Frequently Asked Questions on Supreme Court Operations in the Immediate Post “Circuit Breaker” Period (From 2 June 2020)

FAQs


1. What cases will be heard in the Supreme Court after the circuit breaker period?

All hearings will resume from 8 June 2020.


2. How will hearings be conducted after the Circuit Breaker period?

Hearings will be largely conducted through electronic means of communication. Please refer to Schedule 1 of Registrar’s Circular No. 3 of 2020 here (PDF, 62.35 KB), which sets out the types of hearings which may be conducted by video conferencing or telephone conferencing.

If you have a hearing, 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 where applicable, instructions on joining the hearing by video-conference.

Please familiarise yourself with the Guide on the Use of Video Conferencing and Telephone Conferencing, and 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.

Unauthorised audio or visual recording of hearings is strictly prohibited and in appropriate cases, the Court may require an undertaking that no such recording will be made. Your attention is drawn to sections 4 and 5 of the Administration of Justice (Protection) Act 2016 (Act No. 19 of 2016) read with section 28(11) of the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act 2020 (Act 14 of 2020) regarding contempt of court by disobedience of court order or breach of undertaking, and contempt of court by unauthorised audio or visual recordings.

All parties are to ensure that the preparation, presentation and conduct of court hearings after 1 June 2020 comply strictly with all safe distancing and other applicable measures required, under the laws of Singapore, or prescribed by the Court, to minimise the local transmission of COVID-19.


3. Do I need to wear a mask in court?

Masks are to be worn in the court premises at all times; unless otherwise directed.


4. Who can I contact if I have a hearing-related query?

You may access the Supreme Court’s website and e-services for information on the list of hearings and other hearing-related information. Alternatively, you may contact the Registry by phone or email:

Email: SUPCOURT_Registry@supcourt.gov.sg
Telephone: 6557 7495
Operating hours: 9.00am – 5.30pm (Mondays to Thursdays) and 9.00am – 5.00pm (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.


5. I am a litigant-in-person. Can I participate in a hearing via video-conference?

Litigants-in-person are strongly encouraged to use video conferencing or telephone conferencing, where available. Litigants-in-person who are unable to do so should notify the Supreme Court Registry within the time specified in the notice, before the hearing, of their intention to attend Court physically for the said hearing.


6. As a party to a case, can I sit in for a hearing conducted via Zoom?

Lawyers may write in to the Supreme Court’s Registry to request for their clients to dial-in and attend Zoom hearings remotely. Such requests are however, subject to approval.


7. Can I attend open court hearings even if it is held remotely?

Members of the public can attend open court hearings. The seating capacity of the public gallery of each courtroom is subject to safe distancing measures and a maximum limit of 50people including judges, court officers, counsel and clients. Admission into courtrooms is on a first-come-first-served basis.

Hearings conducted using Zoom will be streamed on TV screens in the courtrooms.


8. I wish to attend a court hearing. Is there a need to register?

There is no need to register to attend a court hearing. However, all visitors will be subject to temperature screenings and be required to make health/isolation order declarations before they enter the court premises. Visitors will not be permitted to enter if they are unwell or if they have had contact with any confirmed/suspected cases within the last 14 days. In addition, all visitors must “check in” using the SafeEntry application when entering the court building and “check out” on the same application when exiting.


9. What services and facilities will be available in the Supreme Court?

The Supreme Court Registry will resume normal operations after 2 June 2020.

From 1 Dec 2020, the Supreme Court Library will be opened from Mon to Fri (excluding public holidays), 10am - 12 noon. Due to safe distancing measures, the Library can only accommodate up to 20 people at any one time. 

The Learning Court, Judicial Heritage Gallery and Chilli Api cafe will remain closed until further notice.


10. Will I be able to attend personally at the Supreme Court Registry to inspect case files?

Requests for inspection of a case file in person may be made. For more details, please refer to the Supreme Court website here.


11. Is the LawNet Service Bureau still operational?

The LawNet Service Bureau at Supreme Court building (Level 1) is operational during the following hours:

8.30am – 12.30pm and 2.00pm – 5.00pm (Mondays to Fridays)

The LawNet Service Bureau at Chinatown Point will resume operations from 2 June 2020. 

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


12. Is the Singapore Mediation Centre still operational?

The Singapore Mediation Centre at Supreme Court building (Level 4) is operational during the following hours:

9.00am – 4.30pm (Mondays to Fridays)

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


13. Can I submit hard copy documents to the Supreme Court Registry?

Yes. Unless the Court otherwise directs, any requirement under the Rules of Court, the Supreme Court Practice Directions or the Court’s directions to tender to the Court documents in hard copy or in any media storage devices (including CD-ROMS) must be complied with. Parties may continue to file documents electronically through the eLitigation system.


14. 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.


15. 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.


16. Are Commissioner for Oaths (CFOs) services available?

CFO services at Supreme Court will be available from 2 Jun 2020 by appointments only. Deponents/declarants who wish to affirm, swear or take their affidavits and statutory declarations to be used in Supreme Court proceedings are requested to contact the Interpreters Section by phone or email to make an appointment at least one working day in advance:

Email: SUPCOURT_Head_Interpreters@supcourt.gov.sg 
Telephone: 6557 7459
Operating hours: 9.00am – 5.30pm (Mondays to Thursdays) and 9.00am – 5.00pm (Fridays)

For more information on CFO services, please refer to the Supreme Court website here.


17. Are the legal services provided by the Community Justice Centre (CJC) available?

The CJC satellite office on Level 1 of Supreme Court will be available during the following operating hours with effect from 1 September 2020:

10.00am - 12.30pm and 2.30pm – 5.00pm (Thursdays)

The services available through CJC at the Supreme Court building will include:

(a)  On-site lawyer to provide legal advice for Litigants-In-Person (LIP) involved in bankruptcy cases;

(b) Friend of Litigants-in-Person (FLiP) volunteer, should the LIP require emotional or procedural support; and      

(c)  University Court Friends for administrative support.


18. Where can I get more information?

All court users and visitors are advised to refer to the Supreme Court website at https://www.supremecourt.gov.sg for the latest information and updates, prior to visiting the Court premises.