Part II: General Matters
- 8. Operating hours of the Supreme Court
- 9. Hours for the sittings of the Supreme Court
- 10. Calculation of time
- 11. Urgent applications outside of the Court's office hours
- 12. Duty Registrar
- 13. Attendance of solicitors in Court and mentioning on behalf of other solicitors
- 13A. Attendance at hearings in Chambers
- 14. Absence from Court on medical grounds
- 15. The Central Display Management System
- 16. Precedence and preaudience of Senior Counsel
- 17. Court dress
- 18. Forms of address
- 19. Submissions and examination by leading and assisting counsel
- 20. Interpreters and translation
- 21. Production of record of hearing
- 22. Use of electronic and other devices
- 23. Certification of transcripts
- 24. Access to case file, inspection, taking copies and searches
- Access by parties to a case file
- File inspection by non-parties or parties who are not registered users
- Obtaining certified true copies of documents
- Electronic cause books and registers maintained by the Registry
- 24A. Personal Data
- Consent to collection, use or disclosure of personal data
- Access to personal data
- Correction of personal data
- 25. Instruments creating power of attorney
- 26. Filing directions to the Accountant-General for payment into and out of Court
- 27. Requests and other Correspondence
- 28. Authorisation for collection of mail and Court documents
- 29. Electronic payment of Court fees
- Implementation of the electronic system for the payment of Court fees
- Modes of electronic payment
- Scope of electronic system
- Registrar’s discretion
- 29A. Publication of and reports and comments on Court cases
- 29B. Citation of Case Numbers
8. Operating hours of the Supreme Court
(1) The Supreme Court operates from 8.30 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. from Monday to Friday. However, various offices and counters within the Supreme Court have different operating hours.
(2) The Legal Registry of the Supreme Court (Level 2) is open from 9.00 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. from Monday to Thursday. On Friday, it is open from 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.
9. Hours for the sittings of the Supreme Court
The Honourable the Chief Justice has directed that the Judges of the High Court and the Court of Appeal shall sit from 10.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. and from 2.15 p.m. to 5.00 p.m. Registrars shall sit from 9.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. and from 2.30 p.m. to 5.00 p.m. This is subject to the presiding Judge’s or Registrar’s discretion to commence or conclude a hearing at an earlier or later time.
10. Calculation of time
Unless otherwise stated, the provisions in the Rules of Court shall apply to the calculation of time in these Practice Directions. In particular:
(1) The following definition of “working day” in Order 1, Rule 4 of the Rules of Court is applicable in these Practice Directions:
“Working day” means any day other than a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday.
(2) The provisions of Order 3 of the Rules of Court shall also apply to the calculation of time:
“Month” means calendar month (O. 3, r. 1)
1. Without prejudice to the Interpretation Act (Chapter 1), in its application to these Rules, the word “month”, where it occurs in any judgment, order, direction or other document forming part of any proceedings in Court, means a calendar month unless the context otherwise requires.
Reckoning periods of time (O. 3, r. 2)
2. — (1) Any period of time fixed by these Rules or by any judgment, order or direction for doing any act shall be reckoned in accordance with this Rule.
(2) Where the act is required to be done within a specified period after or from a specified date, the period begins immediately after that date.
(3) Where the act is required to be done within or not less than a specified period before a specified date, the period ends immediately before that date.
(4) Where the act is required to be done a specified number of clear days before or after a specified date, at least that number of days must intervene between the day on which the act is done and that date.
(5) Where, apart from this paragraph, the period in question, being a period of 7 days or less, would include a day other than a working day, that day shall be excluded.
Time expires on a day other than a working day (O. 3, r. 3)
3. Where the time prescribed by these Rules, or by any judgment, order or direction, for doing any act expires on a day other than a working day, the act shall be in time if done on the next working day.
Extension, etc., of time (O. 3, r. 4)
4. —(1) The Court may, on such terms as it thinks just, by order extend or abridge the period within which a person is required or authorised by these Rules or by any judgment, order or direction, to do any act in any proceedings.
(2) The Court may extend any such period as is referred to in paragraph (1) although the application for extension is not made until after the expiration of that period.
(3) The period within which a person is required by these Rules, or by any order or direction, to serve, file or amend any pleading or other document may be extended by consent (given in writing) without an order of the Court being made for that purpose, unless the Court specifies otherwise.
(4) In this Rule, references to the Court shall be construed as including references to the Court of Appeal.
(5) Paragraph (3) shall not apply to the period within which any action or matter is required to be set down for trial or hearing or within which any notice of appeal is required to be filed.
11. Urgent applications outside of the Court’s office hours
(1) When an applicant files an application for any civil matter (including applications for interim injunctions or interim preservation of subject matter of proceedings, evidence and assets to satisfy judgments) or criminal matter, and the application is so urgent that it has to be attended to outside of the hours specified in paragraph 12(2) of these Practice Directions, the applicant’s counsel must contact the Registrar on duty at 6332 4351 or 6332 4352.
