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This page is for matters that the Rules of Court 2021 apply to. For content relating to matters that the Rules of Court 2014 apply, click here.

If you are uncertain as to which version of the Rules of Court applies to your matter, click here.

The five Ideals are namely, fair access to justice, expeditious proceedings, cost-effective work; efficient use of court resources and fair and practical results suited to the needs of the parties. The two principles (Principles) are as follows:

  • A claimant is to sue and proceed on the strength of the claimant’s case and not on the weakness of the defendant’s case.
  • A party who sues or is sued in court does not thereby give up the party’s right to privacy and confidentiality in the party’s documents and communications.

The Court may allow a broader scope of production of documents where the Court determines that it is in the interests of justice to do so. It will be in the interests of justice to allow such broader scope of production of documents where it could aid in disposing fairly of the proceedings.

 

Note

 

This page describes the pre-trial processes for civil cases begun by an Originating Claim (OC) and heard in the Magistrate’s Court (non-injury motor accident action and any action for personal injuries), the District Court, and the General Division of the High Court.

Refer to Start a civil claim by originating claim (simplified civil process) or Respond to a civil claim made by an originating claim (simplified civil process)  instead if either of the following applies to your case:

  • Civil cases begun by an OC and heard in the Magistrate's Court (except non-injury motor accident action and any action for personal injuries).
  • Civil cases begun by an OC and heard in the District Court where all parties consent to the application of the simplified civil process.

What production means

The rules on production of documents under ROC 2021 seek to narrow the scope of production of documents and reduce the time and costs expended in the production of documents process.

As a baseline, all parties are required to produce and exchange the following documents in their possession or control:

  • All documents that the party will be relying on.
  • All known adverse documents, which include documents which a   party ought reasonably to know are adverse to its case. In other   words, the obligation to produce documents is not limited to the   production of adverse documents that a party is actually aware of,   but includes the production of adverse documents that the part could have knowledge about through reasonable checks and searches. 

The term “control” has a wide meaning and the obligation to produce documents would include, for example, documents in the party’s custody or power.

The parties may agree between themselves to produce and exchange documents falling within a broader scope.  

A requesting party may apply for the production of a specific document or class of documents in a party’s possession or control, but the Court will not order the production of:

  • Documents that merely lead a party on a train of inquiry to other documents, except in a special case.
  • A party's private or internal correspondence unless such correspondence are known adverse documents, or in a special case.
  • Subject to any written law, documents subject to any privilege or where production would be contrary to the public interest.

A table summarising the production of documents regime under ROC 2021 is set out below.

What may be subject of production

To be produced only in a Special Case

What will not be ordered to be produced

Documents the party will be relying on.

- All known adverse documents which include:

  • Documents which a party ought reasonably to know are adverse; and
  • Private or internal correspondence.

Documents agreed between the parties may be subject of production.

 

 

- Documents that merely lead a party on a train of inquiry to other documents.

 

- Private or internal correspondence (which are not known adverse documents).

- Privileged documents.

 

- Where production would be contrary to the public interest[1>.

[1] O 11 r 5(3) of ROC 2021.

Subject to certain circumstances, the Court may, of its own accord and at any time, order a party or non-party to produce a copy of any document that is in the person’s possession or control.

[tooltip class="note"]Parties are encouraged to collaborate in good faith and agree on issues relating to the production and exchange of documents.

 

Affidavits of evidence-in-chief before production of documents

Under ROC 2021, the Court may order the parties to file and exchange affidavits of evidence-in-chief (AEICs) of all or some witnesses after the pleadings have been filed and served, but before any production of documents and before the Court considers the need for any application.

The rationale for ordering AEICs before the production of documents includes, among other things:

  • Avoiding the possibility that witnesses may adjust their evidence to match disclosed documents.
  • Crystallising the key issues, and streamlining the matters to be dealt with in the single application pending trial.
  • Reducing the scope of disclosure, and potentially obviating the need for expert evidence.

With the above in mind, an order for AEICs before the production of documents is not confined only to exceptional circumstances. For example, an order for AEICs before the production of documents may be made for parties to put their factual evidence in so that the Court can thereafter decide whether expert evidence is even required.

After pleadings have been filed and served, parties will be invited to state their views on whether such an order will be appropriate. In appropriate circumstances, such as where the parties are unable to agree on whether the order should be made, parties will be directed to attend a further Case Conference before a Judge to determine this issue.

The Court, when ordering AEICs before any production of documents, may order the parties to:

  • File the AEICs of all or some of their witnesses.
  • File the AEICs sequentially or in any sequence.

Where the Court orders AEICs before the exchange of documents, the single application pending trial should not be filed until after all AEICs have been filed and served.

How to file

You may choose to file the documents personally or through a lawyer. If you are represented by a lawyer, the documents will be filed by your lawyer.

If you are representing yourself, you must file the documents through eLitigation at the LawNet and CrimsonLogic Service Bureau.

You must follow theRules of Court 2021and the State Court Practice Directions 2021 or the Supreme Court Practice Directions 2021 to prepare your documents before heading down personally to do the filing.

 

Estimated fees

Refer to the following to find out the possible fees for filing the documents. You may also refer to Fourth Schedule of the Rules of Court 2021.

In addition to the fees listed in the table, there are also other fees payable to the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau.

Item or service

Fees

Filing the list of documents

$10

File the affidavit

$1 per page, subject to a minimum fee of $10 per affidavit

Refer to the following for the filing fees if your claim is up to $1 million. In addition to the fees listed in the table, there are also other fees payable to the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau.

Item or service

Fees

Filing the list of documents

$50

File an affidavit

$2 per page, subject to a minimum fee of $50 per affidavit

Refer to the following for the filing fees if your claim is more than $1 million. In addition to the fees listed in the table, there are also other fees payable to the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau.

Item or service

Fees

Filing the list of documents

$100

File an affidavit

$2 per page, subject to a minimum fee of $50 per affidavit



    Need help?

    The information here is for general guidance as the courts do not provide legal advice. If you need further help, you may want to get independent legal advice.

    Find out more
    Alert-2 Note

    This page is for matters that the Rules of Court 2021 apply to. For content relating to matters that the Rules of Court 2014 apply, click here.

    If you are uncertain as to which version of the Rules of Court applies to your matter, click here.

    Go to Step-by-step guide

    Step-by-step guide

    2022/04/05

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