Law ministry

Singapore: Legal services may be offered in metaverse, says Ministry of Justice official

Singapore’s legal sector seeks to keep up with emerging technologies such as the metaverse. According to Singapore’s second law minister, Edwin Tong, legal services such as marriage proceedings, court litigation and government services may one day be offered in the metaverse.

Tong, who is also Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, was speaking at the TechLaw Fest 2022 event with the theme “Up Your Game”. The official pointed out that conducting court proceedings virtually and online has been gaining momentum since the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the growing popularity of metaverse innovation, it is not unthinkable that Singapore will one day have an integrated metaverse platform for legal services, he said. A key use case he envisions for such a platform is dispute resolution in which Singapore’s legal system is a world leader.

“I believe that such an integrated platform will make the whole dispute resolution process more convenient, efficient and keep pace with the development of the rest of the world,” he said.

An integrated metaverse platform can easily be used to maintain information on various dispute resolution mechanisms and standard clauses; submission of the file to a chosen institution; identify arbitrators, mediators, experts and witnesses; communicate with relevant parties; booking facilities and dates; and make payments.

He said other technologies related to the metaverse, including augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and NFTs, can also be game changers in the legal system. However, the minister concedes that for Singapore to embark on such a project, it will have to be in high demand by companies.

“If companies see the need for an online replica of what Singapore might offer in the physical space for that to be replicated in the metaverse space, we will explore building one,” Tong added.

Metaverse Adoption in the legal sector

As Singapore explores the possibilities, metaverse platforms have already found use cases in the legal sector. Earlier this year, Decentraland held its first wedding ceremony in its metaverse virtual world, although the union is not legally recognized by law, according to a report by Business Insider.

Singapore isn’t the only country looking to offer government services in the metaverse or deepen its adoption. South Korea has earmarked a budget of $117 million to invest in metaverse innovation. One of his projects is to create a metaverse portal for Seoul city government departments.

Meanwhile, Japan recently set up a Web 3.0 Policy Office that will oversee all efforts to strengthen the country’s business environment in relation to the metaverse.

Watch: The presentation of the BSV Global Blockchain Convention, Masters of the Metaverse

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