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Once the notice of consultation has been issued and served, parties to the dispute are required to attend the consultation on the stipulated date, time and place as indicated in the consultation notice.

A consultation is when both parties to the dispute present their case before a Registrar who will then attempt to mediate/address the issues between them with a view to resolve their dispute amicably.  In other words, the attending Registrar guides both parties towards a settlement and not sitting in as a Judge or a Magistrate but as a mediator.  

Once a settlement has been reached between both parties, a Consent Order (or any other appropriate Order) will be made by the Registrar. The said Order will state the details of what has been agreed upon by both parties and are expected to observe it. An Order made by the Small Claims Tribunal is equivalent to an Order made by a Tribunal (see : s.17 (2) SCT Order 2006). Failure to observe the SCT Order would allow the claimant or counterclaimant to enforce it.  

If no settlement is reached between the parties to the dispute, the Registrar may give further directions including fixing the case for hearing before a Tribunal.

The above scenarios apply to parties who attends the consultation session as allocated in the consultation notice. As for a party who failed to attend the consultation on the allocated date and time, an adverse order may be made by the Registrar. For example, if the Respondent fails to attend the consultation, the attending Registrar may make a default order (or any other appropriate Order under s.38 of the SCT Order 2006) which is enforceable by law. Another example would be if the Claimant is absent at the Consultation, the Registrar would dismiss his/her claim. Hence, it is vital that all parties attend the Consultation on the stipulated date and time.


Click here for a step-by-step guide on consultation in the Small Claims Tribunal.