Speech by Mr Khoo Oon Soo at the launch of Sentencing Principles in Singapore and Practitioners’ Library: Family and Juvenile Court Practice
Mr Khoo Oon Soo

Good evening the Honourable Chief Justice, Attorney-General, Judges of Appeal, Judges, President of the Law Society, Dean of the Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.

2 The first edition of the Family Court Practice was published in the year 2000. Since then, there had been significant developments in:
a. Case law  
b. Legislation and 
c. Family Practice

3 One good example of case law would be the Court of Appeal decision in 
CX v CY [2005] 3 SLR 690, endorsing joint parenting. It was a landmark decision.  Its impact is best described by the substantial reduction we are seeing in cases involving children issues.

4 As for legislative developments, we saw major changes in the Matrimonial Proceedings Rules in 2003, 2005 and 2006.  Fundamental changes to the Central Provident Fund Act were also made in 2007 which facilitated greater flexibility in the division of CPF assets.

5 Over the last few years, the Family Court has also enhanced its case management and resolution processes with the introduction of various initiatives, including:
a. The establishment of the Family Relations Chambers which provides parties with an alternative dispute resolution process through mediation and counselling, 
b. The  introduction of the CHILD programme involving a less adversarial model to facilitate greater co-operation between the parties to find a solution that is in the child’s best interest, and 
c. The  establishment of the Children Care Court in the Juvenile Court to handle 
Beyond Parental Control and Child Protection cases.

6 These developments vigorously rang the bell for a revised edition. That was heeded and work commenced in the second quarter of 2006, when a team of Family Court judges and deputy registrars was formed to carry out the necessary research and writing.  It was also decided that the work of the Juvenile Court should form an integral part of this revised edition.

7 We are grateful, of course, to the judges and deputy registrars for their dedication in writing their respective chapters. I should add that they did so in addition to their daily caseload, projects and, not forgettting, the writing of their Grounds of Decision.

8 We were also privileged to have two Senior Counsels on the Editorial Committee, namely, Mr Michael Hwang and Prof Tan Cheng Han. We would like to thank them for their invaluable contributions.

9 We would also like to thank our former Senior District Judge, Mr Richard Magnus, for his leadership in making the publication of the book possible.

10 Finally, we would also like to thank the Chief Justice for writing the Foreword for the book and for his guidance and encouragement. Chief Justice, your close attention for the Family and Juvenile Court is a source of encouragement for the judges and staff.

11 Let me end on a hopeful note.
This publication is not a mandatory reference material but we certainly hope that it will be a compelling one. It is, indeed, a useful resource for everyone who uses the services of the Family and Juvenile Court.

12 Thank you.