(2) When the applicant seeks an urgent hearing for the application, all the papers required for the application must have been prepared, together with the appropriate draft orders of Court. Where the documents (including the originating process) have yet to be filed in Court when counsel seeks the urgent hearing, he must furnish an undertaking to the Registrar processing the application to have these documents filed in Court by such time as the Registrar may direct and, in any event, no later than the next working day.
(3) In seeking an urgent hearing, counsel is to ensure that all applicable notice requirements prescribed by these Practice Directions are complied with. For criminal matters to be heard inter partes, notice must be given to the other party prior to the applicant seeking an urgent hearing.
(4) The Registrar will only arrange for the matter to be heard outside of office hours if it is so urgent that it cannot be heard the next working day. The hearing may take place in the Registrar’s Chambers in the Supreme Court or at any place as directed by the Judge or Registrar hearing the matter.
(5) If the application is of sufficient urgency, the Registrar may also direct counsel to send the application and supporting documents by email. The Judge or Registrar has the discretion to decide whether to deal with the application by email or to hear counsel personally.
12. Duty Registrar
(1) The duties of the Duty Registrar are to:
- (a) hear ex parte or consent applications;
- (b) grant approval for any matter pertaining to the administration of the Legal Registry of the Supreme Court, including giving early or urgent dates and allowing inspection of files; and
- (c) sign and certify documents.
(2) On Mondays to Fridays (excluding public holidays), the duty hours shall be from 9.00 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and from 2.30 p.m. to 5.00 p.m.
(3) Only advocates and solicitors (or, where a party is not represented, a litigant in person) shall appear before the Duty Registrar.
(4) Except where the attendance of the advocate and solicitor is required under sub-paragraph (6) below, the filing of the relevant documents will be sufficient for the Duty Registrar to dispose of any application or matter. Documents will be returned to the advocate and solicitor through the Electronic Filing Service to the inbox of the law firm’s computer system or through the service bureau.
(5) All Court fees for the filing of documents should be duly paid before presentation of the documents to the Duty Registrar for his or her signature and/or decision.
(6) The advocate and solicitor’s attendance is compulsory only:
- (a) when he or she is requesting an early or urgent date for a hearing before the Registrar or Judge;
- (b) when an application or document is returned with the direction “solicitor to attend”; or
- (c) when his or her attendance is required by any provision of law.
(7) A solicitor may, if he or she wishes to expedite matters, attend before the Duty Registrar even if his or her attendance is not ordinarily required.
(8) A solicitor who wishes to attend before a Duty Registrar and to refer him or her to documents filed must either:
- (a) file the documents at least one hour before attending before the Duty Registrar, so that the documents would already be in the electronic case file for the Duty Registrar’s reference. Solicitors should as far as possible only attend before the Duty Registrar after they have received notification from the Court that the documents have been accepted; or
- (b) attend before the Duty Registrar with the paper documents. The Duty Registrar will require the solicitor to give an undertaking to file all the documents by the next working day before dealing with the matter.
13. Attendance of solicitors in Court and mentioning on behalf of other solicitors
(1) Subject to sub-paragraph (2), a solicitor appearing in any cause or matter may mention for counsel for all other parties provided that:
- (a) the solicitor obtains confirmation of his authority to mention on their behalf for the purpose of the hearing; and
- (b) parties have agreed on the order sought.
(2) However, where an adjournment of the hearing date of any cause or matter is sought, solicitors for all parties must attend the hearing. See also paragraphs 67 and 68 of these Practice Directions.
(3) Solicitors appearing in any cause or matter should be punctual in attending Court, as delay in the commencement of the hearing leads to wastage of judicial time. Appropriate sanctions may be imposed for solicitors who do not arrive for hearings on time.
13A. Attendance at hearings in Chambers
(1) For the avoidance of doubt, the general rule is that hearings in chambers in civil proceedings are private in nature, and that members of the public are not entitled to attend such hearings.
(2) However, subject to any written law, the Court may, in its discretion, permit interested parties, such as instructing solicitors, foreign legal counsel and parties to the matter, to attend hearings in chambers. In exercising its discretion, the Court may consider a broad range of factors including: (a) the interest that the person seeking permission has in the matter before the Court; (b) the interests of the litigants; (c) the reasons for which such permission is sought; and (d) the Court’s interest in preserving and upholding its authority and dignity.
14. Absence from Court on medical grounds
- (a) any party to proceedings;
- (b) any witness;
- (c) any counsel; or
- (d) the Public Prosecutor or his deputy,
is required to attend Court and wishes to absent himself from Court on medical grounds, he must provide the Court with an original medical certificate. The medical certificate must be in the proper form and contain the information and particulars required by sub-paragraphs (2) to (5).
