REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE
GOVERNMENT GAZETTE
ACTS SUPPLEMENT
Published by Authority

NO. 17]Friday, June 11 [1993

The following Act was passed by Parliament on 12th April 1993 and assented to by the President on 28th April 1993:—
Supreme Court Of Judicature (Amendment) Act 1993

(No. 16 of 1993)


I assent.

WEE KIM WEE
President.
28th April 1993.
Date of Commencement: 1st July 1993
An Act to amend the Supreme Court of Judicature Act (Chapter 322 of the 1985 Revised Edition).
Be it enacted by the President with the advice and consent of the Parliament of Singapore, as follows:
Short title and commencement
1.  This Act may be cited as the Supreme Court of Judicature (Amendment) Act 1993 and shall come into operation on such date as the Minister may, by notification in the Gazette, appoint.
Amendment of section 2
2.  Section 2 of the Supreme Court of Judicature Act (referred to in this Act as the principal Act) is amended —
(a)by deleting the words “Supreme Court” in the definition of “Judge” and substituting the words “High Court”; and
(b)by inserting, immediately after the definition of “Judge”, the following definition:
“ “Judge of Appeal” includes the Chief Justice and a Judge of the High Court sitting as a judge of the Court of Appeal under section 29(3);”.
Repeal and re-enactment of sections 3 and 4
3.  Sections 3 and 4 of the principal Act are repealed and the following sections substituted therefor:
Divisions and jurisdiction of Supreme Court
3.  The Supreme Court shall be a superior court of record and shall consist of —
(a)the High Court, which shall exercise original and appellate criminal and civil jurisdiction; and
(b)the Court of Appeal, which shall exercise appellate civil and criminal jurisdiction.
Precedence
4.  The Judges of the Supreme Court shall take precedence in the following order:
(a)the Chief Justice;
(b)the vice-presidents of the Court of Appeal who among themselves shall rank according to the priority of their respective appointments as vicepresidents;
(c)the Judges of Appeal (other than vicepresidents), who among themselves shall rank according to the priority of their respective appointments;
(d)the Judges of the High Court, who among themselves shall rank according to the priority of their respective appointments.”.
Repeal of section 7
4.  Section 7 of the principal Act (including the subheading immediately above the section) is repealed.
New section 9A
5.  The principal Act is amended by inserting, immediately above section 10 in Part III, the following section:
Constitution of High Court
9A.  The High Court shall consist of —
(a)the Chief Justice; and
(b)the Judges of the High Court.”.
Amendment of section 10
6.  Section 10 of the principal Act is amended by inserting, immediately after subsection (2), the following subsection:
(3)  A Judge of Appeal may sit in the High Court and act as a Judge thereof whenever the business of the High Court so requires, in which case he shall have all the jurisdiction, powers and privileges of such a Judge.”.
New section 10A
7.  The principal Act is amended by inserting, immediately after section 10, the following section:
Assessors to assist Hight Court
10A.—(1)  In any proceedings before the High Court, the Court may, if it thinks fit on the application of any party, or on its own motion, summon to its assistance, in such manner as may be prescribed by Rules of Court, one or more persons of skill and experience in the matter to which the proceedings relate who may be willing to sit with the Court and act as assessors.
(2)  Subject to subsection (3), the remuneration of assessors for sitting under this section shall be at such rate as may be prescribed by Rules of Court and shall be costs in the proceedings unless otherwise ordered by the High Court.
(3)  Where one or more assessors are summoned for the purposes of this section otherwise than on the application of a party to the proceedings, the remuneration of any such assessor shall be payable out of moneys provided by Parliament.
(4)  Where any person is proposed to be summoned as an assessor, objection to him, either personally or in respect of his qualification, may be taken by any party in the prescribed manner.”.
Amendment of section 13
8.  Section 13 of the principal Act is amended by deleting “$500” at the end of paragraph (a) and substituting “$1,000”.
Amendment of section 15
9.  Section 15 (1) of the principal Act is amended —
(a)by deleting the words “on the high seas” in paragraph (b);
(b)by deleting the word “and” at the end of paragraph (d); and
(c)by deleting the full-stop at the end of paragraph (e) and substituting the word “; and ”, and by inserting immediately thereafter the following paragraph:
(f)in any place or by any person if it is provided in any written law that the offence is triable in Singapore.”.
