and Singapore Permanent Residents)

Funding Source

SkillsFuture Funding (Baseline)

SkillsFuture Mid-career Enhanced Subsidy

SkillsFuture Enhanced Training Support for SMEs

Course Fee

$2000

$2000

$2000

SkillsFuture Funding

$1000

$1400

$1400

Total Nett Fee

$1000

$600

$600

GST (9% x $2000)

$180

$180

$180

Total Fee Payable to SAL

$1180

$780

$780



Programme Objectives

 

This programme was conceived to give members of the family bar an understanding of what it means to practise in a TJ oriented landscape and the important role of the family lawyer in this connection. Learners can look forward to:

 

1. Understanding therapeutic justice in the context of family justice and family lawyering from a social science perspective. 
2. Examining the benefits, aims and distinguishing features of therapeutic justice. 
3. Examining how therapeutic justice is operational within the family justice system in terms of the policies and court procedures (ie hardware) and the roles of the legal actors (ie software). 
4. Examining and applying the interpersonal skills required for employing and sustaining a collaborative, therapeutic justice approach to family practice.

 

Programme Outline

 

This programme outline is a guide for the course and is subject to change at the discretion of the organiser.

 

3 hours 15 mins

Module 1A: Therapeutic Justice – Social Science Perspective
This module delves into the social science perspective and highlights the importance of Therapeutic Justice (TJ) in minimizing the negative impacts of divorce. It emphasises the role of the lawyer in connecting social science perspectives to divorce and family disputes. Participants learn to tap into their so[ skills, holistically assess the family's situation, and consider the viability of therapeutic interventions and alternative dispute resolution methods. The module also highlights the long-term impact of the divorce lawyer's work in supporting clients and their families, aiming for fair and consensual divorce settlements, promoting co-parenting, and addressing access difficulties.

 

Module 1B: Therapeutic Justice – The Therapeutic Agent
This module focuses on Therapeutic Justice (TJ) as a mindset and system that aims to achieve therapeutic outcomes through rules, procedures, and the behavior of legal actors. Participants learn to appreciate the benefits of TJ practice, including improved well-being, healing, empowerment, and overall enhancement of families' lives.

 

The module highlights the three aims of TJ: (1) holistic and interdisciplinary, to addressing both legal and non-legal needs, (2) restorative and supportive, to repair and support family life, and (3) forward -looking, to help families stabilise and adjust. It highlights the distinguishing features of a TJ-oriented system, including respect for the law and due process, parties’ participation, non-adversarial problem-solving, and multi-disciplinary both upstream and downstream.

6 hours 30 mins

Module 2: Therapeutic Justice in and out of the Courtroom
This module provides a comprehensive understanding of Therapeutic Justice (TJ) in the family justice system. Participants recap current procedures and policies in the Family Justice Court (FJC) and explore various options available to clients, such as multi-disciplinary teams, judge-led approach, expert panels, and social services. They learn how TJ hardware and so[ware work together to achieve a TJ system and interpret substantive and procedural law in line with TJ-oriented outcomes.

 

The module emphasizes the evolving nature of the TJ ecosystem and the importance of collaboration among stakeholders. Participants gain insights into the role of family lawyers in promoting the philosophy of caring for the family and supporting clients through the Mandatory Coparenting Programme and counseling sessions. They also learn how to assist the court constructively as a TJ-minded counsel and differentiate between TJ and non-TJ approaches in courtroom advocacy. By the end of the module, participants understand the direction of the family justice system towards a TJ-oriented approach and the benefits it offers.

3 hours 45 mins

Module 3: The TJ Practitioner
This module focuses on developing and applying interpersonal skills necessary for a collaborative, Therapeutic Justice (TJ) approach in family practice. Participants learn to enhance their mental health literacy to identify red flags in clients' mental health and provide appropriate referrals. They gain an understanding of effective interpersonal skills, such as active listening, motivational interviewing, trust-building, and empathy, for managing clients.

 

The module also covers managing high-conflict personalities and de-escalating situational crises in family law cases, the role of mediation in family disputes, the challenges of TJ-oriented family practice and how to overcome them at various stages of a family dispute. Knowledge and skills acquired in previous modules will be synthesized to ensure that the participants can apply them effectively in their practice moving forward.