(2) A medical certificate issued by a Government hospital or clinic may be in the pre-printed form produced by the Ministry of Health, a sample of which may be found at Form 1 of Appendix A of these Practice Directions. A medical certificate issued by a restructured hospital or specialist centre may also be in a pre-printed form similar to the sample which appears at Form 1. The pre-printed medical certificate must:
- (a) be completely and properly filled in;
- (b) contain the name of the medical practitioner who issued the medical certificate;
- (c) state the name of the hospital or clinic in which the medical practitioner practises;
- (d) indicate that the person to whom the certificate is issued is unfit to attend Court, and specify the date(s) on which he is unfit to attend Court;
- (e) be signed in full by the medical practitioner (and not merely initialled); and
- (f) be authenticated by a rubber stamp showing the medical practitioner’s full name and his designation in the hospital or clinic, as the case may be.
(3) If a medical certificate is not in Form 1, the medical certificate should:
- (a) be addressed to “Registrar, Supreme Court” (and not “whoever-it-may-concern”);
- (b) identify clearly the medical practitioner who issued the certificate;
- (c) state the name of the hospital or clinic at which it was issued;
- (d) be signed in full by the medical practitioner (and not merely initialled);
- (e) be authenticated by a rubber stamp showing the medical practitioner’s full name and designation;
- (f) contain a diagnosis of the patient concerned (unless the diagnosis cannot or should not normally be disclosed);
- (g) contain a statement to the effect that the person to whom the certificate is issued is medically unfit to attend Court, and specify the date(s) on which the person is unfit to attend Court; and
- (h) bear the date on which it was written and, where this differs from the date of consultation, this must be clearly disclosed.
(4) If any portion of the information set out in sub-paragraph (3) is not found in the medical certificate itself, such information may be included in a memorandum which should be attached to the medical certificate. This memorandum must:
- (a) identify clearly the medical practitioner who issued the memorandum;
- (b) contain the name of the hospital or clinic at which it was issued;
- (c) be signed in full by the medical practitioner (and not merely initialled); and
- (d) be authenticated by a rubber stamp showing the medical practitioner’s full name and designation.
(5) All information and details in any medical certificate or memorandum must be clearly and legibly printed.
(6) If the directions set out in sub-paragraphs (2) to (5) are not complied with, the Court may reject the medical certificate and decline to excuse the attendance of the person to whom the medical certificate was issued. The Court may then take any action it deems appropriate.
(7) This paragraph shall apply to all hearings in the Supreme Court, whether in open Court or in Chambers.
(8) This paragraph shall apply to both civil and criminal proceedings.
15. The Central Display Management System
(1) The Central Display Management System (CDMS) is used for the following types of hearings:
- (a) hearings before a Registrar (including matters before a Duty Registrar); and
- (b) hearings before a Judge in chambers, if so directed by the Judge.
(2) When taking queue numbers at the CDMS kiosk, solicitors are to confer with their opponent(s) and enter the estimated duration of their own submissions. The number of minutes entered should be an accurate reflection of the actual duration of submissions expected to be made by each of the solicitors.
Solicitors should indicate in the CDMS that they are ready for hearing only when the solicitors for all the parties concerned are present.
(3) The Judge or Registrar has full discretion to manage the queue and call cases in the CDMS in a manner which he or she deems fit.
(4) Senior Counsel will continue to be given the precedence and the right of preaudience according to paragraph 16.
16. Precedence and preaudience of Senior Counsel
(1) By virtue of section 31 of the Legal Profession Act (Cap. 161) and existing custom and usage, Senior Counsel are given precedence and the right of preaudience.
(2) In order to give substance to the principle of precedence and preaudience to Senior Counsel, the Honourable the Chief Justice has directed that Senior Counsel who intend to appear before Judges or Registrars for summonses should inform the Registrar in writing not later than 2 clear days before the scheduled hearing date. Senior Counsel should indicate their presence in the Central Display Management System (CDMS), and shall be given precedence and the right of preaudience, subject to the Judge’s or Registrar’s overriding discretion.
(3) All other counsel, including those who appear on behalf of their Senior Counsel, will be heard according to the order in which their matters appear on the CDMS, subject to the Judge’s or Registrar’s overriding discretion.
17. Court dress
(1) The attire for male advocates and solicitors appearing in open Court will be the existing gown worn over an ordinary long-sleeved white shirt with a turn-down collar, a tie of a subdued or sober colour, a dark jacket, dark trousers and black or plain coloured shoes.
(2) The attire for female advocates and solicitors appearing in open Court will be the existing gown worn over a long-sleeved white blouse high to the neck, a dark jacket, a dark skirt or dark trousers and black or plain coloured shoes. Conspicuous jewellery or ornaments should not be worn.
(3) When appearing before the Judge or Registrar in Chambers, the attire for both men and women will be the same as for open Court, save that the gown need not be worn.
(4) The attire for Senior Counsel shall be as described in sub-paragraphs (1) to (3), save that, for hearings in open Court, they may, instead of the existing gown, wear a gown in the design of those worn by Queen’s Counsel of England and Wales and made of the following material:
- (a) silk;
- (b) silk and wool mix; or
- (c) artificial silk.
