State Courts Practice Directions 2021

PART XVII: CRIMINAL MATTERS

110. Noting of appearances of advocates/prosecutors

(1) To facilitate the linking of advocates and prosecutors to criminal cases registered via the Integrated Case Management System (“ICMS”) and the contacting of advocates and prosecutors having conduct of matters in the State Courts, advocates and prosecutors appearing in cases must each fill in a Form 29 of Appendix A1 to these Practice Directions and hand the duly completed form to the Court officer before their cases are mentioned.

(2) This practice applies to all criminal trials, Mentions Courts (Court 4A and 4B), Special (ie, traffic and coroner’s) and Night Courts (Court 4AN and 4BN).

(3) The forms will be placed on all bar tables.

(4) This Practice Direction shall apply to criminal proceedings.

111. Bundles of authorities for criminal proceedings

(1) In all criminal proceedings, counsel shall submit their own bundle of authorities.

(2) In this regard, the provisions of Practice Direction 73(10) to (11) above shall, with the necessary modifications, be complied with.

112. Magistrate’s complaints (Private summonses)

(1) Framing of criminal charges

Solicitors representing the complainants are to frame and submit the charges when the complaints are filed. This will facilitate the immediate issuance of the summons if it is so ordered by the Duty Magistrate. This paragraph does not apply to Magistrate’s complaints filed at the Community Courts and Tribunals Cluster Complaints Counter.

(2) Infringement of copyright/trademarks

Magistrate’s complaints involving infringement of copyright/trademarks must be sworn by authorised representatives. A letter of authorisation to that effect must be attached to the complaint.

113. Application for Court Records for criminal matters

(1) This Practice Direction shall apply only in respect of criminal proceedings.

(2) An application for a copy of any part of the record of any criminal proceedings for a case registered via the Integrated Case Management System (“ICMS”) must be made via ICMS under “Request for Court Records”.

(3) Applications for all other cases must be made in Form 30 in Appendix A1 to these Practice Directions.

(4) On approval of an application that has been electronically filed via ICMS, the record of proceedings will be available for online downloading via ICMS or collection depending on the delivery mode chosen.

(5) Upon approval of an application for all other cases, and for ICMS cases where the mode of collection chosen is at the counter, the requisite number of copies of the record of proceedings applied for shall be made available for collection by the applicant for a period of 21 calendar days from the date specified in the notification given to the applicant by the Office of the Registrar.

(6) Where the copy of any record of proceedings applied for is not collected by the applicant within the time given by paragraph (5), the copy of the record of proceedings shall be disposed of and the applicant must make a fresh application if he still requires a copy of the relevant record of proceedings.

(7) The relevant fee prescribed by the Criminal Procedure Code (Prescribed Fees) Regulations 2013, Fees (State Courts – Criminal Jurisdiction) Order 2014 (as the case may be) must be paid by the applicant at the time he makes the application.

(8) The applicant shall be allowed to download or collect the copy of the record of proceedings applied for only if the fees payable therefor, including any balance fee payable, have been fully paid by him.

(9) Any application for the waiver or remission of any fee payable for a copy of any record of proceedings may be made to the Registrar of the State Courts and the grant of such an application shall be in the absolute discretion of the Registrar.

Application

(1) The cases of defendants remanded at the Changi Prison Complex (“Changi Prison”) may be mentioned via video link.

(2) Counsel who need to take instructions from a client remanded at Changi Prison may arrange to do so via video link at the VidLink Centre.

(3) The VidLink Centre is managed by the Singapore Prisons Service, and is located on Level 16 of the State Courts Towers.

Mentioning of cases in Court

(4) At each mention in Court, counsel are required to complete and submit to the Court a mention slip setting out the case details and counsel’s application, if any. The format of the mention slip is set out in Form 29 of Appendix A1 to these Practice Directions.

(5) The order of mention of cases is managed by the Court officers in Court. Video link cases are generally mentioned ahead of non-video link cases, and cases involving counsel are generally given priority. Counsel who need to have their cases mentioned urgently (for example, to enable them to attend to other Court commitments) should inform the Court accordingly, and accommodation will be made where possible.

Situations where remandees are physically brought to Court

(6) The Court may order that a defendant who is to appear, or who has previously appeared, via video link in Court be physically brought to Court. These include the following situations:

(a) where the defendant has indicated an intention to plead guilty;

(b) where one or more charges against the defendant is withdrawn;

(c) where the defendant has to be brought to Court for bail processing; or

(d) where the Court considers it expedient in any other circumstances.

(1) A witness (including the accused person) may, with the Court’s permission, give evidence through a live video or live television link in any trial, inquiry, appeal or other proceedings as specified in section 281 of the Criminal Procedure Code 2010.

(2) The Court’s permission is required for evidence to be adduced via a video link. The application for permission should be made as early as practicable, and at the pre-trial case conference. If no pre-trial case conference is scheduled, the application should nevertheless be made as soon as practicable, to the Registrar of the State Courts. In addition to the need for timeliness,

(a) where the application is for the accused person to give evidence by means of a live video or live television link, the application should also state:

(i) where the accused person will be giving evidence from (whether a place within a Court, a prison, an approved centre in Singapore, or otherwise);

(ii) the administrative and technical facilities and arrangements to be made at the place from which the accused person is to make an appearance or to give evidence from; and

(iii) the reasons for making such an application, and in particular, why it would be in the interests of justice to allow the application;

(b) where the application is for a witness (not being the accused) who is not in Singapore to give evidence from a place that is not in Singapore by means of a live video or live television link, the application should also state:

(i) whether the witness is a witness specified in section 281(5B)(c) of the Criminal Procedure Code 2010, and if so, the capacity of the witness (eg, an expert witness, factual witness or otherwise);

(ii) the administrative and technical facilities and arrangements to be made at the place from which the witness is to give evidence; and

(iii) the reasons for making such an application, and in particular, why it would be in the interests of justice to allow the application.

(3) The Court may, in a proper case, permit appropriate person(s) to be present with the witness (including an accused person giving evidence as a witness, where appropriate) at the place where the witness is giving evidence from. Such person(s) may include a parent, a guardian, an officer of the Court, a counsellor, a social worker or any such other person(s) as the Court deems fit.

(4) If an accused person is not represented by counsel, the presiding Judge will explain to him the process of a witness or the accused person (as the case may be) giving evidence through a video link.

(5) Microphones have been installed for the Judge, prosecutor, counsel, witness, interpreter and the accused who are physically in Court. The oral proceedings, including the testimony of the witness, will be relayed and broadcast through the courtroom speaker system. When a video link session is in progress, prosecutors and counsel who are physically in Court are reminded to speak clearly and slowly into the microphones which are placed on the tables. In order to ensure clarity in the audio transmissions, no two persons should speak simultaneously into the microphones.

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