Part VIII: Documents and Authorities For Use In Court
- 69. Filing of documents and authorities for use in Court
- Bundle of authorities
- 70. Bundle of documents filed on setting down
- Directions for electronic creation and filing of bundles of documents
- 71. Documents for use in trials of writ actions in open Court
- Only opening statement to be filed through the Electronic Filing Service
- Timeline for filing documents
- Bundles of documents
- Bundles of authorities
- Opening statements
- 72. Bundles of authorities for other open Court hearings
- 73. Hearings in Chambers
- 73A. Written submissions and bundles of authorities for special date hearings
- 74. Citation of judgments
- Use of judgments as authorities in submissions
- Use of judgments from foreign jurisdictions
- Citation practice
- The neutral citation system for local judgments
- Ancillary provisions
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:
- (a) The bundle of authorities shall have a table of contents immediately after the first title page. Where the bundle of authorities consists of more than one volume, each volume shall have a table of contents clearly indicating the authorities that are contained in that volume.
- (b) The items in the table of contents shall be numbered sequentially, and bound in the order in which they are listed.
- (c) The table of contents shall contain a concise statement of the relevance of each authority to the specific issues before the Court. The relevance of each authority shall be succinctly expressed and comprise no more than 3 sentences. The statement shall be set out immediately after the name of the case. For example:
Cartier International BV v Lee Hock Lee and another application  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:
- (a) A bookmark should be created in the Portable Document Format (PDF) file for each authority in the bundle.
- (b) The name given to each bookmark should be the same as the table of contents.
- (c) The page number of each printed bundle must correspond to the page number in the Portable Document Format (PDF) version of that bundle. Each separate bundle of documents shall start at page 1 and every page shall be numbered consecutively.
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):
Filing documents when setting down (O. 34, r. 3)
- 3. —(1) The party setting down an action for trial must file with the Registrar, a notice for setting down an action for trial in Form 61 together with a bundle for the use of the Judge consisting of one copy of each of the following documents:
- (a) the writ;
- (b) the pleadings (including any affidavits ordered to stand as pleadings), any notice or order for particulars and the particulars given; and
- (c) all orders made on the summons for directions.
(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:
- (a) Index pages shall be prepared. Bookmarks should be created in the Portable Document Format (PDF) file for each such reference in the index. There should be as many book-marks in that PDF file as there are references in the index to documents in that PDF file.
- (b) The name given to each bookmark should be the same as the corresponding reference in the index.
- (c) The various PDF documents should be arranged chronologically or in some logical order.
- (d) The page number of each bundle of documents must correspond to the page number in the Portable Document Format (PDF) version of that bundle. Each separate bundle of documents shall start at page 1 and every page shall be numbered consecutively.
(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:
- (a) documents in the electronic case file; and
- (b) documents that have been uploaded into the electronic case file by solicitors or other persons given access to the shared folder in the electronic case file.
71. Documents for use in trials of writ actions in open Court
(1) This paragraph shall apply to trials in open Court of:
- (a) writ actions; and
- (b) originating summonses ordered to be continued as if the cause of action had been begun by writ.
(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:
- (a) The affidavits of the evidence-in-chief of all witnesses and the bundle of documents may be tendered to the Legal Registry of the Supreme Court in hard copy together with an electronic copy stored on a CD-ROM in Portable Document Format (PDF) and complying with the provisions of this paragraph.
- (b) A party may choose not to include the bundles of authorities in the CD-ROM and may instead tender it in hard copy.
(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:
- (a) the documents or any of them (save for the opening statement in cases where it is not required or dispensation was granted) were not filed and served within the prescribed time or at all; or
- (b) one party seeks to tender any of the above documents or supplements thereto (except for supplements to the opening statement at the trial of the cause or matter).
(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.
- (a) An index of contents of each bundle in the manner and form set out in Form 10 of Appendix A of these Practice Directions must also be furnished. No bundle of documents is necessary in cases where parties are not relying on any document at the trial.
- (b) Under Order 34, Rule 3A(3) it is the responsibility of solicitors for all parties to agree and prepare an agreed bundle as soon as possible. The scope to which the agreement extends must be stated in the index sheet of the agreed bundle.
- (c) The documents in the bundles should:
- (i) be firmly secured together with plastic ring binding or plastic spine thermal binding. The rings or spines should be red for plaintiffs and blue for defendants with a transparent plastic cover in front and at the back;
- (ii) have flags to mark out documents to which repeated references will be made in the course of hearing. Such flags shall bear the appropriate indicium by which the document is indicated in the index of contents. Flags shall be spaced out evenly along the right side of the bundle so that, as far as possible, they do not overlap one another; and
- (iii) be legible. Clear and legible photocopies of original documents may be exhibited instead of the originals provided the originals are made available for inspection by the other parties before the hearing and by the Judge at the hearing.
- (d) Where originals and copies of documents are included in one bundle, it should be stated in the index which documents are originals and which are copies.
- (e) Only documents which are relevant or necessary for the trial shall be included in the bundles. In cases where the Court is of the opinion that costs have been wasted by the inclusion of unnecessary documents, the Court will have no hesitation in making a special order for costs against the relevant person.
- (f) A core bundle should also be provided, unless one is clearly unnecessary. The core bundle should contain the most important documents upon which the case will turn or to which repeated reference will have to be made. The documents in this bundle should not only be paginated but should also be cross-referenced to copies of the documents included in the main bundles. The bundle supplied to the Court should be contained in a loose-leaf file which can easily have further documents added to it if required.