18. Forms of address
The Honourable the Chief Justice, on the advice of the Council of Judges, has directed that the following forms of address shall apply:
(1) The Chief Justice, the Judges and Judicial Commissioners shall, when sitting in open Court or in Chambers, be addressed as “Your Honour”, and on social occasions or other extra-judicial occasions, as “Chief Justice” or “Judge”, as the case may be.
(2) The Chief Justice, the Judges and the Judicial Commissioners shall, in all cause lists, orders of Court, correspondence and other documents, be described respectively as “Chief Justice”, “Justice” or “Judicial Commissioner” without any accompanying gender prefix.
19. Submissions and examination by leading and assisting counsel
(1) In the event that a party is represented by more than one counsel at a hearing, whether in open Court or in Chambers, the making of submissions and the questioning of witnesses may be carried out by one counsel for each party only.
(2) If a party would like certain portions of the submissions, or examination, cross-examination or re-examination of witnesses to be conducted by different counsel in the same case, an oral application should be made to Court as early as is practicable and by no later than the commencement of the trial or hearing for leave to do so. The following information should be provided to the Court for the purposes of the application:
- (a) the issues on which each counsel will be making submissions; and/or
- (b) the witnesses to be examined, cross-examined or re-examined by each counsel, or the portions of their evidence for which each counsel will conduct the examination, cross-examination or re-examination.
Nothing in this paragraph detracts from the responsibility of lead counsel to ensure that all counsel making submissions, or having conduct of any portion of the examination, cross-examination or re-examination of witnesses, are adequately supervised and able to handle the tasks assigned to them.
(3) If leave has been granted in accordance with sub-paragraph (2), counsel should ensure that he or she confines himself or herself to the issues or portions of evidence in respect of which leave was granted and that there is no overlap in the issues or the examination being dealt with by different counsel for the same party. Further, counsel must not repeat, clarify or expand on any submissions that have been made by another counsel for the same party, or examine, cross-examine or re-examine witnesses on portions of their evidence dealt with by another counsel for the same party.
(4) If leave of the Court is not sought in accordance with sub-paragraph (2), only one counsel will be allowed to make submissions or conduct examination, cross-examination or re-examination for a party throughout the hearing.
(5) For civil proceedings, lead counsel are strongly encouraged to apprise the client of the benefits of allocating certain advocacy tasks to junior assisting counsel, including the potential benefits of reduced legal costs and increased focus by lead counsel on the main advocacy tasks, and to therefore consider obtaining instructions to make an application in accordance with sub-paragraph (2). In this regard, lead counsel are encouraged to consider that giving junior assisting counsel more opportunities for oral advocacy could potentially benefit the client and, at the same time, promote renewal of the Bar.
(6) For civil trials:
- (a) Notwithstanding sub-paragraphs (1) and (2), and save where lead counsel is a junior counsel, the junior assisting counsel shall deliver the oral opening statement unless the Court otherwise orders; and
- (b) lead counsel are to inform the trial judge at the Judge Pre-Trial Conference ("JPTC"), or if a JPTC has not been fixed, at the start of the trial, whether their client will be making an application pursuant to sub-paragraph (2) above and, if so, the proposed division of advocacy tasks between lead counsel and junior assisting counsel.
(7) Unless stated otherwise, this paragraph shall apply to both civil and criminal proceedings.
20. Interpreters and translation
(1) The directions set out in sub-paragraphs (2) to (9) below are to be followed in relation to all requests for interpretation services of interpreters from the Supreme Court’s Interpreters Section, whether the services are required for hearings in open Court or in Chambers.
(2) Not less than 7 working days before the day on which the services of an interpreter are required (“scheduled day”), the requesting party must file a Request addressed to the appropriate Head Interpreter through the Electronic Filing Service and attach Form 2 of Appendix A of these Practice Directions in Portable Document Format (PDF) to the Request electronic form.
(3) The Request in sub-paragraph (2) must be filed for hearings of matters which have been adjourned or part-heard, even if the services of an interpreter were requested and provided at an earlier hearing of the same matter. In the event that a Request is made in respect of an adjourned or part-heard matter, the Request should state the date of the earlier hearing.
(4) The requesting party shall make payment of any prescribed fees for interpretation services under the Rules of Court upon approval of the Request.
(5) In the event that the services of the interpreter are for any reason not required on any of the scheduled days specified in the Request, the requesting party shall immediately notify the appropriate Head Interpreter either by letter or email. This shall serve as a notice of cancellation.
(6) Any request for refund of the fee paid under sub-paragraph (4) must be submitted to the Registrar through the Electronic Filing Service within one month after the date on which the reason for the refund arose. The supporting reasons and the amount of refund sought must be clearly indicated in the request for refund.
(7) Unless otherwise decided by the Registrar, the fee paid for any scheduled day may be refunded only if a notice of cancellation under sub-paragraph (5) is given at least 1 clear working day prior to that scheduled day.
(8) The provision of interpretation services by the Supreme Court’s Interpreters Section is subject to the availability of suitable interpreters on the day that the interpretation services are required. Failure to comply with the directions set out in sub-paragraphs (2) to (4) may result in the services of interpreters not being available or provided.
