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What is a virtual court session

A virtual court session is one that is conducted via video conferencing.

Selected court sessions in the State Courts, Family Justice Courts and Supreme Court are held virtually. The court will inform you if your court session will be held via video conferencing.

Who can attend a virtual court session

You can attend a virtual court session if you are a party involved in the case. All virtual court sessions take place as if the parties are in court.

Note: If you are self-represented, ensure that you have your identification document ready to present to the court via the webcam, so that the court can verify your identity.

You should inform the court if there are any other persons present with you at the virtual court session, even if they are not captured in the video. No one should attend the virtual court session if the court is not aware of their presence.

Prepare for your virtual court session

Each court has specific guidelines that parties must follow.

Refer to the resources by the court that your case is heard in:

You may also refer to the Singapore Academy of Law's guide to virtual hearings without tears for more information.

Where to set up your session

Select an indoor, private and quiet location to participate in the virtual court session, preferably without the presence of children or pets. You should not be outdoors or at a location where other persons who are not parties to the case may listen to the court session.

Be mindful of the backdrop to be shown on screen. Choose a plain backdrop, such as a plain wall, window or blinds.

Note

For Family Justice Courts (FJC) virtual court sessions, unrepresented parties may come down to the FJC to use the Zoom facilities provided, if they are unable to find a suitable location to participate in the virtual session.

Naming conventions

The court will only admit you into the virtual court session if you comply with the the respective court's naming convention for your display name.

Refer to the naming convention set out in the court notice or correspondence you received for the virtual court session.

At your virtual court session

You should dress and behave in the same way you would if you were to attend a court session physically, except that you do not need to stand or bow towards the State Crest or judge at the start or end of the session, or stand when addressing the court.

What to wear for your virtual court session

You should dress neatly and appropriately as though you are appearing in court in person:

If you are not dressed appropriately, you will not be allowed to participate in the virtual court session.

Conduct for your virtual court session

Follow these guidelines during the virtual court session:

You should....

You should not...

  • Log in and be ready at least 10 minutes before, or even earlier as indicated in the court notice.
  • Have your materials near you and be prepared for the hearing.
  • Switch all electronic devices to the silent mode.
  • Keep your microphones on mute unless you are speaking.
  • Leave your camera switched on throughout the court session
  • Place the main source of light behind the camera and in front of your face. 
  • If possible, use headphones with an attached microphone.
  • Take the cue from the judge to speak.
  • Speak clearly.
  • Place the main source of light behind you as your face will not be shown properly in its shadow.
  • Drive or walk around during the virtual court session.
  • Interrupt any speaker or speak when it is not your turn to do so.
  • Take any audio or visual recordings of the court session.
  • Allow anyone who has not obtained permission from the court to attend the court session.
Note
Videography, photography or audio recording in any form is strictly prohibited. These and the dissemination of any image or recording of the proceedings may amount to contempt of court. (Contempt of court is conduct that interferes with the court's functionality. It is punishable by a fine or imprisonment, or both.)

Related questions

If your case is held in the State Courts, you may inform the court at least 7 days before the virtual court session so that the court can give any directions needed.

If your case is held in the Family Justice Courts (FJC), you may arrange to use video conferencing facilities available at the courts.

Contact the court for more information:

If your case is held in the Supreme Court and you have any concerns attending by video conferencing and would like to attend in person instead, you may write in to inform the court within the time specified in the notice you received for the court session.


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