 

Opening Address

Judge Kenneth Yap
Registrar, Family Justice Courts

 

Mr Kenneth Yap joined the Singapore Legal Service in 2001.

 

Mr Yap read law at University College, Oxford, and received his Master of Laws from the University of Cambridge as well as at the Harvard University.

 

He was appointed to his current appointment as Registrar of the Family Justice Courts on 1 March 2019. Prior to this, he had served as a District Judge in the Criminal Justice Division of the State Courts, a Senior Assistant Registrar of the Supreme Court and a Justice’s Law Clerk. He had also served in the Legal Branch of the Singapore Legal Service as the Chief Executive of ACRA, the Divisional Director of the Legal Services Division at the Ministry of Manpower, and as a Deputy Public Prosecutor at the Attorney-General’s Chambers. Mr Yap was also previously seconded to an Administrative Service post as the Deputy Director of the Workplace Policy and Strategy Division of the Ministry of Manpower.

 

Mr Yap also serves as the Chairman of the GST Board of Review, and as a Member of the Appeal Board of the Commission of Foreign Manpower under the Ministry of Manpower.


Subject matter expert facilitators
Facilitators may change at the discretion of the organiser.  
 

Professor Leslie Chew, SC
Professor and Dean of School of Law, SUSS

 

Professor Leslie Chew, SC is a Senior Consultant at RHTLaw Asia. With a prolific career spanning 42 years of legal experience, Professor Chew has spent seven years in the judiciary as a Senior District Judge and has the distinction of being appointed Senior Counsel by the Supreme Court – Singapore’s equivalent of the Queen’s Counsel in England – in 2000.

 

Professor Chew’s main practice area is at the Commercial Bar and he has occasionally represented clients in commercial crime or white collar cases. He has also acted as counsel for major banks in Singapore and a number of private banks as well as acting in medical cases on behalf of the restructured hospitals and private hospitals.

 

Having graduated from the law school of the University of Singapore, Professor Chew was admitted as an Advocate & Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Singapore in 1981.

 

Professor Chew is an accomplished commercial arbitrator and has practised as an arbitrator and arbitration counsel since 1993. He is also active in the area of Insolvency where he was counsel for both financial institutions and liquidators. He has also actively advised HNWI in estate planning and family business disputes. He is also an esteemed author with several published titles.

Ms Tricia Ho 

Lecturer, Law Programmes 

School of Law, Singapore University of Social Sciences  

  

Tricia is a family law academic at the Singapore University of Social Sciences, with four years of experience teaching family law and developing family law curriculum.  

  

In this span of time, Tricia has had significant professional development in the academic sphere, including publishing family law articles and annotated statutes, conducting family law talks at conferences, organizing CPD talks on family law, participating in family law discussion panels, consulting with the relevant ministries on family law-related issues and leading an applied research project on offences against women. Tricia also actively volunteers with various organisations to strengthen families in Singapore, as she recognises that the impact that family law has is not solely confined to the doctrinal sphere. 

  

Prior to joining the university, Tricia was practicing at a leading Singapore law firm for six years and specialised in family law litigation. She has experience handling complex family law matters with multi-jurisdictional elements such as a stay of foreign proceedings, anti-suit injunctions, the enforcement of Singapore court orders in foreign jurisdictions, relocation and child abduction applications under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of Child Abduction. She has also handled cases involving high-conflict children’s issues, novel points of family law, and cross-examination of medical experts. 

  

Currently, Tricia teaches a year-long family law course at SUSS with a focus on both practical and academic perspectives.

Ms Edith Chen 

Lecturer, Law Programmes 

School of Law, Singapore University of Social Sciences 

  

Edith is a Lecturer at the School of Law, Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS).  The Family Law courses that Edith teaches at SUSS comprise the study of both substantive and procedural family law using an integrated approach and adopt as a core concept the philosophy of Therapeutic Justice.

 

Edith's legal career has been marked by a deep focus on family law, beginning with her academic journey at the National University of Singapore where she was awarded the LexisNexis Family Law Prize in Academic Year 2007/2008. Admitted to the Singapore Bar in 2010, she joined Tan Rajah & Cheah and practised in commercial, civil and family law litigation.  Today, Edith continues to maintain a niche practice in family law as a Consultant with the firm. Edith is also an accredited mediator with the Singapore International Mediation Institute and an Associate mediator under the Law Society Mediation Scheme Panel.

