Military Legal Aid Scheme (MLAS)

The Military Legal Assistance Scheme (MLAS) aims to provide pro bono legal help for SAF National Servicemen and their Defending Officers by linking them up with pro bono lawyers. We also seek to provide all parties with essential resources and legal information on the military justice system. We may be contacted to provide general information of the procedure of the Military Justice system and provide military legal precedents and past cases for parties to better make an informed decision as to how to proceed with their case. 

 

MLAS only refers accused servicemen to pro bono lawyers if they are charged under General Court Martial. Servicemen tried by their Unit in Summary Trials are not included under the scheme.

 

If you are keen on being a part of MLAS as a pro bono lawyer, or want to find out more, please contact us at militaryjusticeproject@justice.sg

 

The following chart traces the course of a case within MLAS. The entire process is estimated to take around 2 to 3 weeks.

LIFESPAN OF A CASE

During the period of adjournment after their charge has been read to them for the first time, the Accused or their Disciplinary Officer may contact the Military Justice Project (MJP) via email at

 

militaryjusticeproject@justice.sg

 

The case falls with within the purview of MLAS, and will proceed to the next stage

  • If the Accused has not yet been charged, they will be turned down OR their case will be kept on the records until they have been charged

 

  • This service will not be extended to servicemen currently incarcerated in the SAF detention barracks or under close arrest, unless in exceptional circumstances

MJP will conduct a preliminary interview with the accused and the Disciplinary Officer

MJP will furnish a report and evaluation with a recommendation to the pro bono lawyer as to the best course of action to adopt

The pro bono lawyer will decide on 1 of 4 possible courses of action

Contest the charges and have the pro bono lawyer personally represent the serviceman in court

Contest the charges and have the pro bono lawyer provide only limited legal help in the form of providing legal advice to the Disciplinary Officer who will remain the one to represent the serviceman in court

Accept the charges and have the pro bono lawyer personally take up the case to provide the mitigation plea in court

Accept the charges and have the pro bono lawyer provide limited legal help in the form of legal advice on the mitigation plea to the Disciplinary Officer

Depending on which choice he or she takes, MJP will provide the pro bono lawyer with the necessary assistance

 

  • MJP volunteers will help to draft mitigation pleas and any matters relevant to the case

  • MJP will make available our library of resources 

  • MJP will provide any other assistance should the pro bono lawyer wish to personally represent the serviceman

Disclaimer

Although MJP has been in contact with MINDEF Legal Services and the SAF Subordinates Military Courts, MLAS remains a purely student-involved initiative only, along with the support of various pro bono lawyers in Singapore.

 

MJP will review applications for MLAS and reserves the right to accept or reject any case.

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