Repeal and re-enactment of section 16
10.  Section 16 of the principal Act is repealed and the following section substituted therefor:
Civil jurisdiction — general
16.—(1)  The High Court shall have jurisdiction to hear and try any action in personam where —
(a)the defendant is served with a writ or other originating process —
(i)in Singapore in the manner prescribed by Rules of Court; or
(ii)outside Singapore in the circumstances authorised by and in the manner prescribed by Rules of Court; or
(b)the defendant submits to the jurisdiction of the High Court.
(2)  Notwithstanding subsection (1), the High Court shall have no jurisdiction to hear and try any civil proceeding which comes within the jurisdiction of the Syariah Court constituted under the Administration of Muslim Law Act (Cap. 3).
(3)  Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), the High Court shall have such jurisdiction as is vested in it by any other written law.”.
Amendment of section 17
11.  Section 17 of the principal Act is amended by deleting the words “Subject to and without” and substituting the word “Without”.
Repeal and re-enactment of section 18
12.  Section 18 of the principal Act is repealed and the following section substituted therefor:
Powers of High Court
18.—(1)  The High Court shall have such powers as are vested in it by any written law for the time being in force in Singapore.
(2)  Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), the High Court shall have the powers set out in the First Schedule.
(3)  The powers referred to in subsection (2) shall be exercised in accordance with any written law or Rules of Court relating to them.”.
Amendment of section 21
13.  Section 21 (1) of the principal Act is amended by deleting “$2,000” in the sixth line and substituting “$5,000”.
New section 28A
14.  The principal Act is amended by inserting, immediately after section 28, the following section:
Allocation of Proceedings
Allocation of proceedings to District Court
(1)  The Chief Justice may, where he considers it necessary or expedient to improve efficiency in the administration of justice and to provide for more speedy disposal of proceedings commenced in the High Court, by order direct such class or classes or description of proceedings as may be specified in the order to be heard and determined by the District Court.
(2)  Notwithstanding any other written law, any order under subsection (1) —
(a)may confer jurisdiction on a District Court to hear and determine —
(i)any proceedings specified in the order which, but for the order, the District Court would not have jurisdiction to hear and determine by reason only of the fact that the amount involved exceeds the monetary limit of its jurisdiction; or
(ii)any proceedings relating to any of the matters referred to in section 17(a) to (e);
(b)may make such incidental provision for the transfer of the proceedings to the District Court (including matters relating to procedure and costs) as the Chief Justice thinks fit.”.
Repeal and re-enactment of sections 29, 30 and 31
15.  Sections 29, 30 and 31 of the principal Act are repealed and the following sections substituted therefor:
Constitution of Court of Appeal
29.—(1)  The Court of Appeal shall consist of —
(a)the Chief Justice; and
(b)the Judges of Appeal.
(2)  The Chief Justice may appoint one or more of the Judges of Appeal as vice-presidents of the Court of Appeal.
(3)  A Judge of the High Court may, on the request of the Chief Justice, sit as a judge of the Court of Appeal, in which case he shall have all the jurisdiction, powers and privileges of a judge of the Court of Appeal.
(4)  The Chief Justice shall be the President of the Court of Appeal and, in his absence for any cause, the presidency shall be determined in accordance with the order of precedence prescribed in section 4A.
Jurisdiction of Court of Appeal
29A.—(1)  The civil jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal shall consist of appeals from any judgment or order of the High Court in any civil cause or matter whether made in the exercise of its original or of its appellate jurisdiction, subject nevertheless to the provisions of this Act or any other written law regulating the terms and conditions upon which such appeals may be brought.
(2)  The criminal jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal shall consist of appeals against any decision made by the High Court in the exercise of its original criminal jurisdiction, subject nevertheless to the provisions of this Act or any other written law regulating the terms and conditions upon which such appeals may be brought.
(3)  For the purposes of and incidental to —
(a)the hearing and determination of any appeal to the Court of Appeal; and
(b)the amendment, execution and enforcement of any judgment or order made on such an appeal,
the Court of Appeal shall have all the authority and jurisdiction of the court or tribunal from which the appeal was brought.
(4)  The Court of Appeal shall, for the purposes of and subject to the provisions of this Act, have full power to determine any question necessary to be determined for the purpose of doing justice in any case before the Court.
Composition of Court of Appeal
30.—(1)  The civil and criminal jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal shall be exercised by 3 or any greater uneven number of Judges of Appeal.
