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Part XVII: Criminal Matters

124. Noting of appearances of advocates/prosecutors

(1) To facilitate the linking of advocates and prosecutors to criminal cases registered via the Integrated Criminal case filing and 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 25 of Appendix A 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 23 and 26), special (i.e. traffic and coroner’s) and night (Court 25N and 26N) courts.

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

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

125. 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 71(9) to (11) (Documents for use in trials in open Court) above shall, with the necessary modifications, be complied with.

126. Magistrate’s complaints (Private summonses)

(1) Framing of criminal charges

Solicitors representing the complainants (save in maintenance cases) 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.

(2) Infringement of copyright/trademarks

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

(3) Service of summons by solicitors’ clerks

(a) Solicitors are informed that any summons issued pursuant to Section 153 Criminal Procedure Code 2010 must be served at least 7 days before the return date of the summons if such service is undertaken by the firm’s clerk.  This is because the authorization to serve will lapse 7 days before the return date.

(b)  If the summons is already served on the respondent 7 days before the mention date, the attached summons must be returned to the Complaints Section, Crime Registry immediately after service.  Failure to do so will result in the summons not being listed for mention.

(c) If the summons cannot be served on the respondent 1 week before the mention date, the authorization to serve will lapse.  In order to obtain further authorization for the firm’s clerk to serve the summons on the respondent or to obtain an extension of the return date, the solicitor must appear before the Duty Magistrate not later than 5 days before the return date.  Failure to comply with this may result in the complaint being struck off the list.

127. 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 Criminal case filing and Management System (“ICMS”) must be made via the ICMS portal under “Request for Court Records”.

(3) Applications for all other cases must be made in Form 26 in Appendix A to these Practice Directions.

(4) On approval of an application that has been e-filed via the ICMS, the record of proceedings will be available for online downloading via the ICMS portal 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 Crime Registry.

(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 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 the first floor of the State Courts (opposite the Crime Registry).

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 27 of Appendix A 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 person in Singapore (other than the accused person) may, with leave of the Court, give evidence through a live video or live television link in any trial, inquiry, appeal or other proceedings as specified in sections 281(1) and (2) of the Criminal Procedure Code 2010. For this purpose, video link equipment have been installed in Court 16 and the adjoining witness room to enable a witness to give evidence through a live video link without being physically present within the courtroom.. These guidelines shall, with the necessary modifications, apply to any courtroom or place (from which the witness is giving evidence) which may, in future, be similarly equipped with such video link facilities.

(2) Leave of the Court is required for evidence to be adduced via a video link. The application for leave should be made as early as practicable. This must not be later than the pre-trial conference. If no pre-trial conference is scheduled, this application must be made not later than the time the trial dates are allocated, either to the Court at the mentions stage or the Registrar of the State Courts. This application is necessary so that the case may be fixed for hearing in a court where the requisite equipment have been installed.

(3) The court may, in a proper case, permit appropriate person(s) to be present with the witness 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) Where a witness giving evidence through a live video link requires an interpreter, the interpreter will interpret the proceedings from open court. All other aspects of the proceedings in court will remain unchanged.

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

(6) Microphones have been installed for the Judge, prosecutor, counsel, witness, interpreter and the accused.  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 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.

(7) Video cameras installed in the courtroom will enable images of the proceedings in the courtroom to be relayed to the witness giving evidence by means of a video link.  Images of the witness giving evidence will be relayed and may be viewed by all persons present from television monitors which are placed strategically within the courtroom.  To ensure that there is eye contact with the witness, prosecutors and counsel should face the television monitor squarely as the cameras are mounted on top of the television monitor.