Frequently Asked Questions


Application

What does it mean to be “factually innocent”?
What is meant by “meritorious”?
Can I terminate my application with the Innocence Project (Singapore) once it has been submitted?
When will an exception be made for cases that do not fulfill the selection criteria?
Why must I have exhausted all avenues of appeal?
Will I have to pay any fees to apply to the Innocence Project (Singapore)?
Can a representative fill up the application form on behalf of the applicant (i.e. the person convicted)?
Can anyone be a representative for the applicant?

Interview

I cannot speak English well. Will this be a problem for the interview?
Can a representative attend the interview on behalf of the applicant?
Can an interview be arranged if the applicant is currently in prison?

General enquiries

When will I know the results of my application?
Can I find out the specific reason(s) for the acceptance/rejection of my case?


Application

What does it mean to be “factually innocent”?

An applicant is “factually innocent” when he/she did not commit the offence that he/she has been convicted of. This may be because the applicant was in no way criminally involved in the commission of the crime, or because there is a defence that is applicable to his/her case that was not raised/successful at trial.

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What is meant by “meritorious”?

The merits of each case are determined by a host of factors. This includes whether the applicant’s testimony can be corroborated against external evidence, and whether evidential and procedural difficulties can be overcome. The result of our evaluation is not a judgment on the guilt or innocence of the applicant.

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Can I terminate my application with the Innocence Project (Singapore) once it has been submitted?

An application can be terminated at any point in time during the Project’s evaluation process before a certified lawyer has officially taken up your case.

However, any case information and document collected up till the termination will be retained by the Innocence Project (Singapore) for any period of time necessary for research purposes. While identity records will be kept, any information released or presented will be done so in an anonymised manner.

However, the Innocence Project will retain any information pertaining to the application that has been collected before its termination, for any period of time it deems necessary. Any retained information that is released or presented will be annonymised beforehand.

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When will an exception be made for cases that do not fulfill the selection criteria?

Exceptions are made on a case-by-case basis. We are unable to provide an exhaustive list of situations where such exceptions will be made.

Should you be unsure whether your case falls within the scope of the Innocence Project (Singapore), we recommend that you complete and submit the application form so that we can better understand the situation you are in. For general enquiries, please email ipenquiries@justice.sg.

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Why must I have exhausted all avenues of appeal?

The Innocence Project (Singapore) functions as a safety net of last resort within the criminal justice system. We are unable to assist applicants who have other avenues of recourse. This includes cases that have yet to go to trial, are currently at trial, or still in the appeal stage.

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Will I have to pay any fees to apply to the Innocence Project (Singapore)?

The Innocence Project (Singapore) does not charge any fees. However, applicants should note that there may be instances where relevant documents will have to be obtained at the applicant’s own cost, such as the applicant’s medical reports and Notes of Evidence. The Innocence Project (Singapore) will only be able to render assistance based on the information that the applicant can provide.

Successful applicants whose cases are taken up by the Law Society of Singapore may be able to benefit from the probono schemes available under the Law Society. (As much as possible, meritorious cases will not fail for lack of funding.)

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Can a representative fill up the application form on behalf of the applicant (i.e. the person convicted)?

The applicant should fill up the application form personally. There is a declaration contained in our application form that requires the applicant’s signature/thumbprint.

In situations where the applicant is unable to sign the declaration, the representative may apply and effect his own signature/thumbprint in place of the applicant’s. The reason for the applicant’s inability to sign the declaration should be indicated clearly in “Part 3: Agreement/Declaration” of the application form. The applicant’s signature may still be required during the interview conducted with him/her.

For more information, please refer to the application form which can be found and downloaded under the “How to Apply” tab of this website (https://sginnocenceproject.com/how-to-apply/application-steps-and-forms-2)

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Can anyone be a representative for the applicant?

The representative will have to state his/her relationship with the applicant in Part 5 of the application form. Family members, friends, and social workers may apply on behalf of the applicant, but should note that the applicant’s consent is required.

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Interview

I cannot speak English well. Will this be a problem for the interview?

The Innocence Project (Singapore) will strive to make arrangements for student members who are able to speak your preferred language to be present at the interview. Please indicate such a request under Part 10 of the application form.

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Can a representative attend the interview on behalf of the applicant?

Generally, the Innocence Project (Singapore) must conduct the interview with the applicant personally. We may be able to consider any exceptional requests if they are indicated under Part 10 of the application form.

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Can an interview be arranged if the applicant is currently in prison?

The Innocence Project (Singapore) may be able to arrange for an interview with the applicant in prison. More details will be provided by email or by post to the applicant/representative once the application has been processed.

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General enquiries

When will I know the results of my application?

The Innocence Project (Singapore) aims to process your application within the fastest possible time frame. The estimated time required may vary according to the specific facts and needs of each case. We estimate that each application should take around 2-3 months from the receipt of the application to the communication of the evaluation result. For more details, please see the full application process under the “How to Apply” tab of this website (https://sginnocenceproject.com/how-to-apply/full-application-process).

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Can I find out the specific reason(s) for the acceptance/rejection of my case?

Due to the sensitive nature of our investigations, the Innocence Project (Singapore) is unable to provide any specific reasons for rejecting or accepting an application. Any enquiries after the case evaluation result has been communicated should be directed to ipequiries@justice.sg.

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