Help legal ethics take deeper root within profession: Forum
I believe most divorces are not complex. They become unnecessarily protracted when people file frivolous applications to prolong the process for personal vengeance or commercial benefit.
I do not think Mr Andrew Tan Chong Hee is making an unfounded statement when he speaks of the high profit incentive of family lawyers (Consider fixed legal fees for family law, Nov 1).
I also think Ms Kuah Boon Theng (Widespread misconception of value of lawyer's work, Nov 4) and Mr Tan may be referring to different time periods. Ms Kuah spoke of the days when she was a young family lawyer.
She referred to the divorce legal process as a bewildering one. That might have been the case in the past but with the advent of technology, the Family Justice Courts (FJC) have put up a wide array of helpful information on their website and made visible efforts in improving the process, including plans to make e-litigation available to litigants-in-person.
Some law firms have even offered do-it-yourself online portals so that non-contesting parties can dissolve their matrimonial union efficiently without incurring exorbitant costs.
I believe most divorces are not complex. They become unnecessarily protracted when people file frivolous applications to prolong the process for personal vengeance or commercial benefit. Recurrent tardy filings that are left unchecked add to the problem.
To that end, it is heartening to know that the FJC will soon be granting judges the power to reject unwarranted applications.
Our society will benefit if lawyers like Ms Kuah share their passion and ethos with the larger legal community. Penalties for lawyers who conduct themselves dishonourably can serve as deterrents.
Also, refresher courses on legal ethics and counselling to remind family lawyers of the lasting impact their actions have on children could appeal to their conscience and act as complements in the reform process.
Source: Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Permission required for reproduction.