(2)  Notwithstanding subsection (1), the Court of Appeal in the exercise of its civil jurisdiction shall, if it consists of two Judges of Appeal, be duly constituted for the purpose of hearing and determining an appeal against —
(a)an interlocutory order; or
(b)any other order except a judgment obtained after a trial of an action commenced by writ or after the hearing of an action or matter commenced by any other originating process.
(3)  No Judge of Appeal shall sit as a member of the Court of Appeal on the hearing of, or shall determine any application in proceedings incidental or preliminary to —
(a)an appeal from a judgment or order made by him;
(b)an appeal against a conviction before him or a sentence passed by him; or
(c)the consideration of any point reserved by him under section 59.
(4)  Section 10A shall apply in relation to proceedings before the Court of Appeal as it applies in relation to proceedings before the High Court.
Appeals how decided
31.—(1)  Subject to subsection (2), any appeal or determination of any question before the Court of Appeal shall be decided in accordance with the opinion of the majority of the members of the Court hearing the case.
(2)  Where an appeal has been heard by the Court of Appeal consisting of two Judges of Appeal and the members of the Court are divided, the decision appealed against shall stand.”.
New section 32A
16.  The principal Act is amended by inserting, immediately after section 32, the following section:
PART IVA
CIVIL JURISDICTION OF COURT OF APPEAL
Application of this Part
32A.  This Part relates to the Court of Appeal in the exercise of its civil jurisdiction.”.
Repeal and re-enactment of section 34
17.  Section 34 of the principal Act is repealed and the following section substituted therefor:
Matters that are non-appealable or appealable only with leave
34.—(1)  No appeal shall be brought to the Court of Appeal in any of the following cases:
(a)where a Judge makes an order giving unconditional leave to defend an action or an order setting aside unconditionally a default judgment;
(b)except if the appellant is the defendant, where a Judge makes an order giving leave to defend on condition that the defendant pays into court or gives security for the sum claimed or an order setting aside a default judgment on condition as aforesaid;
(c)subject to any other provision in this section, where a Judge makes an interlocutory order in chambers unless the Judge has certified, on application within 7 days after the making of the order by any party for further argument in court, that he requires no further argument;
(d)where the judgment or order is made by consent of the parties;
(e)where, by any written law for the time being in force, the judgment or order of the High Court is expressly declared to be final.
(2)  Except with the leave of the Court of Appeal or a Judge, no appeal shall be brought to the Court of Appeal in any of the following cases:
(a)where the amount or value of the subject-matter at the trial is $30,000 or less;
(b)where the only issue in the appeal relates to costs or fees for hearing dates;
(c)where a Judge in chambers makes a decision in a summary way on an interpleader summons where the facts are not in dispute;
(d)an order refusing to strike out an action or a pleading or a part of a pleading.”.
Amendment of heading to Part V
18.  Part V of the principal Act is amended by deleting the words “THE COURT OF CRIMINAL APPEAL” in the heading and substituting the words “CRIMINAL JURISDICTION OF COURT OF APPEAL”.
Amendment of section 42
19.  The principal Act is amended by renumbering section 42 as subsection (1) of that section, and by inserting immediately thereafter the following subsection:
(2)  This Part relates to the Court of Appeal in the exercise of its criminal jurisdiction.”.
Repeal of section 43
20.  Section 43 of the principal Act is repealed.
Amendment of section 44
21.  Section 44 of the principal Act is amended by deleting subsection (1).
Amendment of section 49
22.  Section 49 of the principal Act is amended by inserting, immediately after subsection (1), the following subsection:
(1A)  Where the High Court is informed that the Public Prosecutor intends to appeal against the acquittal of an accused person, the Court may, on the application of the Public Prosecutor, order that the accused person be remanded in custody for a period not exceeding 48 hours pending the filing of the notice of appeal by the Public Prosecutor.”.
Amendment of section 59
23.  Section 59 of the principal Act is amended by inserting, immediately after subsection (3), the following subsection:
(4)  When any person has, in a trial before the High Court acting in the exercise of its original criminal jurisdiction, been convicted of an offence and the Public Prosecutor is of opinion that any point or points of law arising on the trial which has or have not been reserved under this section ought to be further considered, the Public Prosecutor may certify accordingly under his hand and thereupon the Court of Appeal may review the case or such part of it as is necessary and finally determine the point or points and thereupon may alter the sentence passed and pass such judgment and sentence as that Court thinks fit in like manner as though the point or points had been reserved under subsection (1).”.