 

Outside of her professional pursuits, Edith is a devoted mother of three boys. Her experiences as a daughter, wife and mother provide her with a unique perspective and a compassionate approach to family matters.

Associate Professor Alvin Cheng 

Associate Professor, Law Programmes 

School of Law, Singapore University of Social Sciences 

  

Alvin is an Associate Professor at the Singapore University of Social Sciences, School of Law, and concurrently, a consultant with Chris Chong & CT Ho LLP. He has been in private practice for over 28 years, and his main area of practice is in civil and commercial litigation, including alternative dispute resolution.   

  

He is an Associate Mediator with the Singapore Mediation Centre (SMC), a Volunteer Mediator with the State Courts of Singapore, and a Senior Mediator under the Law Society Mediation Scheme. He also mediates under the Healthcare Mediation Scheme and the Employment Dispute Mediation Scheme. He is an Accredited Mediator with the Regent’s University (School of Psychotherapy and Psychology), London, and a member of SMC’s panel of Collaborative Family Practitioners. 

  

Alvin has received advanced negotiation and mediator training from the Strauss Institute for Dispute Resolution (Pepperdine University School of Law), conflict coaching from Conflict Coaching International, and inter-cultural mediator training from the International Mediation Institute (IMI) Inter-Cultural Task Force.  

He is a senior member of SMC’s Adjunct Training Faculty, and a Teaching Fellow of the Singapore Institute of Legal Education. He has trained professionals from education, medical, legal, and public sectors, as well as grassroots and community leaders, foreign dignitaries, and the Thai and Myanmar judiciary.  

  

Alvin is a member of the Law Society of Singapore, the Singapore Academy of Law, the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn, the Asia Pacific Institute of Experts, as well as a founding member of the Society of Mediation Professionals (Singapore).

Mr Melvin Loh 

Senior Lecturer, Law Programmes 

School of Law, Singapore University of Social Sciences 

  

Melvin is a Senior Lecturer with the School of Law, Singapore University of Social Sciences. A graduate of the Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore as well as the Singapore Management University Yong Pung How School of Law, he specialises in mediation and negotiation, as well as criminal law. He has also undergone extensive training in the field of appropriate dispute resolution, most recently at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School. In 2023, he was awarded the SUSS Excellence in Teaching Award and the Staff Service Award. 

  

Melvin is a Certified Mediator with the Singapore International Mediation Institute and an empaneled Associate Mediator and trainer with the Singapore Mediation Centre. With over a decade of experience in mediation, he has mediated a vast spectrum of cases both inside and outside the Courts, including criminal, family, commercial, and real estate, among others. He has also taught, trained, and assessed in multiple international jurisdictions, including India, Mongolia, New Zealand amongst others, in furtherance of the development of mediation.   

  

Melvin volunteers as an advocate and solicitor with various pro bono initiatives of the Law Society of Singapore, which include the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme (“CLAS”), Community Legal Clinics (“CLC”) and Legal Aid Bureau matters. Melvin also provides representation in matters through the Legal Assistance Scheme for Capital Offences (“LASCO”).  

  

He serves as an Executive Committee member with the Mediation Committee of the Law Society of Singapore, as well as the CLAS and the CLC Committees of Pro Bono SG.

Mr Lawrence Boey 

Lecturer 

School of Law, Singapore University of Social Sciences 

  

Lawrence Boey graduated with a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) degree from Oxford Brookes University and thereafter obtained the Certificate in Legal Practice in Malaysia. He also holds a Master of Commercial Law degree from the University of Malaya. He was admitted as an Advocate and Solicitor of the High Court of Malaya in 2019. 

  

For his pupillage, he joined a Top Tier Firm by the Legal 500 and though he was exposed to all the practice areas in the firm such as corporate and litigation, his main focus was in the area of banking and finance. 

  

Thereafter, he joined a sole proprietorship that specializes in a variety of civil and commercial matters where he practiced for two years. 

  

Before teaching at Singapore University of Social Sciences (“SUSS”), he joined another law firm and was involved with a wide spectrum of corporate advisory work which includes acquisition and disposal of shares of private and public companies, drafting, reviewing transaction documents, and conducting due diligence exercises. He now teaches at SUSS and maintains research interests in commercial law, contract law, and law and economics.

