30 May 2023

On 8 May 2023, the Family Justice Reform Bill (“Bill”) was passed in Parliament. Sun Xueling, Minister of State for the Ministry of Social and Family Development (“MSF”) and the Ministry of Education gave the opening and closing speeches at the second reading of the Bill.

The Bill amends various pieces of legislation such as the Family Justice Act 2014, the Women’s Charter 1961, and the Guardianship of Infants Act 1934. It introduces reforms to make family proceedings simpler and more efficient and facilitate more sustainable maintenance outcomes.

The reforms under the Bill are part of the ongoing efforts by the Ministry of Law, MSF, and the Family Justice Courts to strengthen therapeutic justice elements in the family justice system and help families in distress to heal and move on with their lives. The changes are aimed at increasing access to justice for litigants, especially those who cannot afford legal representation, as explained in a Ministry of Law press release issued on 20 April 2023 when the Bill was first introduced in Parliament.