Members involved the University Court Friends project were invited for an appreciation tea on 3rd August 2012, where volunteers from NUS and SMU received certifications of appreciation from District Judges Joyce Low and Sandra Looi.
The District Judges present spoke briefly of the importance of the UCF project:
“[Volunteers] help to give litigants confidence and reassurance as they have no legal representation when filing a claim in the Small Claims Tribunal or a complaint at the Crime Registry. In doing so, students gain knowledge of the legal processes involved and also an insight into the difficulties faced by the man on the street.” – District Judge Sandra Looi
“Participants in the UCF project provide an important listening ear to litigants who otherwise may not get the time in the court system to tell their full story. Students learn how to deal with a range of different characters and personalities since 95% of the case load are actually handled by the Subordinate Courts.” – District Judge Joyce Low
Students present were also happy to speak about their experiences:
Kenneth (SMU Year 2) appreciated the opportunity to interact with litigants and felt that his time spent in the UCF project complemented his experiences at the Legal Clinics.
Edwyna Ong (SMU Year 2) and Lavanya Karthikeyan (NUS Year 2) also pointed out that the project allowed students from both law schools to interact.
About the UCF Project:
The University Court Friends (UCF) scheme is a partnership between the Subordinate Courts, NUS law school and SMU law school, where volunteers gain a wide range of opportunities to find out how our Courts function while helping litigants-in-person deal with procedural matters. The level of involvement range from recording down a claimant’s statement of facts, to explaining claim forms or Court notices to parties, to sitting in with the Registrars/Magistrates during mediation sessions with parties.