Associate Professor Teo Poh Leng 

Head, Bachelor of Social Work Programme 

S R Nathan School of Human Development, Singapore University of Social Sciences 

  

Associate Professor Teo Poh Leng is Head of the Social Work (Undergraduate) Programme at the Singapore University of Social Sciences. Poh Leng holds a PhD in Social Work and Master in Public Policy. 

  

Prior to joining the academia, she worked at the Ministry of Social and Family Development holding leadership positions in a variety of settings that include marriage matters, rehabilitation of juvenile offenders and youths-at-risk, destitute persons, family and child protection and welfare, social research and elderly services.

Ms Nancy Ng 

Senior Lecturer, Social Work Programme 

S R Nathan School of Human Development, Singapore University of Social Sciences 

  

Director / Family Support Division 

Family Development Group, Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) (Singapore) 

  

Ms Nancy Ng completed her Masters in Social Work in Minnesota. While in USA, she worked with persons who experienced and perpetrated family violence, and with the Yup’ik Eskimo communities in Alaska.  

  

Upon returning to Singapore, she joined MSF. She has since undertaken various appointments, such as the Chief Probation Officer, Director of Social Welfare, Director/Central Youth Guidance Office, and Director/Professional Practice and Development.  Ms Ng is also a senior lecturer at the Singapore University of Social Sciences. 

Mr Melvin Yeo 

Associate, Singapore University of Social Sciences 

  

Melvin Yeo has spent two decades in institutional and private clinical settings, both locally and overseas, providing psychotherapy and educational therapy to early-risk and at-risk children, youths, young adults as well as their families.  

 

Melvin approaches his practice from the basis of multiculturalism and positive psychology and employs a range of evidence-based and research-supported therapeutic interventions that allow him to successfully engage and positively influence diverse clients, including resistant ones and those with high-conflict personalities.  

  

In his private practice, Melvin sees both local and international clients with various educational and mental health needs, especially those with co-morbid disorders given that persons with learning and developmental disabilities are at higher risk of developing mental health issues when compared to the neurotypical population.  In addition to his clinical work, Melvin renders supervision and consultation services to the staff of the Voluntary Children’s Homes.   

  

On the academic front, he develops programme curriculum for the Singapore University of Social Sciences, where he also delivers a range of undergraduate programmmes.

Judge Chia Wee Kiat 

Deputy Presiding Judge, Family Justice Courts 

  

Mr Chia Wee Kiat is the Deputy Presiding Judge of the Family Justice Courts. He obtained his Bachelor of Laws and Master of Laws from the National University of Singapore.  His previous appointments include serving as State Counsel and Deputy Public Prosecutor in the Attorney-General’s Chambers, Deputy Director of Legal Aid in the Legal Aid Bureau and District Judge in the State Courts. 

  

Mr Chia had served as Commissioner of Land Appeals, Chairman of the Valuation Review Board, Referee of the Industrial Arbitration Court and President of the Courts Martial and was appointed Resource Person in two Committees of Inquiry in 2004 and 2011 respectively.   

  

He currently serves as Chairperson of the MINDEF/SAF Appeal Tribunal and Compensation Board and Legal Professional member of the Singapore Medical Council’s Disciplinary Tribunal.

District Judge Yarni Loi 

Family Justice Courts 

  

District Judge Yarni Loi earned her LLB (Hons) from the London School of Economics and Political Science and obtained her Postgraduate Diploma in Singapore Law from the National University of Singapore. After being called to the Singapore Bar, she spent the bulk of her career in private practice as a corporate litigation lawyer in a top tier law firm in Singapore where she was Director.  

  

In 2011, she started pursuing part-time studies in counselling and was awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling by TCA College (accredited by the University of Wales) in 2013. As part of her counselling studies, she completed a full-time counselling internship at a Family Service Centre for 6 months. She joined the Legal Service and was appointed District Judge in the family justice division of the State Courts, now Family Justice Courts, in March 2014.

Mr Yeo Eng Kwan 

Director, Counselling and Psychological Services (CAPS), Family Dispute Resolution Division (FDR), Family Justice Courts 

  

Eng Kwan joined the Family Justice Courts (FJC) in 2015 and is currently looking after the CAPS team that provides forensic and therapeutic interventions for families with disputes regarding the care arrangements of their children, family violence, and Youth Courts’ proceedings. Eng Kwan has a Master of Arts (Counselling Psychology) from NTU-NIE and is a Registered Psychologist and Supervisor with the Singapore Psychological Society. He is also an accredited Associate Mediator (Family) with the Singapore Mediation Centre.

