Frequently Asked Questions on Supreme Court Operations during the "Relevant Period" (7 Apr - 1 June 2020)

FAQs


1. I understand that only matters that are “essential and urgent” will be heard by the Court during the Relevant Period. What are “essential and urgent” matters?

Schedule 1 of the Registrar’s Circular No 4 of 2020 sets out the matters which may be considered “essential and urgent”. They are:

High Court

Criminal Matters

1. A Magistrate’s Appeal involving an appellant whose sentence of imprisonment would be completed within or shortly after the Relevant Period.

2. A Magistrate’s Appeal involving a sentence of caning, where the accused person is approaching 50 years of age.

3. An application for an order for review of detention.

4. An application concerning bail or review of bail.

5. An application for stay of judicial execution.

6. A request for any matter to be heard urgently that is assessed to be urgent.

Civil Matters (including SICC matters where applicable)

7. A application for urgent injunction or search order.

8. An application to set aside an injunction or search order.

9. An application for the arrest or release of a vessel.

10. An application for the discharge of dangerous or perishable cargo.

11. An application for the judicial sale of a vessel, where the safety of the crew is a concern.

12. An appeal to the High Court under the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act 2019.

13. An application under the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act, the Terrorism (Suppression of Financing) Act or the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act, if indicated by the Attorney-General’s Chambers to be urgent and assessed to be urgent.

14. An application for urgent judicial review, e.g. in relation to implementation of COVID-19 measures.

15. An application under the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act.

16. An appeal to the High Court under the Protection from Harassment Act, if there are issues of personal safety involved.

17. Certain applications for extension of time or variation of court orders relating to insolvency and restructuring matters.

18. Certain applications for interim payments in personal injury cases.

19. An application for stay of execution of a civil judgment.

20. Committal proceeding in respect of a person who is subject to an outstanding warrant of arrest and who needs to be produced before a Court within 48 hours.

21. A request for any matter to be heard urgently that is assessed to be urgent.

Court of Appeal

22. An appeal involving a matter falling within the list of urgent High Court matters above.

23. An application for expedited appeal to the Court of Appeal.

24. Matters involving child custody or access issues.

25. A request for any matter to be heard urgently that is assessed to be urgent.


2. I have an urgent hearing during the Relevant Period. How are hearings conducted?

Generally, hearings will be conducted through electronic means of communication, unless otherwise directed by the Court. You should have received a Registrar’s Notice from the Supreme Court with the hearing details, including the date and time of the hearing and instructions on joining the hearing by video-conference if you have a hearing during the Relevant Period.

Please familiarise yourself with the Guide on the Use of Video Conferencing and Telephone Conferencing & Video Conferencing for Hearings before the Duty Registrar, which is available on the Supreme Court website and also available directly at https://go.gov.sg/vc-tc-guide-2020.


3. Who can I contact if I have a hearing related query during this time?

You may access the Supreme Court’s website and e-services for information, for example, relating to Hearings.

Alternatively, you may contact the Registry by phone or email:

Email: SUPCOURT_Registry@supcourt.gov.sg
Telephone: 6557 7495
Operating hours: 9am – 5.30pm (Mondays to Thursdays) and 9am – 5pm (Fridays)

If you know the name and/or telephone number of the Case Management Officer (“CMO”) for your matter, you may wish to call the CMO directly or mark your correspondence to the attention of the CMO.

If you have an urgent query, the email subject should state the relevant details such as, “[Urgent Query][Case Number][Case Name]”, as may be applicable.


4. What services and facilities will be available in the Supreme Court during the Relevant period?

The Supreme Court will continue to provide court services for essential and urgent matters during the Relevant Period.

Parties and their representatives should not attend or visit the Supreme Court during the Relevant Period for requests that are not essential and urgent, including but not limited to, any request for service by the Court process server, for inspection of a case file in person, for taking of hard copies of documents or for any enforcement action.

During the Relevant Period, parties should, instead of attending at the Supreme Court to tender documents in hard copy or in any media storage devices, including CD-ROMs, send by AR registered post soft copy documents contained in CD-ROMS (as may be applicable) to the Court. Parties may continue to file documents electronically through the e-litigation system.

The Information Counter, Library, Commissioner for Oaths counter, Community Justice Centre, Judicial Heritage Gallery and Chilli Api cafe will be closed.


5. Are judgments still being delivered?

As set out in paragraph 2 of the Registrar’s Circular No. 4 of 2020, the Court may continue to deliver judgments during the Relevant Period.


6. Will I be able to attend at the Supreme Court personally to inspect case files during the Relevant Period?

The Supreme Court Registry will provide court services for essential and urgent matters only during the Relevant Period. All other requests for inspection of a case file in person should be conducted after the Relevant Period.


7. Is the LawNet Service Bureau still operational?

The Supreme Court Service Bureau at Supreme Court building (Level 1) will remain operational during this period to support essential and urgent matters.

The Chinatown Point Service Bureau will be closed until 1 June 2020 and will resume operations on 2 June 2020. 

For more information, please refer to https://www.elitigation.sg.


8. Can I submit hard copy documents to the Court’s Registry?

During the Relevant Period, parties should, instead of attending at the Supreme Court to tender documents in hard copy or in any media storage devices, including CD-ROMs, send by AR registered post soft copy documents contained in CD-ROMS (as may be applicable) to the Court. Parties may continue to file documents eletronically through the e-litigation system.


9. I have a matter initially scheduled for hearing during the Relevant Period but I have yet to receive any Registrar’s Notice on whether the hearing will proceed. How can I check if the hearing will proceed as scheduled?

You may email the Supreme Court Registry at Supcourt_Registry@supcourt.gov.sg on any urgent query with the email subject stating the relevant details such as, “[Urgent Query][Case Number][Case Name]”.


10. During the Relevant Period, how do I go about applying for an audio recording/transcript of the hearing conducted for my case?

Applications for audio recordings or transcripts can be made by filling in the request form which is available in the e-litigation system. Our service provider, Epiq Singapore Pte. Ltd, will contact you directly on the retrieval of the audio recordings. Transcripts will be sent to you electronically in pdf format.  

For any other queries pertaining to audio and transcripts request, please write in to DTS@supcourt.gov.sg.


11. Is there any court etiquette when attending a hearing remotely?

All hearings conducted using video-conferencing proceed as if the parties are appearing before the Court in person. All court rules of dress and etiquette will continue to apply. You can refer to the Supreme Court website here for more details. However, it will not be necessary to stand and/or bow to the Court at the start or end of the hearing, or to stand when addressing the Court as for physical attendance.