(9) Engagement of private interpreters (i.e. interpreters not from the Supreme Court’s Interpreters Section):
- (a) For the avoidance of doubt, a party may engage the services of a private interpreter for interpretation services in respect of the languages listed in Form 2 of Appendix A of these Practice Directions.
- (b) If a party requires the services of an interpreter in a language apart from those listed in Form 2 of Appendix A to these Practice Directions, it shall be the duty of the party to engage such an interpreter directly to obtain his or her services for the scheduled hearing.
- (c) Interpreters who are not from the Supreme Court's Interpreters Section must be sworn in before the Duty Registrar before they may provide interpretation services for proceedings in Court.
(10) Requests for translation of documents in Chinese, Malay or Tamil for use in Supreme Court proceedings should be sent using the form available on the Supreme Court website at least 4 weeks before the date the translations are required, unless there are exceptional reasons justifying non-compliance.
(11) In the event that the Supreme Court’s Interpreters Section is unable to accept a translation request, parties and counsel should approach a private translation service instead.
21. Production of record of hearing
(1) Pursuant to Order 38A, Rule 1 of the Rules of Court, the Registrar hereby directs that with effect from 1 August 2005, there shall be audio recording of all open Court trials in actions begun by writs. Such audio recording shall be made using the Digital Transcription System (DTS) only.
(2) Pursuant to Order 38A, Rule 1(1)(b), the Registrar further directs that in proceedings where no audio recording is made, the notes of hearing shall be taken down by the Judge, judicial officer, Justices’ Law Clerk or court officer, whether by hand or through the use of a computer or electronic device.
(3) The provisions of sub-paragraphs (1) and (2) are subject to any directions made by the Judge or judicial officer hearing the matter, or by the Registrar, whether or not upon application by the parties. Such directions may include the use of alternative means of producing transcripts.
(4) Where the Court makes such directions under sub-paragraph (3):
- (a) the transcript of the notes of hearing shall, pursuant to Order 38A, Rule 1(1)(b), constitute the official record of hearing; and
- (b) the parties shall inform the Registry by letter at least 7 working days before the scheduled hearing as to the mode by which the proceedings will be recorded.
(5) The costs of engaging a service provider shall be paid by the parties directly to the service provider.
(6) Requests for certified transcripts of the official record of hearing shall be made by filing the requisite Request electronic form through the Electronic Filing Service at least 7 working days before the scheduled hearing.
(7) Sub-paragraph (6) shall apply to both civil and criminal proceedings.
22. Use of electronic and other devices
(1) In order to maintain the dignity of Court proceedings, the Honourable the Chief Justice has directed that, in all hearings in open Court or Chambers before a Judge or Registrar, video and/or image recording is strictly prohibited.
(2) Additionally, audio recording during a hearing is strictly prohibited without prior approval of the Judge or Registrar hearing the matter.
(3) Court users are permitted to use notebooks, tablets, mobile phones and other electronic devices to:
- (a) take notes of evidence and for other purposes pertaining to the proceedings in open Court or Chambers; or
- (b) communicate with external parties in all hearings in open Court,
provided that such use does not in any way disrupt or trivialise the proceedings.
(4) The attention of court users is also drawn to section 5 of the Administration of Justice (Protection) Act 2016 (Act No. 19 of 2016).
23.Certification of transcripts
Pursuant to Order 38A, Rule 2 of the Rules of Court, the Registrar hereby directs that transcripts of any record of hearing or notes of hearing may be certified by:
(1) the Judge or judicial officer having conduct of the proceedings;
(2) with the approval of the Court, the personal secretary to the Judge or judicial officer having conduct of the proceedings; or
(3) with the approval of the Court, the service provider.
24. Access to case file, inspection, taking copies and searches
Access by parties to a case file
(1) All parties to a case who are registered users of the Electronic Filing Service may, subject to this paragraph and any directions of the Court, access the online case file made available through the Electronic Filing Service and may inspect, download soft copies or print hard copies of documents accessible to the parties in the online case file.
(2) Where a party to a case is not a registered user and is unable to access the electronic case file through the Electronic Filing Service, the procedure governing file inspection by non-parties to a case in sub-paragraph (5) below shall be followed.
(3) All parties to a case shall have the liberty to make amendments at will to administrative details contained in the electronic case file through the Electronic Filing Service. Administrative details include the contact details of solicitors, the identities of the solicitors, and the nature of the claim. Where a party to a case is not a registered user of the Electronic Filing Service, he or she may attend at the service bureau to seek assistance to amend the administrative details contained in the electronic case file.
(4) The Registry may require parties to a case to provide supporting documents to substantiate proposed amendments to other details of the electronic case file before the amendment is approved. For example, amendments to add or remove a party to the case have to be supported by an order of court; and amendments to change the name, gender, identification number, or marital status of a party to the case have to be substantiated by documentary proof.
