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Claim expenses for attending court

If you receive a Summons to a Witness to attend court for a criminal case or a coroner's case heard in the State Courts and Supreme Court, you may be allowed to claim expenses after the final date you attended court as a witness.

What can be claimed

Refer to the following to find out the expenses witnesses in a criminal case may be allowed to claim.

If you are...

You may be allowed to claim...

Residing in Singapore

  • An allowance of one-fiftieth of your monthly earned income for each half day’s attendance in court, subject to a minimum of $25 and a maximum of $350.
  • (If you are attending court as an expert witness) An allowance of one-fiftieth of your monthly earned income for each half day’s attendance in court, subject to a maximum of $350.
  • Up to $20 per day for transport allowance incurred for commuting to and from the court.

Residing overseas

  • An allowance of one-fiftieth of your monthly earned income for each half day’s attendance in court, subject to a minimum of $25 and a maximum of $350.
  • (If you are attending court as an expert witness) An allowance of one-fiftieth of your monthly earned income for each half day’s attendance in court, subject to a maximum of $350.
  • A subsistence allowance of $115 or $230, depending on the period of overnight absence from your place of residence.
  • Economy class fares for trans-national travel into Singapore.
  • Up to $20 per day for transport allowance incurred for commuting to and from the court within Singapore.

A witness who attends court for a total of 3 hours or less in a day, excluding the lunch period, is considered to have attended half a day in court.

A witness who attends court for a total of more than 3 hours in a day, excluding the lunch period, is considered to have attended a full day in court.

Note

An expert witness is a person with scientific, medical, technical or other specialised knowledge based on training, study or experience. Their role is to provide independent and unbiased opinions about the case based on their specialised knowledge.

If you are called as an expert witness and have been requested by the court, the coroner, the deputy public prosecutor (DPP) or the defence counsel to prepare a written report or opinion, you may also be allowed an allowance, to be fixed at the discretion of the authorising office, for the work done and the expenses properly incurred in connection with the preparation of the report or opinion.

How to claim

Refer to the following to find out the claim process in the respective courts.

The claim submission process is different for witnesses residing in Singapore and witnesses residing overseas in a State Courts criminal case.

For witnesses residing in Singapore

Refer to the following steps to submit your claims:

  1. Submit the Local Witness Allowances Claim Form (PDF, 646 KB) no later than 2 months after accrual of the claim (for example, the date of the last day you attended court as a witness).
  2. Make arrangements with the investigation officer (IO) or prosecutor (certifying officer) if you are a prosecution witness or the defence counsel (verifying officer) if you are a defence witness.

You will need to submit the Local Witness Allowances Claim Form, together with a copy of the following supporting documents specified in the form:

  • Your Summons to a Witness.
  • Your identity card (NRIC), foreign identification number (FIN) or passport.
  • Your bank passbook or statement with your name and bank account number.
    • If you are a Singapore citizen or permanent resident (PR) who does not own an account from with these banks (Citibank, DBS, Far Eastern Bank, OCBC, POSB, UOB), or a foreigner based in Singapore who does not have a bank account in Singapore, you will also need to submit an original copy of the completed Direct Credit Authorisation (DCA) Form (PDF, 222 KB) endorsed by the bank.
  • (If you are a salaried employee) Your monthly income statement or payslip.
  • (If you are self-employed) Your Notice of Assessment from the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS).
  • (If you are claiming for transport allowance) Your local transport receipts.
Tip
If you are unsure whether you are a defence or prosecution witness, ask the party who issued you the Summons to a Witness.

After submitting your documents

If you are a prosecution witness, the IO or prosecutor will certify your application before submitting your claim for the judge's review and approval.

If you are a defence witness, the defence counsel will verify your application before submitting your claim to the relevant court officer (certifying officer) who will then forward your claim to the judge for review and approval.

If your claim is approved, the claim amount will be transferred to your bank account. If your claim is rejected, you will be notified by the IO or prosecutor, or defence counsel.

For witnesses residing overseas

You will have to make arrangements with the investigation officer (IO) or prosecutor (if you are a prosecution witness) or the defence counsel (if you are a defence witness) to submit the Foreign Witness Application Form  (PDF, 563 KB) at least 14 working days before your trial date.

You will also have to submit the supporting documents specified in the form:

  • A cover letter.
  • A copy of the Summons to a Witness or firm indication that you will be attending court.
  • 3 economy-class fare quotations for trans-national travel.
Tip
If you are unsure whether you are a defence or prosecution witness, ask the party who issued you the Summons to a Witness.