New section 65A
24.  The principal Act is amended by inserting, immediately after section 65, the following section:
Solicitor authorised to act as officer of Sheriff
65A.—(1)  Subject to such directions as may be given by the Chief Justice, the Registrar may authorise a solicitor or a person employed by a solicitor to exercise the powers and perform the duties of an officer of the Sheriff during such period or on such occasion as the Registrar thinks fit and subject to such terms and conditions as the Registrar may determine.
(2)  Section 79(2) shall apply to a solicitor or person authorised under subsection (1) as it applies to an officer of the Supreme Court.”.
Amendment of section 69
25.  Section 69 of the principal Act is amended by inserting, immediately before the word “Schedule” at the end thereof, the word “Second”.
Amendment of section 80
26.  Section 80 of the principal Act is amended —
(a)by deleting the words “or the Court of Criminal Appeal” in subsection (2)(e) and (f); and
(b)by inserting, immediately after paragraph (g) of subsection (2), the following paragraph:
(ga)enabling proceedings —
(i)to be commenced in the High Court against the estate of a deceased person (whether by the appointment of a person to represent the estate or otherwise) where no grant of probate or letters of administration has been made;
(ii)purporting to have been commenced in the High Court by or against a person to be treated, if he was dead at their commencement, as having been commenced by or against, as the case may be, his estate whether or not a grant of probate or letters of administration was made before their commencement; and
(iii)commenced or treated as commenced in the High Court by or against the estate of a deceased person to be maintained (whether by substitution of parties, amendment or otherwise) by or against, as the case may be, a person appointed to represent the estate or, if a grant of probate or letters of administration is or has been made, by or against the personal representatives;”.
Miscellaneous amendments
27.  The following provisions of the principal Act are amended —
(a)by deleting the words “, the Court of Appeal and the Court of Criminal Appeal” and substituting in each case the words “and the Court of Appeal”:
Sections 8(1) and 80(1);
(b)by deleting the words “, the Court of Appeal or the Court of Criminal Appeal” in section 80(2)(a), (d) and (g) and substituting in each case the words “or the Court of Appeal”;
(c)by deleting the words “, the Court of Criminal Appeal” in the tenth and eleventh lines of section 81;
(d)by deleting the words “Court of Criminal Appeal” wherever they appear and substituting in each case the words “Court of Appeal”:
Sections 44(5), 47(1), (2) and (3), 50, 51(1) and (2), 52(1) and (2), 53, 54(1), (2) and (3) (including marginal note), 55(1), (2) and (4), 56(1), (2) and (3), 57(1), (2) and (3), 59(1) and (3) (including marginal note) and 60(1), (2) and (4) (including marginal note);
(e)by inserting, immediately after the word “Judges”, the words “of Appeal”:
Sections 33(1) and (2) and 52(1); and
(f)by inserting, immediately after the word “Judge”, the words “of Appeal”:
Sections 33(1) (including marginal note) and 56(2) and (3).
Amendment of Schedule and new First Schedule
28.  The Schedule to the principal Act is amended by deleting the words “THE SCHEDULE” in the heading and substituting the words “SECOND SCHEDULE”, and by inserting immediately before it, the following Schedule:
FIRST SCHEDULE
Section 18(2)
Additional Powers of the High Court
Prerogative writs
1.  Power to issue to any person or authority directions, orders or writs, including writs of the nature of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto and certiorari, or any others, for the enforcement of any of the rights conferred by any written law or for any purpose.
Partition and sale in lieu of partition
2.  Power to partition land and to direct a sale instead of partition in any action for partition of land; and in any cause or matter relating to land, where it appears necessary or expedient, to order the land or any part of it to be sold, and to give all necessary and consequential directions.
Charge or mortgage in lieu of sale of land
3.  Power to order land to be charged or mortgaged, as the case may be, in any case in which there is jurisdiction to order a sale.
Interpleader
4.  Power to grant relief by way of interpleader —
(a)where the person seeking relief is under liability for any debt, money, or goods or chattels, for or in respect of which he has been or expects to be, sued by two or more parties making adverse claims thereon; and
(b)where a Sheriff, bailiff or other officer of court is charged with the execution of process of court, and claim is made to any money or goods or chattels taken or intended to be taken in execution under any process, or to the proceeds or value of any such goods or chattels by any person or other than the person against whom the process is issued,
and to order the sale of any property subject to interpleader proceedings.