File inspection by non-parties or parties who are not registered users
(5) In order to inspect a case file, the following procedure should be followed:
- (a) A Request should be made to obtain leave to inspect the file. The Request should state the name of the person who is to carry out the search or inspection. If this person is not a solicitor, his identity card number should also be included in the Request after his name, and a copy of his identity card should be provided. The Request should also state the interest that the applicant has in the matter, and the reason for the search or inspection. If the search or inspection is requested for the purpose of ascertaining information for use in a separate suit or matter, the Request should clearly state the nature of the information sought and the relevance of such information to the separate suit or matter.
- (b) Once approval for inspection has been received from the Court,
- (i) registered users can inspect the case file online through the Electronic Filing Service;
- (ii) parties who are not registered users can inspect the case file by presenting a copy of the approval at the service bureau. After verifying the approval, the service bureau will assign the inspecting party a personal computer for the inspection to be carried out. An inspecting party will usually be allowed 60 minutes to carry out the inspection. If a longer period is required, the service bureau may impose a charge for use of the computer. The service bureau may impose additional charges for downloading soft copies or printing hard copies of documents from the case file being inspected.
(6) Solicitors must communicate to the Registrar in writing the names of their clerks who have their authority to make searches and inspections. Such authority may be in respect of a specific search or inspection or for a specified period.
(7) For the avoidance of doubt, a non-party that has obtained approval to inspect a case file may take and retain a soft copy of any document that is available for inspection. All copies of documents taken in the course of inspection should not be used for purposes other than those stated in the Request to inspect. Solicitors shall be responsible for informing their clients of this.
Obtaining certified true copies of documents
(8) Applications to obtain certified true paper copies of documents, should be made by way of filing a Request through the Electronic Filing Service.
- (a) The intended use of the certified true copies should be clearly stated in the Request. The relevance and necessity of the certified true copies in relation to their intended use should also be clearly described.
- (b) Once approval is received from the Court, the applicant should present a printed copy of the approved Request at the Legal Registry. After verifying that the Request has been approved, the Legal Registry will inform the applicant of any additional fees payable. Any additional fees should then be stamped on the Request at the Cashier’s Office at the Legal Registry. Upon presentation of this stamped Request, the documents will be furnished to the applicant.
- (c) The fees prescribed by Appendix B to the Rules of Court will be payable for the above services in addition to further printing charges which may be chargeable by the Court or the service bureau for reproducing the copies in paper form.
Electronic cause books and registers maintained by the Registry
(9) Order 60 of the Rules of Court provides that the Registry shall maintain information prescribed or required to be kept by the Rules of Court and Practice Directions issued by the Registrar. In addition to any provisions in the Rules of Court, the Registrar hereby directs that the following information shall be maintained by the Registry:
- (a) details of all originating processes, including:
- (i) details of interlocutory applications;
- (ii) details of appeals filed therein;
- (iii) details of admiralty proceedings;
- (iv) details of caveats filed against arrest of vessels;
- (v) details of probate proceedings, including wills and caveats filed therein;
- (vi) details of bankruptcy proceedings; and
- (vii) details of winding up proceedings against companies and limited liability partnerships;
- (b) details of writs of execution, writs of distress and warrants of arrest;
- (c) details of appeals filed in the Court of Appeal; and
- (d) any other information as may from time to time be found necessary.
(10) Searches of this information under Order 60, Rule 3 may be conducted through the Electronic Filing Service at a service bureau or at the Legal Registry. The fees prescribed by Appendix B to the Rules of Court will be payable for such searches.
(11) An application may be made by any person for a licence to use any information contained in any electronic cause book or register subject to such terms and conditions as the Registrar may determine. Successful applicants will be required to enter into separate technical services agreements with the Electronic Filing Service provider. Applications under this sub-paragraph must be made in writing, identifying the data fields sought and providing details of how the information will be used.
24A. Personal Data
(1) For the purposes of the following paragraphs:
- (a) “personal data” shall have the same meaning as defined in the Personal Data Protection Act 2012 (Act No. 26 of 2012); and
- (b) “data subject” means a person whose personal data appears in any document filed in the Registry or an electronic cause book or register maintained by the Registry.
Consent to collection, use or disclosure of personal data
(2) Consent to the collection, use or disclosure of personal data contained in any document filed with, served on, delivered or otherwise conveyed to the Registrar need not be obtained.
(3) Pursuant to Order 60, Rule 2 of the Rules of Court, the Registrar may compile and maintain electronic cause books and registers by extracting information, including personal data, contained in any document filed with, served on, delivered or otherwise conveyed to the Registrar.
Access to personal data
(4) Contained in documents filed with, served on, delivered or otherwise conveyed to the Registrar. A data subject who wishes to access his personal data contained in any document filed with, served on, delivered or otherwise conveyed to the Registrar must comply with the applicable provisions in the Rules of Court and these Practice Directions relating to the access to and inspection of case files. A data subject shall not be entitled to request information about the ways in which his personal data contained in any document filed with, served on, delivered or otherwise conveyed to the Registrar has been used or disclosed.
