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 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 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 4A and 4B), special (i.e. traffic and coroner’s) and night (Court 4AN and 4BN) 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 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 authorization to that effect must be attached to the complaint.
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 Case 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 Courts and the grant of such an application shall be in the absolute discretion of the Registrar.
128. Appearance at the State Courts via video link of defendants remanded at Changi Prison Complex
(1) The cases of defendants remanded at the Changi Prison Complex (‘Changi Prison’) may be mentioned via video link.
Taking of instructions by counsel via VidLink
(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 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.
129. Witnesses giving evidence through live video link
(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.
(2) Attention is also drawn to sections 28(1) and (2) of the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act 2020 (“CTMA”), pursuant to which a Court may require a witness (whether in Singapore or elsewhere) or an accused person to give evidence by means of a live video or live television link, subject to the satisfaction of the conditions specified therein. This Practice Direction shall apply with the necessary modification to the giving of evidence through a live video or live television link by a witness or an accused person pursuant to section 28 of the CTMA, for such time as the CTMA remains in force.
(3) 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.
(4) 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.
(5) 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.
(6) 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.
(7) 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.
(8) 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.