If you are a prosecution witness, the IO or prosecutor will then submit the application form and supporting documents to the DPP for endorsement before it is sent to the State Courts for processing. You will be notified by the IO or prosecutor if your application is approved or rejected.

If you are a defence witness, the defence counsel will submit the application form and supporting documents to the State Courts for processing. You will be notified by the defence counsel if your application is approved or rejected.

If your application is approved

If your application is approved, refer to the following steps to submit your claims after you have attended court as a witness:

  1. Submit the Foreign Witness Allowances Claim Form (PDF, 655 KB) no later than 2 months after accrual of the claim (for example, the date of the last day you attended court as a witness).
  2. Make arrangements with the IO or prosecutor (certifying officer) if you are a prosecution witness or the defence counsel (verifying officer) if you are a defence witness.

You will need to submit the Foreign Witness Allowances Claim Form, together with a copy of the following supporting documents specified in the form:

  • Your Summons to a Witness.
  • Your passport or identification card.
  • (If you do not have a bank account in Singapore) The completed and signed Foreign Telegraphic Transfer Form (PDF, 8 KB).
  • Your booking confirmation, flight itinerary and receipts that show your trans-national travel timings, and the fare you paid.
  • (If you are a salaried employee) Your monthly income statement or payslip.
  • (If you are self-employed) Your latest income tax return.
  • (If you are claiming for transport allowance) Your local transport receipts.

After submitting your documents

If you are a prosecution witness, the IO or prosecutor will certify your application before submitting your claim for the judge's review and approval. If your claim is approved, the claim amount will be transferred to your bank account. If your claim is rejected, you will be notified by the IO or prosecutor.

If you are a defence witness, the defence counsel will verify your application before submitting your claim to the relevant court officer who will then forward your claim to the judge for review and approval. If your claim is approved, the claim amount will be transferred to your bank account. If your claim is rejected, you will be notified by the IO or prosecutor, or defence counsel.

The claim submission process is the same for witnesses residing in Singapore and witnesses residing overseas in a Supreme Court criminal case. All witnesses are to submit their claims through their respective Counsel:

  • (For prosecution witnesses) The DPP.
  • (For defence witnesses) The defence counsel.
Tip
If you are unsure whether you are a defence or prosecution witness, ask the party who issued you the Summons to a Witness.

Refer to the following for the steps to submit your claims:

  1. Complete and submit the Witness Allowances Claim Form (PDF, 79 KB) to the Registrar of the Supreme Court through the investigation officer (IO) or defence counsel no later than 2 months after accrual of the claim.
  2. Make arrangements with the IO if you are a prosecution witness or the defence counsel if you are a defence witness.

If you are living in Singapore, you will need to submit the Witness Allowances Claims Form, together with a copy of the following supporting documents:

  • Your summon.
  • Your identity card (NRIC), foreign identification number (FIN) or passport.
  • Your bank passbook or statement with your name and bank account number.
    • If you are a Singapore citizen or PR who does not own an account from with these banks (Citibank, DBS, Far Eastern Bank, OCBC, POSB, UOB), or a foreigner based in Singapore who does not have a bank account in Singapore, you will also need to submit an original copy of the Direct Credit Authorisation (DCA) Form.
  • (If you are a salaried employee) Your monthly income statement or payslip.
  • (If you are self-employed) Your Notice of Assessment from the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS).

If you are living overseas, you will need to submit the Witness Allowances Claims Form, together with a copy of the following supporting documents:

  • Your summon.
  • Your passport or identification card.
  • Your booking confirmation, flight itinerary and receipts that show your trans-national travel timings, and the fare you paid.
  • (If you do not have a bank account in Singapore) The completed and signed Foreign Telegraphic Transfer Form.
  • (If you are a salaried employee) Your monthly income statement or payslip.
  • (If you are self-employed) Your latest income tax return.
Tip
If you are unsure whether you are a defence or prosecution witness, ask the party who summoned you.

After submitting your documents

If you are a prosecution witness, the IO or prosecutor will review your application before submitting your claim for the assistant registrar's approval.

If you are a defence witness, the defence counsel will verify your application before submitting your claim to the relevant court officer (certifying officer) who will then forward your claim to the assistant registrar for review and approval.

If your claim is approved, the claim amount will be transferred to your bank account. If your claim is rejected, you will be notified by the IO or prosecutor, or defence counsel.

Resources

Refer to:

Legislation associated with this topic includes the Criminal Procedure Code (Witnesses' Allowances) Regulations.


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