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Part V: Hearings via Skype

34. Video-Conferencing using Skype

Introduction

(1) The State Courts will allow solicitors to use Skype, a free and accessible service, to mention cases on the following hearing lists that satisfy the criteria set out opposite thereto:

Registry / Department Hearing Lists Criteria
Civil Registry Ex-parte summons list (Wednesday mornings)
Garnishee list (Tuesday and Thursday afternoons)
Summons for Directions (Tuesdays and Thursdays)
Duty Registrar matters (every day)
Taxation list (Friday mornings)
Uncontested matters for selected hearing lists where no documents will be tendered and the party attending via Skype is mentioning for all other parties (if applicable).
State Courts Centre for Dispute Resolution Court Dispute Resolution sessions for non-injury motor accident claims and personal injury claims arising from motor vehicle accidents (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays) Court Dispute Resolution sessions for non-injury motor accident claims and personal injury claims arising from motor vehicle accidents where no documents will be tendered.

(2) This will enable solicitors to mention their cases via Skype instead of personally attending Court for many short mentions which generally will not last beyond 10 minutes.

Guidelines and Procedures

(3) Unless approval has been previously given, solicitors seeking to mention their cases via Skype at the State Courts Centre for Dispute Resolution after 1 May 2015 must file a Request for Hearing Administrative Support via the Electronic Filing Service not less than 2 working days before the date of the hearing. All requests are subject to the approval of the Judge or Registrar.

(4) Solicitors mentioning their cases via Skype must comply with the guidelines and procedures set out in the Schedule below.

Court etiquette

(5) A solicitor mentioning a case via Skype must proceed with the hearing as if he or she were appearing before the Judge in person, and must comply with all Court rules of etiquette as prescribed in these Practice Directions and any relevant Registrar’s Circular.

Adjournment of Skype hearing

(6) If for any reason the presiding Judge or Registrar considers that it is not expedient for any hearing to continue via Skype, he or she may —

(a) adjourn the matter and require parties to attend Court personally on an appointed date and time;

(b) conduct the hearing via telephone; or

(c) make any other direction that may be appropriate in the circumstances of the case.

Hearing Records

(7) Hearings conducted via Skype shall not be recorded on video or audio tape or any other form.

Queries and Assistance

(8) Any queries or requests for assistance pertaining to Skype hearings may be sent to the following email addresses:

(a) for hearings at the Civil Registry:
Statecourts_Civil_Registry@statecourts.gov.sg

(b) for hearings at the State Courts Centre for Dispute Resolution:
Statecourts_CDR@statecourts.gov.sg

Schedule

Guidelines and Procedures for Hearings via Skype

1. Log into your Skype account and set your status to ‘available’.

2. You may access the relevant hearing list at http://www.statecourts.gov.sg.

3. Check the chambers assigned to hear your case.

4. Then identify the corresponding Skype contact from amongst the following:

Civil Registry

Chambers Skype Contact
Chambers C StateCts_CivilReg_ChC
Chambers D StateCts_CivilReg_ChD
Chambers J StateCts_CivilReg_ChJ
Chambers N StateCts_CivilReg_ChN
Chambers P StateCts_CivilReg_ChP
Duty matters StateCts_CivilReg_DutyReg

State Courts Centre for Dispute Resolution (SCCDR)

Chambers Skype Contact
SCCDR Chambers 1 StateCts_CDR_Ch_1
SCCDR Chambers 2 StateCts_CDR_Ch_2
SCCDR Chambers 3 StateCts_CDR_Ch_3
SCCDR Chambers 4 StateCts_CDR_Ch_4
SCCDR Chambers 5 StateCts_CDR_Ch_5
SCCDR Chambers 7 StateCts_CDR_Ch_7
SCCDR Chambers 8 StateCts_CDR_Ch_8

5. Send a request to add the Court’s Skype ID as your contact. Once the request is accepted, send an instant message to the relevant Chambers using Skype to inform the judge that you are ready and state your name, law firm and case number. E.g., if your matter is fixed for hearing in Chambers J, you will send your message to ‘StateCts_CivilReg_ChJ’. Your instant message will state “John Tan, ABC Law Firm, ready at 3:15, MC 12345/20XX/A”. Note that the judge will not call you unless you have previously sent a message to indicate your readiness to proceed with the Skype hearing.

6. When the judge is ready to deal with your matter, he/she will call you. Accept the video call and start the hearing. Do not attempt to call the judge.

7. If you encounter any problem, you may call the following numbers for assistance:

8. If the problems cannot be resolved, you may be required to personally attend Court to mention your case.