(5) Contained in electronic cause books and registers maintained by the Registry. A data subject who wishes to access his personal data contained in any electronic cause book or register must conduct a search through the Electronic Filing Service at a service bureau or at the Legal Registry and shall pay the fees prescribed by Appendix B to the Rules of Court. A data subject shall not be entitled to request information about the ways in which his personal data contained in any electronic cause book or register has been used or disclosed.
Correction of personal data
(6) Contained in documents filed with, served on, delivered or otherwise conveyed to the Registrar. A data subject who wishes to correct any error or omission in his personal data in any document filed with, served on, delivered or otherwise conveyed to the Registrar must comply with the applicable provisions in the Rules of Court and these Practice Directions relating to the amendment of the relevant document.
(7) Contained in electronic cause books and registers maintained by the Registry. A data subject who wishes to correct any error or omission of his personal data in any electronic cause book or register maintained by the Registry shall comply with the following procedure:
- (a) The request to correct the error or omission must be made in writing by the data subject or by his solicitor, together with the reason for the requested correction. The request must clearly identify the record and the personal data to be corrected;
- (b) If the data subject is not represented, his identity card number should also be included in the request and a copy of his identify card should be provided; and
- (c) The following documents should accompany the request:
- (i) recent copy of the record identifying the error or omission; and
- (ii) supporting document(s) to substantiate the proposed correction.
(8) Where a correction is made pursuant to a request under sub-paragraph (7), any information that is licensed for use under paragraph 24(11) will be updated accordingly with the corrected personal data.
25. Instruments creating power of attorney
(1) To deposit an instrument creating a power of attorney under Order 60, Rule 6 of the Rules of Court, the instrument and other supporting documents, if any, are to be filed, served, delivered or otherwise conveyed to the Court through the Electronic Filing Service or the service bureau.
(2) The directions set out in sub-paragraph (1) will also apply to a party who wishes to file a document which alters the powers created in an instrument that is filed, served, delivered or otherwise conveyed to the Court on or after 28 May 2002. If the document relates to an instrument that is presented for deposit before 28 May 2002, the document must be filed manually in hard copy form.
(3) The Legal Registry of the Supreme Court will not accept a document named as a deed of revocation if the deed only seeks to partially revoke the powers created in an instrument.
(4) Where the instrument creating a power of attorney is executed by a corporation and the corporation does not have a common seal, an affidavit in support of the application under Order 60, Rule 6 should be filed on behalf of the corporation:
- (a) to affirm the requirements for a valid execution of the power of attorney in accordance with the laws and practices of the corporation’s country of incorporation; and
- (b) to satisfy the Court that the requirements have been complied with.
(5) A party may rely on the same affidavit in a subsequent filing of separate instruments on behalf of the same corporation by indicating on the top right hand corner of the instrument the following statement: “Reference is made to affidavit of [name] filed on [date] in PA No. (xxxxxx) of (xxxx).”
(6) A party seeking to file an instrument creating a power of attorney executed before a notary public or under a corporate seal must produce the original instrument to the Legal Registry within one working day after filing the instrument. The application will be processed only after the original instrument is produced.
26. Filing directions to the Accountant-General for payment into and out of Court
(1) Where monies are sought to be paid into Court pursuant to a judgment or order of the Court, a copy of the judgment or order must be referenced in the draft direction to the Accountant-General for payment in and submitted to the Legal Registry of the Supreme Court for approval.
(2) Where monies are sought to be paid out of Court pursuant to a judgment or order of the Court, pursuant to the acceptance of a payment into Court made under Order 22 of the Rules of Court or pursuant to Order 57, Rule 11, a copy of the judgment or order, or of the notice in Form 32 of Appendix A to the Rules of Court, or of the written consent attached to the draft direction to the Accountant-General for payment out, must be submitted to the Legal Registry for approval.
(3) Each draft direction for payment into or payment out of Court shall contain amounts in a single currency. Where monies in different currencies are to be paid into or out of Court, separate draft directions must be prepared for each currency in which payment is to be made.
27. Requests and other Correspondence
(1) All Requests relating to or in connection with any pending cause or matter are to be made using the electronic forms available through the Electronic Filing Service. Where an electronic form is available through the Electronic Filing Service for the Request that is sought, the Registry has the discretion to refuse acceptance of other forms of written correspondence (including letters) and to refuse to act on such correspondence.
(1A) All correspondence to the Court relating to or in connection with any pending cause or matter shall be copied to all other parties to the cause or matter or to their solicitors unless there are good reasons for not so doing. Solicitors are further reminded that the Court should not be copied on correspondence between parties or their solicitors. The Registry has the discretion to reject or refuse to act on any inappropriate or ex parte correspondence.
(2) Apart from Requests coming within sub-paragraph (1), all correspondence relating to or in connection with any cause or matter before the Court of Appeal or a Judge shall be addressed to the Registrar.
