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Part XVIII: Electronic Filing and Service for Criminal Proceedings

130. Application

(1) The Practice Directions in this Part apply to any criminal proceeding or any criminal matter before a District Court or a Magistrate’s Court which relates to any —

(a) pre-trial or plead guilty procedure;

(b) procedure in respect of bails and bonds under Division 5 of Part VI of the Criminal Procedure Code (Cap. 68);

(c) procedure under section 370 of the Criminal Procedure Code;

(d) procedure for the search of premises or persons and the seizure of property (including any procedure under section 35(7) of the Criminal Procedure Code for the release of any property seized, or prohibited from being disposed of or dealt with under section 35(1) of the Code);

(e) procedure for an inquiry to determine the order or orders to be made in respect of any property produced before the Court for which there are competing claims;

(f) procedure for the surrender and return of travel documents under sections 112 and 113 of the Criminal Procedure Code;

(g) procedure for issuing summonses to persons to appear before the Court under section 115 of the Criminal Procedure Code;

(h) procedure for appeal under Division 1 of Part XX of the Criminal Procedure Code;

(i) procedure for the taking of evidence under section 21 of the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act (Cap. 190A);

(j) application for the issue of a warrant under section 10(1) or 24(1) of the Extradition Act (Cap. 103); and

(k) any trial of any offence.

(2) The directions in this Part must be read in conjunction with the Criminal Procedure Code (Electronic Filing and Service for Criminal Proceedings in the State Courts) Regulations 2013.

131. Initiation of prosecution

All criminal prosecutions instituted by or on behalf of the Public Prosecutor, a police officer, an officer from a law enforcement agency, or a person acting with the authority of a public body against one or more accused, whether or not represented by an advocate and solicitor must be initiated by electronic filing.

132. Charges

(1) All new and amended charges must be e-filed prior to the scheduled court session.

(2) The charges must be in Word Document format (.doc or .docx) or in Portable Document Format (PDF).

(3) The charge sheet for each distinct offence must be e-filed separately, and the system will assign and stamp a unique number on each charge sheet.

(4) The investigation officer or prosecutor framing the charge is not required to sign the charge but must key in “ /s/ ” followed by his name above his personal information in the charge sheet.

133. Checklists

(1) For every Mention (FM / FFM); Pre-Trial Conference (PTC); Criminal Case Disclosure Conference (CCDC) and Plead Guilty Mention (FM(PG)), there will be a corresponding Mentions Checklist, PTC/CCDC checklist and PG checklist for the court event in the electronic case file.

(2) Except for the first appearance in court by defence counsel, defence counsel is required to submit the Mentions or PTC checklist indicating the affirmative position of the accused. The submission may be made at any time prior to the commencement of the scheduled court event.

(3) Prosecutors are required to submit the Mentions or PTC checklists indicating the prosecution’s affirmative position. The submission may be made at any time prior to the commencement of the scheduled court event.

(4) The PG checklist need not be re-submitted if the position of the prosecution on the charge(s) has been indicated and remains the same.

(5) For CCDCs, the checklist is only required to be submitted before the scheduled court event by the party applying for an adjournment.

134. Applications

(1) All applications which have been specifically provided for must be e-filed. These include applications relating to the initiation of any criminal process or criminal matter or which require a direction or court order before the scheduled court session.  

(2) An application which is not e-filed in accordance with the directions contained in this Part shall be rejected.

(3) The prosecution or defence must notify the party who is unrepresented of its application.

135. Documents

(1) Except for the Statement of Facts and Schedule of Offences, all documents must be e-filed using the Portable Document Format (PDF).

(2) The Statement of Facts and the Schedule of Offences may be filed in Word Document format (.doc or .docx).

(3) The investigation officer or prosecutor putting up the Statement of Facts must key in “ /s/ ” followed by his name.

(4) The proper document type must be selected and a clear and appropriate document title must be entered. The document title should not be abbreviated.

(5) It is not necessary for documents to have a cover page or backing sheet.

(6) Every page of a document must be paginated consecutively so that the pagination on the actual document corresponds with the pagination of the Portable Document Format (PDF) document in the electronic case file, and the page number must be inserted at the centre top of the page.

(7) The prosecution or defence must provide hard copies of documents that are electronically filed to the unrepresented litigant.

136. Documents for use in criminal trials

(1) The party intending to tender a document as evidence to the court during a trial must file an electronic copy of the document.

(2) The court may, in its discretion, allow a party to tender a document as evidence during a trial, notwithstanding that the party has not complied with Practice Direction 137(1) (Documents which cannot be converted into electronic format).

(3) The electronic copy must tally in all respects with the hardcopy as it will form part of the electronic case file.

(4) If another party objects to the admissibility of certain documents, those documents on which agreement cannot be reached must not be e-filed. A hard copy of those documents must be tendered at the trial.

(5) The importance of not submitting unnecessarily large electronic files is emphasised. If there are a large number of documents to be tendered, parties should submit an electronic copy of the documents stored on a CD-ROM instead of e-filing the documents. These documents will be uploaded into the case file by the court officer and will form part of the electronic case file.

(6) Parties may obtain directions of the PTC/CCDC court or trial court if they are uncertain if the documents should be e-filed, submitted on a CD-ROM or tendered by hard copy.

(7) The party tendering a document(s) at trial (i.e. the prosecution or defence) must provide hard copies of documents at trial to the unrepresented litigant and to the witness.

137. Documents which cannot be converted into electronic format

(1) If a document cannot be converted in whole or in part into an electronic format for any reason, the hard copy of the document must be tendered to the court.

(2) A document which is not wholly converted into an electronic format without good reason may be rejected as the Court sees fit.

138. Amendment of charges and documents

(1)  Where a charge or document is required to be amended, a fresh copy of the charge or document must be produced and e-filed, regardless of the number and length of the amendments sought to be made.

Procedure where a gag order has been granted

(2) In a case where the prosecution is initiated via the Integrated Criminal Case Filing and Management System (ICMS), and the prosecution applies for a gag order which is granted by the court, the following procedures must be carried out by the prosecution, after the gag order has been granted:

(a) all necessary amendments must be made to the charge that is to be tendered to the court, so as to remove references to all information (e.g. details of a witness) as are necessary to comply with the terms of the gag order that was granted;

(b) where an amendment is made to the original charge in line with subparagraph (a) above, a copy of the charge so amended (hereafter referred to as the “redacted charge”) must be uploaded into the ICMS in the Redacted Document tab in accordance with the steps as set out in Illustration I in Appendix J to these Practice Directions;

(c) in addition to the redacted charge(s), the original (i.e. non-redacted) copy of the charge(s) will continue to be used for the court proceedings, and must be uploaded into the ICMS in the usual way.

139. Limits on size and number of documents submitted using Electronic Filing Service

(1) The following limits shall apply to the filing of documents:

(a) the total number of pages in a single document must not exceed 999;

(b) the size of a single transmission must not exceed 50 mega-bytes.

(2) The resolution for scanning, unless otherwise directed by the court, must be no more than 300 DPI.

(3) In the event that any party wishes to file documents which exceed the limits specified in paragraph (1), he may make multiple submissions.  

140. Bundle of authorities

(1) Case authorities are not required to be filed electronically. However, parties may choose to electronically file the judgments which are to be cited as authority in support of oral or written submissions.

(2) If a party chooses to file electronically, each judgment must be uploaded separately with the case citation as the document description.

(3) A hard copy of the case authorities must be provided to the unrepresented litigant.