Order of Proceedings

The proceedings in a trial as prescribed in Order 35 of the Rules of Court are structured with the objective of enabling the parties to produce evidence in support of their respective contentions.

It is up to the judge to decide whether he or she needs to hear opening speeches from the parties before hearing the evidence. The party who addresses the Court first is usually the plaintiff in the action, unless the burden of proof in the case lies with the defendant. The plaintiff may begin by introducing the facts and the issues to the Court, before calling his witnesses to the witness stand to give evidence in Court. As the Affidavits of Evidence-in-chief for all witnesses would generally have been exchanged before the trial, examination-in-chief is usually a very short process. This is followed the Defendant’s cross-examination of the plaintiff’s witnesses. If the plaintiff’s witnesses are cross-examined by the defendant, the plaintiff is entitled to re-examine his witnesses. Once all the plaintiff’s witnesses have completed re-examination, the plaintiff’s case is closed.

The defendant’s case will thereafter open and the defendant’s witnesses will be called to the witness stand and examined in a manner similar to that outlined in the previous paragraph. After all the witnesses have given their evidence, the Court may hear oral closing submissions or seek written closing submissions.

At the conclusion of the trial of an action, the judge may render his decision or reserve his judgment to be delivered at a later time. The issue of costs between the parties will usually be determined after the judge has rendered his decision on the action; parties will be required to file their Costs Schedule to state the amount of costs they are seeking so that the Judge may consider the same.

For more information on the costs guidelines applicable to trials in general, please refer to Appendix G of the Supreme Court Practice Directions.

The Court Fees payable for the filing of the documents in respect of Trial may be found in Appendix B of the Rules of Court.