(3) In addition, all letters should be captioned with the number of the cause to which they relate and the names of the parties. For example:
- Between AB (and ANOR or ORS, if there are 2 or more plaintiffs, as the case may be) and CD (and ANOR or ORS, if there are 2 or more defendants, as the case may be)
SUIT NO. 1 OF 2012 (if a writ action);
If the correspondence relates to an interlocutory application, the reference number of that application should be stated in the caption below the parties’ names. For example:
SUMMONS NO. 1 OF 2012
(4) Compliance with the directions in this paragraph will facilitate the expeditious location of the relevant cause file.
(5) A letter may be sent to the Court by a law firm using the Electronic Filing Service only.
If a letter is sent to the Court by a law firm in any other way, it is liable to be rejected. If a letter is sent to the Court by a law firm without the information specified in sub-paragraph (2), it is also liable to be rejected.
(6) Sub-paragraph (5) does not apply to litigants in person.
(7) Registrar’s Directions and Notices from the Registry will be sent to law firms who are registered users of the Electronic Filing Service through the Electronic Filing Service. Registered users are to ensure that the inbox of their Electronic Filing Service account(s) are checked and cleared regularly.
28. Authorisation for collection of mail and Court documents
(1) Without prejudice to sub-paragraphs (3) and (4), all law firms are required to notify the Legal Registry of the Supreme Court of the particulars of person(s) authorised to collect Court documents or mail from the Supreme Court on their behalf by submitting a request to authorise user through the Electronic Filing Service.
(2) Where such authorised persons are no longer so authorised, law firms are required to revoke or delete the authorisation immediately by submitting a request through the Electronic Filing Service. Until receipt of such notification of revocation or deletion, Court documents and mail shall continue to be released to such authorised persons upon production of evidence of identification.
(3) Any solicitor may collect Court documents and mail on behalf of his firm and any litigant in person may collect documents and mail intended for him in any matter in which he is a party.
(4) A law firm may authorise a courier service-provider to collect Court documents or mail from the Supreme Court on their behalf. At the time of collection, the courier service-provider should produce a letter of authorisation which is printed on the law firm’s letterhead and addressed to the courier service-provider. The said letter of authorisation should clearly state the case number, the name of the courier service-provider appointed to collect and the Court documents or mail to be collected. An employee or representative of the courier service-provider collecting the Court documents or mail may be requested to provide evidence that will allow the Supreme Court to verify that he is an employee or representative from the courier service-provider and will have to acknowledge receipt of the Court documents or mail collected.
29. Electronic payment of Court fees
Implementation of the electronic system for the payment of Court fees
(1) Notwithstanding anything in these Practice Directions, all Court fees not paid using the Electronic Filing Service must be paid by electronic means.
Modes of electronic payment
(2) Payment through electronic means includes payment effected by Interbank GIRO (IBG), NETS, Cashcards and selected credit cards. For law firms, payment by IBG would be the most appropriate mode of electronic payment. A law firm using IBG will authorise the Supreme Court to deduct the fees from its bank account upon lodgement of the prescribed lodgement form. The law firm will receive detailed reports on its IBG payments to facilitate accounting and help with bank reconciliation.
Scope of electronic system
(3) The electronic system covers all Court fees previously collected over-the-counter, hearing fees, mechanical recording services fees and fees for the use of the Technology Courts in the Supreme Court.
(4) Unless otherwise approved by the Registrar, payment of Court fees collected over-the-counter must be made by electronic means. The Registrar may, in any case, waive the requirement for the payment to be effected by electronic means, on such terms and conditions as he or she deems fit.
29A. Publication of and reports and comments on Court cases
(1) This paragraph applies to solicitors, litigants (whether acting by solicitors or in person), the media and all other persons reporting on or commenting about cases which are before any court (“court cases”). All categories of persons mentioned above are collectively referred to as “all concerned”.
(2) All concerned are reminded that reports or comments in public on court cases must not flout any existing law or order of court or be calculated to affect, or be reasonably capable of affecting, the outcome of any decision by the court.
(3) All concerned are not to publish, report or comment on publicly any affidavit or statutory declaration which has not been adduced as evidence or referred to in any hearing in open Court or in Chambers or any other court document which has not been served on the relevant party or parties in the court proceedings.
(4) All concerned are not to publish, report or comment on publicly any statements made in Chambers by anyone which is expressly stated to be confidential or is impliedly confidential. Solicitors may inform their clients of statements made in Chambers when it is necessary for them to render proper advice to their clients.
29B. Citation of Case Numbers
(1) All originating processes and summons filed in the Supreme Court on or after 1 January 2015 shall bear case numbers in the following format:
Description of Court/ Type of Application [Case number]/ Year filed
|Case Number Format||Type of Case|
|CA/CA [Case Number]/[Year filed]||Appeal to the Court of Appeal|
|HC/OS [Case Number]/[Year filed]||Originating Summons filed in the High Court|
|SIC/S [Case Number]/[Year filed]||Writ of Summons filed in the Singapore International Commercial Court|
(2) Parties are to cite the case number in full in all documents and correspondence which are submitted to the Court.