Judicial Commissioner Valerie Thean
JC Thean is Presiding Judge at the Family Justice Courts, which is a specialist court structure comprising the High Court Family Division and the Family and Youth Courts.
Prior to becoming a Judicial Commissioner, JC Thean has held various posts within the public service, such as Senior District Judge at the State Courts, Deputy Secretary (Law) at the Ministry of Law, Senior State Counsel at the Attorney-General’s Chambers, Assistant Registrar at the Supreme Court and Justice’s Law Clerk to the Supreme Court. She has also taught arbitration as an Adjunct Associate Professor at the National University of Singapore Law Faculty.
Representing Children’s Perspectives at Family Justice Courts
The process of family breakdown is a stressful and traumatic experience for parents and children. Children may suffer acute psychological distress and longer term impediment in their psychological development. In the context of legal proceedings, children may also be side lined in the decisions made for their future.
The Family Justice Courts seek to look to the best interest of the child through a holistic approach which integrates social science principles and practices, enabling “the voice of the child” to be heard and considered by parents, lawyers and judges.
This presentation will outline the various approaches that are used at the various stages of a case, beginning with early stage counselling and mediation, and in the later stage of adjudication. It also outlines how the courts strive to protect children from further harm caused by parental manipulation, coaching, and continuing parental conflict.