Mr Yap Teong Liang 

Managing Director, T L Yap Law Chambers LLC 

  

Teong Liang was called to the Bar of England and Wales (Middle Temple) in 1991 and admitted as an Advocate & Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Singapore in June 1992. On 10th June 2002, he set up his boutique law firm specialising in Family Law.  

  

Teong Liang has represented high net worth clients and handles cases involving foreign marriages, cross-border international complex child abduction and relocation cases, as well as jurisdictional and forum issues (Australia, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Netherlands, United Kingdom, United States of America), child custody and access cases, maintenance for the child and wife, division of matrimonial assets and family violence. He is listed as a Preeminent and Leading Family & Divorce Lawyer in the Doyle’s Guide.  

  

Teong Liang also practices as a Collaborative Family Practitioner, Parenting Coordinator, and is an Associate Mediator with the Singapore Mediation Centre; he is an Accredited Mediator with the Family Justice Courts and Regent’s University, London (Mediation and Psychology). He is on the panel of Cross-Border Family Mediators of Mediation bei Internationalen Kindschaftskonflikten (MiKK), Berlin, Germany and the Cross-Border Family Mediators' Network. 

  

He was Chairperson of the Family Law Practice Committee of the Law Society of Singapore from 2006 to 2015. He is currently the Head of the Family Law and Children’s Rights Chapter of the Professional Affairs Committee of the Singapore Academy of Law, and Chairperson of the Family Law and Family Rights Section and Vice President of LAWASIA.  

  

He has been appointed by the Chief Justice as a member of the Family Justice Rules Committee constituted pursuant to Section 46(1) of the Family Justice Act and appointed onto the panel of Child Representatives by the Family Justice Courts since October 2014. Teong Liang has presented papers at both local and overseas family law conferences over the years and recently co-authored the chapter on Dispute Resolution Options in the book “The Art of Family Lawyering” (2019 Special Edition) and authored the chapter on Ancillary Relief: Orders That Can be Made in “The Law and Practice of Family Law in Singapore”. 

Wong Sheng Kwai
District Judge, Family Justice Courts


Wong Sheng Kwai is an advocate and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Singapore since 1989.  Prior to his appointment as District Judge and Assistant Registrar of the Family Justice Courts (previously the Family Court) in 2010, he held various positions in the Singapore Public Service including – 

  • Assistant Director General/Legal Counsel in the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore 

  • Assistant Official Assignee/Official Receiver/Public Trustee 

  • District Judge of the Subordinate Courts (now the State Courts) and  

  • Deputy Director, Legal Aid Bureau. 

 

Sheng Kwai is currently deployed as a Judge Mediator at the Family Justice Courts and is an accredited Family Mediator with the Singapore Mediation Centre.

District Judge Kathryn Thong has been with the Family Justice Courts since 2016.

 

She started her legal career as a Justice’s Law Clerk, serving the High Court and Court of Appeal. She also served briefly as an Assistant Registrar at the Supreme Court after which she began a two-year stint at the Attorney General’s Chambers prosecuting cases in the State Courts and appearing before the High Court in appeals and criminal motions, before being posted to the Ministry of Law, where she advised on land and intellectual property policies amongst other things.

 

 

SILE Accredited CPD Activity
Number of Public CPD points: 12.5 
Practice Area: Family Law
Training Level: General

 

SILE Attendance Policy
Participants who wish to obtain CPD Points are reminded that they must comply strictly with the Attendance Policy set out in the CPD Guidelines. For this activity, this includes signing in on arrival and signing out at the conclusion of the activity on each day of the activity, in the manner required by the organiser, and not being absent from the entire activity for more than 15 minutes on each day of the activity. 

Participants who attend Day 1 and comply strictly with the Attendance Policy on that day may obtain 6 Public CPD Points.
Participants who attend Day 2 and comply strictly with the Attendance Policy on that day may obtain 6.5 Public CPD Points.

 

Participants who do not comply with the Attendance Policy will not be able to obtain CPD Points for attending the activity. Please refer to http://www.sileCPDcentre.sg for more information. 

L I F T E D by SAL

 

For enquiries related to this event, please email les@sal.org.sg.

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