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Types of Decisions

Judicial Decisions 

At the end of case proceedings, the court will decide on the case. The court’s decision may be delivered orally or in writing, on the same day or later.

Types of Judicial Decisions

Where the court delivers its decision orally, the parties should be prepared to take their own notes of the decision. These are known as Oral Decisions or Oral Judgments.

After the case proceedings have concluded, the court may adjourn the case to consider the evidence and arguments from both parties and inform the parties to attend court at a later date for the delivery of the oral decision.

At other times, the oral decision may be made and given on the same day at the end of the case proceedings. This is also sometimes referred to as an ex tempore decision.

These are court decisions which are in written form, either for the purpose of publication or for the parties’ reference.

Written decisions which are intended for publication will have a unique reference for easy identification which is known as a neutral citation (e.g. Public Prosecutor v ABC [2023] SGDC 1; Tan v Lim [2023] SGMC 1).

Oral Decisions for publication

When delivering an Oral Decision, the court may also prepare a written copy of the decision for the parties’ reference. If this is intended for publication, it will have a neutral citation appended on it.


At other times, the court may prepare full written reasons for the decision which is intended for publication. This written decision is known as a Judgment and will have a neutral citation appended on it.

Grounds of Decision

Generally, if an appeal is filed against the decision of the court and no Judgment was issued earlier, the court will usually prepare a document which sets out the full written reasons for the decision. This document is known as the Grounds of Decision and will have a neutral citation appended to it. Grounds of Decision may also be issued in cases where no appeal is filed

Court decisions with neutral citations are considered as published decisions. All published decisions of the Supreme Court since 2000 are available here. The State Courts’ and Family Justice Courts’ published decisions for the last three months can be accessed here.

Important Judgments and Grounds of Decision of the Supreme Court may be reported in the Singapore Law Reports (e.g. Public Prosecutor v ABD [2023] 1 SLR 1; Tan v Tan [2023] 1 SLR 24) published by the Singapore Academy of Law. The decision on whether or not to publish in the Singapore Law Reports is decided by the Council of Law Reporting.

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