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Part VIII: Documents and Authorities For Use In Court

69. Filing of documents and authorities for use in Court

(1) Subject to any directions in these Practice Directions to the contrary, in particular paragraphs 71(3) and 104, all documents for use at any hearing in Court must be filed using the Electronic Filing Service at least 1 clear day in advance of the hearing. These documents include written submissions, skeletal arguments, bundles of documents, bundles of pleadings, bundles of affidavits, core bundles and all opening statements.

(2) In the event that it is not possible to file the documents in advance of the hearing, counsel may apply to the Judge or Registrar conducting the hearing for leave to use paper documents during the hearing. The paper documents may be printed on one side or both sides of each page. The solicitor must explain why it was not possible to file the documents in advance of the hearing, and must also give an undertaking to file using the Electronic Filing Service all the documents used at the hearing by the next working day after the hearing. Any document not filed using the Electronic Filing Service will not be included in the Court’s case file.

Bundle of authorities

(3) Bundles of authorities may be filed, served, delivered or otherwise conveyed using the Electronic Filing Service. A party may also choose not to file bundles of authorities and may instead use these for hearings in paper form according to the directions in this Part.

(4) The party using the paper copy of the bundle of authorities shall bear the onus of producing the bundle at every hearing at which it is required. The paper copy of the bundle of authorities may be printed on one side or both sides of each page. The Court will neither retain nor undertake to produce for hearings the paper copy of the bundle. The Judge or Registrar may, if he or she so chooses, retain the paper copy of the bundle of authorities for his or her own reference. The paper copy so retained will not, however, form part of the Court’s record in respect of the proceedings in which it was used.

(5) Counsel must adhere to the following directions when preparing bundles of authorities for use in Court. These requirements shall also apply to paragraphs 71 to 73 of these Practice Directions:

Cartier International BV v Lee Hock Lee and another application

[1992] 3 SLR 340

Relevance: Where the Court is asked to punish an alleged contemnor by incarceration, the charge against him must be proved to the high standard required in a criminal charge.

Rickshaw Investments Ltd and another v Nicolai Baron von Uexkull \[2007\] 1 SLR(R) 377

Relevance: Choice of law considerations are relevant even when determining the natural forum to hear a dispute.

(6) The Court may reject bundles of authorities that are not in compliance with sub-paragraph (5) above, and in exercising its discretion as to costs, take such non-compliance into account.

(7) Where electronic bundles of authorities are filed through the Electronic Filing Service, the following shall apply:

70. Bundle of documents filed on setting down

(1) Order 34, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court requires a bundle containing certain documents to be filed together with the notice for setting down. The documents in the bundle should be included in the order in which these appear in Order 34, Rule 3(1):

(2) In addition, parties should endeavour to file a core bundle of documents. This core bundle should comprise only documents that are relevant to the hearing in question, or which will be referred to in the course of the hearing.

(3) These documents must be prepared in an electronic format. If there are other documents, the relevance of which is uncertain, these documents should be included and any objections taken before the trial Judge.

Directions for electronic creation and filing of bundles of documents

(4) The following directions shall apply to the filing of bundles:

(5) For proceedings using the Electronic Filing Service, a bundle of documents may be created online and filed through the Electronic Filing Service. The electronic bundle shall be created in Portable Document Format (PDF). The electronic bundle may contain:

71. Documents for use in trials of writ actions in open Court

(1) This paragraph shall apply to trials in open Court of:

(2) Order 34, Rule 3A of the Rules of Court requires the originals of the affidavits of the evidence-in-chief of all witnesses, a bundle of documents and the opening statements to be filed not less than 5 working days before the trial of an action. In addition, to improve the conduct of civil proceedings and to reduce the time taken in the presentation of cases in Court, the respective solicitors of the parties shall also prepare a bundle of authorities, which shall also be filed and served along with the documents on all relevant parties.

Only opening statement to be filed through the Electronic Filing Service

(3) The opening statement must be filed in Court as a separate document using the Electronic Filing Service. With the exception of opening statements, the following documents need not be filed through the Electronic Filing Service:

(4) Any Court fees payable, pursuant to Appendix B of the Rules of Court, on filing the documents in this sub-paragraph, shall be payable at the cashier at the Legal Registry. Parties should, when making payment at the cashier, indicate to the cashier the precise number of pages which comprise the documents.

