SMC offers a suite of alternative dispute resolution services including mediation, adjudication, Neutral Evaluation, and resolving disputes involving Internet domain names (Singapore Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy Service), families (Collaborative Family Practice) and infrastructure projects (Singapore Infrastructure Dispute-Management Protocol).
What is neutral evaluation?
In neutral evaluation, an unbiased third party such as a former judge or senior counsel, hears your case either through written briefs and/or oral presentations. They consider the legal merits of your case and give you their reasoned opinion.
Neutral evaluation allows disputing parties to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of their case and have a clearer sense of their positions. Embattled parties can receive a cost-effective and speedy ruling, avoiding hefty arbitration or litigation bills. The process is private and confidential.
Parties may use neutral evaluation to resolve entire disagreements or differences in opinion(s) on a single point of law and/or technicality to the dispute at large.
Neutral evaluation can be used for a wide range of disputes, such as
- Cases involving conflicting expert evidence where it might be costly and time consuming for expert witnesses to testify at length at trial.
- Cases where the parties want a neutral person with expert knowledge of the subject matter to assess the merits of their case.
- Cases where all the parties believe that they have a strong case and are therefore unwilling to explore settlement. A neutral assessment of the strengths of each case may be useful to break the deadlock.
Benefits of neutral evaluation
Access to senior judicial and industry experts
Parties will be able to tap the extensive experience and knowledge of the appointed expert, also known as the neutral evaluator. SMC’s panel of neutral evaluators comprises former judges and judicial commissioners, senior counsel and industry professionals who can render an evaluation on the merits of any matter.
Saves time and money
Neutral evaluation allows parties to have a cost-effective and speedy ruling compared to litigation or arbitration. The process is entirely customisable; parties can decide on the scope of the neutral evaluation as well as the type of evaluation – whether it is a documents-only evaluation or an evaluation with hearing session(s).
Control over dispute
Parties can choose whether or not to have a binding opinion. A binding opinion can be used to settle the dispute, while a non-binding one helps parties become more aware of the strengths and weaknesses of their case should they consider resolving the dispute through mediation or any other forum.
How do I apply for neutral evaluation?