Bundles of authorities
(12) In addition to requirements set out in paragraph 69(5) of these Practice Directions, the bundle of authorities must:
- (a) contain all the authorities, cases, statutes, subsidiary legislation and any other materials relied on;
- (b) be arranged in the following order – statutes in alphabetical order of the title, subsidiary legislation in alphabetical order of the title, cases in alphabetical order of the case name, secondary materials (such as textbooks and articles) in alphabetical order of the last name of the author, and any other materials in alphabetical order of the title or last name of the author as is appropriate;
- (c) be properly bound with plastic ring binding or plastic spine thermal binding. The rings or spines should be red for plaintiffs and blue for defendants with a transparent plastic cover in front and at the back;
- (d) have flags to mark out the authorities. Such flags shall bear the appropriate indicium by which the authority is referred to. Flags shall be spaced out evenly along the right side of the bundle so that as far as possible they do not overlap one another;
- (e) be paginated consecutively at the top right hand corner of each page. Pagination should commence on the first page of the first bundle and run sequentially to the last page of the last bundle; and
- (f) contain an index of the authorities in that bundle and be appropriately flagged for easy reference; and
- (g) be legible. Clear legible photocopies of original authorities may be exhibited instead of the originals provided the originals are made available for inspection by the other parties before the hearing and by the Judge at the hearing.
(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.
(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.
- (a) Opening statements will be required from all parties in all cases commenced by writ in the High Court, except where dispensation has been granted by the Court and in motor vehicle accident actions.
- (b) All opening statements must include the following:
- (i) the nature of the case generally and the background facts insofar as they are relevant to the matter before the Court and indicating which facts, if any, are agreed;
- (ii) the precise legal and factual issues involved are to be identified with cross-references as appropriate to the pleadings. These issues should be numbered and listed, and each point should be stated in no more than one or two sentences. The object here is to identify the issues in dispute and state each party’s position clearly, not to argue or elaborate on them;
- (iii) the principal authorities in support of each legal proposition should be listed, while the key documents and witnesses supporting each factual proposition should be identified;
- (iv) where there is a counterclaim or third party action, the opening statement must similarly address all issues raised therein; and
- (v) an explanation of the reliefs claimed (if these are unusual or complicated).
- (c) In cases where the Court is of the opinion that costs or hearing days have been wasted by a poorly drafted opening statement, the Court will have no hesitation in making a special order for costs against the relevant person.
- (d) The following format shall be adhered to when preparing opening statements:
- (i) all pages shall be paginated, with the first page (including the cover page) numbered as ‘Page 1’ so that the page numbers of the hard copy correspond to the page numbers in the Portable Document Format (PDF) version;
- (ii) the minimum font size to be used is Times New Roman 12 or its equivalent;
- (iii) the print of every page shall be double spaced;
- (iv) each page may be printed on one side or both sides; and
- (v) every page shall have a margin on all 4 sides, each of at least 35 mm in width.
- (e) All opening statements should not exceed 20 pages (including all annexes and appendices, but excluding the cover page and backing page).
- (f) Opening statements may be amended at trial, but counsel will be expected to explain the reasons for the amendments.
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:
- (a) submit to the Court and serve on the other party a hard copy of the following documents at least 1 clear day in advance of the hearing
- (i) written submissions; and
- (ii) bundle of authorities (which are in compliance with the requirements under paragraphs 69(5), 71(12) to (13) of these Practice Directions); and
- (b) file a soft copy of his written submissions using the Electronic Filing Service no later than 1 working day after the hearing.
(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:
- (a) draw the attention of the Court to any local judgment that may be relevant to whether the Court should accept the proposition that the foreign judgment is said to establish; and
- (b) ensure that such citation will be of assistance to the development of local jurisprudence on the particular issue in question.
(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.
- The following are examples of law reports that should be used for citation:
|Jurisdiction||Law Reports (in order of preference)|
1. Singapore Law Reports (2010 - ) (SLR current series)
2. Singapore Law Reports (Reissue) SLR (R))
3. Singapore Law Reports (1965-2009) (SLR 1965-2009)
4. Malayan Law Journal (MLJ)
Malayan Law Journal (MLJ)
(c) England & Wales
1. Law Reports published by the Incorporated Council of Law Reporting (e.g. Queen's Bench (QB), Appeal Cases (AC), Chancery (Ch), Family (Fam), Probate (P)
2. Weekly Law Reports (WLR)
3. All England Law Reports (All ER)
1. Commonwealth Law Reports (CLR)
2. Australian Law Reports (ALR)
1. Supreme Court Reports (SCR)
2. Federal Court Reports (FC)
3. Dominion Law Reports (DLR)
(f) New Zealand
New Zealand Law Reports (NZLR)
(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:
- (a) Cases reported in the Singapore Law Reports shall be cited using their Singapore Law Reports citations, in priority to their neutral citations.
- (b) Unreported decisions shall be cited using their neutral citations.
- SGCA – Singapore Court of Appeal
- SGHC – Singapore High Court
- SGHCR – Singapore High Court Registrar
EXAMPLE AND EXPLANATION
ABC Co Pte Ltd v XYZ Co Ltd  SGCA 5, at , . Year of the decision :  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
(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.