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Introduction of Express Track in the General Division of the High Court

1.     The Express Track will be implemented on 1 July 2024 with the introduction of the new Order 46A of the Rules of Court 2021 (“ROC 2021”, see Annex A). The Express Track is a new opt-in scheme that is designed to fill the gap for matters that have disputes of fact making them unsuitable for disposal by way of Originating Applications or summary judgments, but which can be resolved within up to four days of trial. 

2.     The Express Track is applicable to actions in the General Division of the High Court commenced by originating claim where all parties to the action consent for the action to be placed on the Express Track. Various features of the Express Track, designed and refined in consultation with stakeholders, serve to ensure that as far as possible, the trial will take place within 9 months after the action is placed on the Express Track. These features include:

(a) mandatory production of documents relied on by parties to prove any allegation(s) contained in his/her pleadings and mandatory exchange of Affidavits of Evidence-in-Chief (“AEICs”) before production of documents;

(b) body of AEICs (excluding exhibits) limited to 30 pages, with a view towards limiting the duration of cross-examination at trial;

(c) interlocutory applications to be made by way of a single application pending trial under O 9 r 9 of the ROC 2021, and will be decided by the court without hearing oral arguments;

(d) unless the court directs otherwise, closing submissions to be made orally at the end of trial; and

(e) trial not to exceed 4 days (excluding time spent on oral closing submissions). 

3.     To ensure that as far as possible, an action placed on the Express Track can progress to trial expeditiously and within 9 months from placement on the Express Track, all decisions made by a Judge in an action placed on the Express Track are non-appealable, except for decisions which are in the nature of: (a) a judgment by the Judge given after the trial of the action; and, broadly speaking, (b) a judgment or order by the Judge that would bring the action to an end or which would prevent the action from proceeding further (“the Exceptions”). The restriction on parties’ rights of appeal and the Exceptions will be implemented through the introduction of a new paragraph 4 in the Fourth Schedule to the Supreme Court of Judicature Act 1969 (“SCJA”, Annex B). To avoid doubt, the Exceptions do not introduce a standalone right of appeal or derogate from existing requirements for permission to appeal (where applicable); where the Fifth Schedule to the SCJA applies, permission to appeal is to be obtained in accordance with s 29A of the SCJA. 

4.     The Express Track will also be implemented by way of a new Part 24 of the Supreme Court Practice Directions 2021 (“SCPD 2021”, Annex C). The new Part 24 stipulates the various matters and requirements that are unique to actions that are placed on the Express Track, such as: (a) the form to be used for parties to request that an action to be placed on the Express Track; (b) the format of  the lists of documents that a party is to serve (together with a copy of every document relied on by that party to prove any allegation contained in his/her pleading) on every other party to the action; (c) case management; and (d) the undertaking that is to be filed at the same time as the filing of a party’s AEICs.  


Annex ARules of Court (Amendment No. 2) Rules 2024 (PDF, 111 KB)

Annex B -   Supreme Court of Judicature Act 1969 (Amendment of Fourth Schedule) Order 2024 (which introduces paragraph 4 of the Fourth Schedule to the SCJA) (PDF, 86 KB)

Annex C -   Supreme Court Practice Directions (Amendment No. 2) 2024 (which introduces Part 24 of the SCPD 2021 and Appendix B (Forms B46 and B47)) (PDF, 51 KB)


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