From 2 January 2020, parties who need to show their Court Order to others will no longer need to provide a Certified True Copy (CTC) of the order. With the launch of the Authentic Court Orders (ACO) system, eligible Court Orders extracted after 2 January 2020 will be automatically endorsed with access information for the Court Order to be retrievable from a secure Singapore Government website. By using a QR Code reader or by keying in the Reference Number of the Court Order, the authenticity of the Court Order can be quickly established. The website is at: https://www.courtorders.gov.sg. Banks, government agencies and other organisations can therefore dispense with asking a party to provide a hardcopy CTC of the order. The service is free of charge.
2. Orders arising out of Civil cases in the State Courts and High Court are currently included in the ACO system. Other court orders may be added progressively.
3. The current process of obtaining a CTC can be avoided entirely. In addition to requiring time and more than one trip to the Court, a litigant-in-person has to wait several days, and pay charges for each hardcopy CTC. The hardcopy CTC may also be inadvertently misplaced, or the party may not have sufficient CTCs and may need to obtain more CTCs.
4. The authentic copy which can be obtained from the ACO system includes digital signature technology. Persons can produce a photocopy, email, fax or screenshot of an ACO to any person that may need to act on the Court Order. That person (a bank, stock exchange, government agency etc) can verify the authenticity of the order by retrieving it directly from the official ACO system.
5. The digital signature technology in an ACO can be seen in the “Signature Panel” visible when the free Adobe Acrobat reader software is used to view the softcopy. This Signature Panel will show whether the softcopy was digitally “signed” by the Judiciary and whether it was modified since the time it was downloaded from the ACO system. The softcopy can be easily stored, and shared via email or portable media.
6. The ACO is a joint initiative by the Singapore Courts and is in line with the Judiciary’s efforts to leverage technology to enhance access to justice. For more information on the ACO initiative, please visit https://www.supremecourt.gov.sg/services/court-services/authentic-court-orders.