Preservation of subject-matter, evidence and assets to satisfy judgment
5.  Power before or after any proceedings are commenced to provide for —
(a)the interim preservation of property which is the subject-matter of the proceedings by sale or by injunction or the appointment of receiver or the registration of a caveat or a lis pendens or in any manner whatsoever;
(b)the preservation of evidence by seizure, detention, inspection, photographing, the taking of samples, the conduct of experiments or in any manner whatsoever; and
(c)the preservation of assets for the satisfaction of any judgment which has or may be made.
Interest
6.  Power to direct interest to be paid on damages, or debts (whether the debts are paid before or after commencement of proceedings) or judgment debts, or on sums found due on taking accounts between parties, or on sums found due and unpaid by receivers or other persons liable to account to the Court.
Time
7.  Power to enlarge or abridge the time prescribed by any written law for doing any act or taking any proceeding, whether the application therefor is made before or after the expiration of the time prescribed, but this provision shall be without prejudice to any written law relating to limitation.
Enforcement of judgment
8.  Power to enforce a judgment of the Court in any manner which may be prescribed by any written law or by Rules of Court made under this Act.
Stay of proceedings
9.  Power to dismiss or stay proceedings where the matter in question is res judicata between the parties, or where by reason of multiplicity of proceedings in any court or courts or by reason of a court in Singapore not being the appropriate forum the proceedings ought not to be continued.
Transfer of proceedings
10.  Power to transfer any proceedings to any other court or to or from any subordinate court, and in the case of transfer to or from a subordinate court to give any directions as to the further conduct thereof:
Provided that this power shall be exercised in such manner as may be prescribed by any Rules of Court.
Set-off
11.  Power to allow a defence of set-off.
Discovery and interrogatories
12.  Power before or after any proceedings are commenced to order discovery of facts or documents by any party to the proceedings or by any other person in such manner as may be prescribed by Rules of Court.
Costs
13.  Power to award costs.
Reliefs and remedies
14.  Power to grant all reliefs and remedies at law and in equity, including damages in addition to, or in substitution for, an injunction or specific performance.
Interim payment
15.  Power to order a party in a pending proceeding to make interim payments to another party or to a stakeholder or into court on account of any damages, debt or other sum, excluding costs, which he may subsequently in the proceeding be adjudged to be liable to pay.
Provisional damages for personal injuries
16.  Power to award in any action for damages for personal injuries, provisional damages assessed on the assumption that a contingency will not happen and further damages at a future date if the contingency happens.
Periodic payments
17.  Power to order damages assessed in any action for personal injuries to be paid in periodic instalments rather than as a lump sum.
Attaching deposits
18.  Power to attach deposits with a financial institution whether or not the deposits have matured and notwithstanding any restriction as to the mode of withdrawal.
Ordering medical examination
19.  Power to order medical examination of a person who is a party to any proceedings where the physical or mental condition of the person is relevant to any matter in question in the proceedings.”.
Consequential and miscellaneous amendments
29.—(1)  Section 2(1) of the Interpretation Act (Cap. 1) is amended by inserting, immediately after the definition of “Judge”, the following definition:
“ “Judge of the Supreme Court” includes the Chief Justice, a Judge of Appeal and a Judge of the High Court;”.
(2)  Section 265 of the Criminal Procedure Code (Cap. 68) is repealed.
(3)  Section 26(1) of the Legal Profession Act (Cap. 161) is amended by deleting the words “Federal Court of Malaysia” in paragraph (c) and substituting the words “Supreme Court of Malaysia”.
(4)  Section 92(5) of the Parliamentary Elections Act (Cap. 218) is amended by deleting the words “Judge of the Supreme Court sitting at assizes” and substituting the words “Judge of the High Court”.
(5)  The provisions of the Acts specified in the Schedule to this Act are amended by deleting the words “Supreme Court” and substituting in each case the words “High Court”.
Transitional provisions and savings
30.—(1)  Any civil or criminal proceeding pending in the Court of Appeal or the former Court of Criminal Appeal at the commencement of this Act shall continue and be determined in the Court of Appeal.
(2)  Any civil or criminal proceeding being part-heard in the Court of Appeal or the former Court of Criminal Appeal at the commencement of this Act shall continue before the Court of Appeal and in any such proceeding any Judge of the High Court sitting in that appeal shall be deemed to be a Judge of Appeal for the purposes of that proceeding notwithstanding that he has not been appointed as such under the Constitution.
(3)  Any reference to the Court of Criminal Appeal in any written law shall be construed as a reference to the Court of Appeal.