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Corporate Self-Representation in the Singapore Courts

Tay Wei Sheng Patrick & Chua Wei Yuan

(2021) 33 SAcLJ 1124

Generally, a company may participate in court proceedings only through a lawyer and not through its officers. This procedural rule minimises disruption to proceedings and prevents unqualified persons from practising law. But these justifications do not always cohere. Further, a company is, like an individual, a person of full capacity, yet an individual has a nearly unfettered right of self-representation. These complications make the rule challenging to apply, as the experiences of the State Courts illustrate. The true reason for the rule is limited to ensuring only that the officer is authorised. Other policy concerns implicated by corporate self-representation are better addressed outside of litigation procedure.