(5) Payment of the Court fees on such documents should be made before the documents are filed in Court in compliance with Order 34, Rule 3A. As such, the hard copy of documents tendered to Court should show, on the front page, the amount of Court fees paid on the document.

(6) The electronic copy must tally in all respects with the hard copy, as it will be uploaded into the case file by the Legal Registry staff and will form part of the electronic case file. The page numbers of the hard copy must correspond to the page numbers in the Portable Document Format (PDF) version. Unnecessarily large electronic files should not be submitted. Parties should adhere as far as possible to the guidelines set out on the Electronic Filing Service website (www.elitigation.sg) on the resolution to be used when scanning documents into PDF.

(7) In the event that parties elect to electronically file such documents, they must nevertheless tender a bundle of these documents to the Legal Registry in hard copy. It shall not be necessary to pay any additional Court fees in respect of the hard copy in such circumstances.

Timeline for filing documents

(8) Parties are to note that the timeline in Order 34, Rule 3A (ie. not less than 5 days before the trial) is to be adhered to strictly, and that it will in particular apply to the electronic copy on CD-ROM and the filing of the opening statement as a separate document.

(9) At the trial of the cause or matter, an adjournment may be ordered if:

(10) If an adjournment is ordered for any of the reasons set out in sub-paragraph (9), the party in default may be ordered to bear the costs of the adjournment.

Bundles of documents

(11) The bundle of documents required to be filed by Order 34, Rule 3A should be paginated consecutively throughout at the top right hand corner and may be printed on one side or both sides of each page.

Bundles of authorities

(12) In addition to requirements set out in paragraph 69(5) of these Practice Directions, the bundle of authorities must:

(13) Only authorities which are relevant or necessary for the trial shall be included in the bundles. No bundle of authorities is necessary in cases where parties are not relying on any authority at the trial. In cases where the Court is of the opinion that costs have been wasted by the inclusion of unnecessary authorities, the Court will have no hesitation in making a special order for costs against the relevant person.

Opening statements

(14) A proper opening statement is of great assistance to the Court as it sets out the case in a nutshell, both as to facts and law. It is intended to identify both for the parties and the Judge the issues that are, and are not, in dispute. It enables the Judge to appreciate what the case is about, and what he is to look out for when reading and listening to the evidence that will follow. The need for brevity is emphasised as opening statements that contain long and elaborate arguments, and citations from and references to numerous authorities, do not serve this purpose.

72. Bundles of authorities for other open Court hearings

(1) In all criminal proceedings and civil and criminal appeals heard in open Court in the High Court, counsel shall submit their own bundle of authorities. In this regard, paragraph 71(12) to (13) shall, mutatis mutandis, be complied with.

(2) In all criminal proceedings and civil and criminal appeals heard in open Court in the Court of Appeal, as well as disciplinary proceedings (or appeals therefrom) brought under any statute, including the Legal Profession Act and the Medical Registration Act which are heard by a Court of 3 Judges, counsel shall submit a soft copy of the bundle of authorities in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) together with the other documents required to be submitted under paragraph 88(3).

(3) With regard to soft copy bundles of authorities, the requirements set out in paragraphs 69(5), 71(12)(a), 71(12)(b) and 71(13) shall be complied with. The soft copy bundle of authorities shall contain electronic bookmarks to each case therein, bearing the name of each of the cases for easy electronic access. The page numbers of any hard copy bundle of authorities must correspond to the page numbers in the Portable Document Format (PDF) version.

73. Hearings in Chambers

(1) In all hearings in Chambers before a Judge or Registrar, counsel shall submit their own bundles of documents (where necessary) and bundles of authorities. Order 34, Rule 3A of the Rules of Court and the requirements of paragraph 71(11) to (13) shall, mutatis mutandis, be complied with in this regard, save that the bundles may be submitted at the hearing itself before the Judge or Registrar, as the case may be.

(2) The party using the paper copy of the bundle of authorities should file through Electronic Filing Service a list of authorities to be used at least one clear day in advance of the hearing. In the event that it is not possible for the party to do so, he must explain to the Judge or Registrar conducting the hearing why it was not possible for him to do so and must also undertake to file the list of authorities using Electronic Filing Service by the next working day after the hearing.

