The PTC is a pro-active case management process. PTCs reflect the court's approach to the administration of justice, which considers the interests of litigants, the administration of justice, and the communitarian need to ensure that the court's limited time and resources for the adjudication of disputes are not wasted by any litigant or set of litigants.
Upon the acceptance for filing of the Writ of Summons in the High Court, the Registry will schedule the first Pre-Trial Conference. The date and time of the hearing will be annotated on the Writ which will be returned to the parties upon the Court’s acceptance of the Writ. A sample of the annotated date of the PTC hearing can be found here.
If the Writ of Summons has already been served, PTCs are conducted within eight weeks from the date of the service of the writ or the filing of the Memorandum of Appearance. If the Writ of Summons has not been served, a PTC is held six weeks from the commencement date of the Writ of Summons.
At the PTC, the Registrar enquires about the status of the actions commenced from the solicitors. Directions will then be given for parties to proceed with the matters in an expeditious and fair manner.
A matter may go through several sessions of PTC. Parties who have reached a settlement at the PTC may record the settlement before the Registrar. Otherwise, trial dates are given for matters that cannot be settled.
As part of the effort to promote the efficacious and amicable resolution of disputes, an ADR Form (“Form”) has been introduced for Writs filed from 1 December 2013 for parties’ consideration. Directions on the completion and submission of the Form will be given at the first pre-trial conference by the registrar.
To promote discussion during a PTC of the possibility of settlement, the Rules of Court provide that no communication of facts disclosed or of any matter considered in the course of a PTC shall be made to the court conducting the trial of the action or proceedings.
PTCs are conducted by the Registrar of the Supreme Court on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.