73A. Written submissions and bundles of authorities for special date hearings

(1) For any contested special date hearing before a Judge in the High Court, each party shall:

(2) If any party does not intend to rely on written submissions at the contested hearing referred to in sub-paragraph (1) above (e.g., where the hearing does not involve complex issues), the party should seek the Court’s approval for a waiver by way of a Request using the Electronic Filing Service at least 7 days before the hearing.

(3) This paragraph does not apply to any hearing before a Judge which is fixed on the normal list. However, parties are encouraged to adhere to the directions set out in sub-paragraph (1) above if the application will be contested. In the event that this is not done, the Judge may adjourn the hearing to enable the filing of written submissions or bundle of authorities if appropriate.

(4) For any special date hearing before a Registrar, any party who wishes to rely on written submissions at the hearing is required to comply with sub-paragraph (1) above.

(5) This paragraph does not apply to any hearings for which specific directions on the filing of written submissions or bundle of authorities are provided for in these Practice Directions.

74. Citation of judgments

(1) The Honourable the Chief Justice has directed that counsel who wish to cite a judgment as authority in support of their oral or written submissions shall adhere to the following directions. These directions are intended to provide guidance to advocates and solicitors as to (a) the extent to which it is necessary to deploy both local and foreign judgments in support of their case; and (b) the practice of citing such judgments.

Use of judgments as authorities in submissions

(2) Counsel who cite a judgment must state the proposition of law that the judgment establishes and the parts of the judgment that support that proposition. Such statements should not excessively add to the length of the submission but should be sufficient to demonstrate the relevance of that judgment to the argument made. Where counsel wish to cite more than two judgments as authority for a given proposition, there must be a compelling reason to do so, and this reason must be provided by counsel in the submissions.

(3) The Court will also pay particular attention to any indication in the cited judgment that the judgment (i) only applied decided law to the facts of the particular case; or (ii) did not extend or add to the existing law.

Use of judgments from foreign jurisdictions

(4) Judgments from other jurisdictions can, if judiciously used, provide valuable assistance to the Court. However, where there are in existence local judgments which are directly relevant to the issue, such judgments should be cited in precedence to foreign judgments. Relevant local judgments will be accorded greater weight than judgments from foreign jurisdictions. This will ensure that the Courts are not unnecessarily burdened with judgments made in jurisdictions with differing legal, social or economic contexts.

(5) In addition, counsel who cite a foreign judgment must:

Citation practice

(6) Counsel who cite a judgment must use the official series of the law report(s) or, if the official series is not available, any other law report series in which the judgment was published. Counsel should refrain from referring to (or including in the bundle of authorities) copies of judgments which are printed out from electronic databases, unless (a) such judgments are not available in any law report series; or (b) the print-outs are the exact copies of the judgments in the law report series.

(7) Counsel should, where possible, make specific citations by referring to the paragraph number of the judgment, and not to the page number of the judgment or report. For consistency, square brackets ([xx]) should be used to denote paragraph numbers. The paragraph mark (¶) should no longer be used.

The neutral citation system for local judgments

(8) A neutral citation is a Court-approved system of citation which is independent of the series of law reports or other publication, and unique to each written judgment. Each written judgment from a particular level of Court is assigned a sequential number, starting from 1 at the beginning of each calendar year. The application of the system is as follows:

ABC Co Pte Ltd v XYZ Co Ltd [2003] SGCA 5, at [3], [8].
Year of the decision : [2003]
Level of Court         : SGCA (Singapore Court of Appeal)
Sequential Number   : 5 (fifth written judgment rendered by the Court of Appeal in 2003)
Paragraph Number(s): Paragraphs 3 and 8 of the judgment

Ancillary provisions

(9) The Court in exercising its discretion as to costs may, where appropriate in the circumstances, take into account the extent to which counsel has complied with this practice direction in the citation of judgments before the Court.

(10) It will remain the duty of counsel to draw the attention of the Court to any judgment not cited by an opponent, which is adverse to the case being advanced.

(11) In addition, counsel should also comply with paragraphs 71(12) and 71(13) when preparing bundles of authorities for use in trials of writ actions in open Court.

(12) This paragraph applies to all hearings, whether in open Court or chambers, in the Supreme Court.