Family Justice Courts Practice Directions

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Part IX – Youth Courts

31. Application and Appeals

Application

(1) The directions in this Part apply to any proceedings or any matter before the Youth Courts which relates to any —

(a) pre-trial or plead guilty procedure;

(b) procedure in respect of bails and bonds under Division 5 of Part VI of the Criminal Procedure Code (Cap. 68);

(c) procedure under section 370 of the Criminal Procedure Code;

(d) procedure for the search of premises or persons and the seizure of property (including any procedure under section 35(7) of the Criminal Procedure Code for the release of any property seized, or prohibited from being disposed of or dealt with under section 35(1) of the Code);

(e) procedure for an inquiry to determine the order or orders to be made in respect of any property produced before the Court for which there are competing claims;

(f) procedure for the surrender and return of travel documents under sections 112 and 113 of the Criminal Procedure Code;

(g) procedure for issuing summonses to persons to appear before the Court under section 115 of the Criminal Procedure Code;

(h) procedure for appeal under Division 1 of Part XX of the Criminal Procedure Code;

(i) procedure for the taking of evidence under section 21 of the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act (Cap. 190A); and

(j) application for the issue of a warrant under section 10(1) or 24(1) of the Extradition Act (Cap. 103).

(2) The directions in this Part must be read in conjunction with the Criminal Procedure Code (Electronic Filing and Service for Criminal Proceedings in the State Courts) Regulations 2013.

Appeals

(3) Skeletal arguments must be filed at least 10 days before the hearing. Hard copies of the bundles of authorities and skeletal arguments shall be tendered to the Youth Courts Registry at the same time as they are filed. Skeletal arguments filed in breach of this timeline will be stamped “Late Submission”. Paragraph 127(1) to (4) apply to skeletal arguments filed for appeals against Youth Court orders.

32. Magistrate’s complaints (Private summonses)

(1) Framing of criminal charges

Solicitors representing the complainants (save in maintenance cases) are to frame and submit the charges when the complaints are filed. This will facilitate the immediate issuance of the summons if it is so ordered by the Duty Magistrate.

(2) Infringement of copyright/trademarks

Magistrate’s complaints involving infringement of copyright/trademarks must be sworn by authorised representatives. A letter of authorization to that effect must be attached to the complaint.

(3) Service of summons by solicitors’ clerks

(a) Solicitors are informed that any summons issued pursuant to Section 153 Criminal Procedure Code 2010 must be served at least 7 days before the return date of the summons if such service is undertaken by the firm’s clerk. This is because the authorization to serve will lapse 7 days before the return date.

(b) If the summons is already served on the respondent 7 days before the mention date, the attached summons must be returned to the Youth Court Registry immediately after service. Failure to do so will result in the summons not being listed for mention.

(c) If the summons cannot be served on the respondent 1 week before the mention date, the authorization to serve will lapse. In order to obtain further authorization for the firm’s clerk to serve the summons on the respondent or to obtain an extension of the return date, the solicitor must appear before the Duty Magistrate not later than 5 days before the return date. Failure to comply with this may result in the complaint being struck off the list.

33. Application for Court Records for Youth Court matters and non-electronically filed cases

(1) This paragraph shall apply only in respect of Youth Courts proceedings.

(2) An application for a copy of any part of the record of any proceedings for a case registered via the Integrated Criminal case filing and Management System (“ICMS”) must be made via the ICMS portal under “Request for Court Records”.

(3) Applications for all other cases must be made in Form 211 in Appendix A to these Practice Directions.

(4) On approval of an application that has been e-filed via the ICMS, the record of proceedings will be available for online downloading via the ICMS portal or collection depending on the delivery mode chosen.

(5) Upon approval of an application for all other cases, and for ICMS cases where the mode of collection chosen is at the counter, the requisite number of copies of the record of proceedings applied for shall be made available for collection by the applicant for a period of 21 calendar days from the date specified in the notification given to the applicant by the Youth Courts Registry or Family Justice Courts Registry (as the case may be).

(6) Where the copy of any record of proceedings applied for is not collected by the applicant within the time given by sub-paragraph (5), the copy of the record of proceedings shall be disposed of and the applicant must make a fresh application if he still requires a copy of the relevant record of proceedings.

(7) The relevant fee prescribed by the Criminal Procedure Code (Prescribed Fees) Regulations 2013, or the Family Justice Rules (as the case may be) must be paid by the applicant at the time he makes the application.

(8) The applicant shall be allowed to download or collect the copy of the record of proceedings applied for only if the fees payable therefor, including any balance fee payable, have been fully paid by him.

(9) Any application for the waiver or remission of any fee payable for a copy of any record of proceedings may be made to the Registrar of the Family Justice Courts and the grant of such an application shall be in the absolute discretion of the Registrar.

34. Initiation of prosecution

All criminal prosecutions instituted by or on behalf of the Public Prosecutor, a police officer, an officer from a law enforcement agency, or a person acting with the authority of a public body against one or more accused, whether or not represented by an advocate and solicitor must be initiated by electronic filing.

35. Charges

(1) All new and amended charges must be e-filed prior to the scheduled court session.

(2) The charges must be in Word Document format (.doc or .docx) or in the Portable Document Format (PDF).

(3) The charge sheet for each distinct offence must be e-filed separately, and the system will assign and stamp a unique number on each charge sheet.

(4) The investigation officer or prosecutor framing the charge is not required to sign the charge but must key in “ /s/ ” followed by his name above his personal information in the charge sheet.

36. Checklists

(1) For every Mention (FM / FFM); Pre-Trial Conference (PTC); Criminal Case Disclosure Conference (CCDC) and Plead Guilty Mention (FM(PG)), there will be a corresponding Mentions Checklist, PTC/CCDC checklist and PG checklist for the court event in the electronic case file.

(2) Except for the first appearance in court by defence counsel, defence counsel is required to submit the Mentions or PTC checklist indicating the affirmative position of the accused. The submission may be made at any time prior to the commencement of the scheduled court event.

(3) Prosecutors are required to submit the Mentions or PTC checklists indicating the prosecution’s affirmative position. The submission may be made at any time prior to the commencement of the scheduled court event.

(4) The PG checklist need not be re-submitted if the position of the prosecution on the charge(s) has been indicated and remains the same.

(5) For CCDCs, the checklist is only required to be submitted before the scheduled court event by the party applying for an adjournment.

37. Applications

(1) All applications which have been specifically provided for must be e-filed. These include applications relating to the initiation of any criminal process or criminal matter or which require a direction or court order before the scheduled court session.

(2) An application which is not e-filed in accordance with the directions contained in this Part shall be rejected.

(3) The prosecution or defence must notify the party who is unrepresented of its application.

38. Bundles of authorities for Youth Courts proceedings

(1) In all Youth Courts proceedings, counsel shall submit their own bundle of authorities. In this regard, the following shall be complied with:

(a) The bundle of authorities to be prepared by each party should:

(i) contain all the authorities, cases, statutes, subsidiary legislation and any other materials relied on;

(ii) be properly bound with plastic ring binding or plastic spine thermal binding in accordance with the requirements set out in Paragraph 90(8)(c);

(iii) be paginated consecutively at the top right hand corner of each page (for which purpose the pagination should commence on the first page of the first bundle and run sequentially to the last page of the last bundle); and

(iv) contain an index of the authorities in that bundle and be appropriately flagged for easy reference.

(b) Only authorities which are relevant or necessary for the trial shall be included in the bundles. No bundle of authorities is necessary in cases where parties are not relying on any authority at the trial. In cases where the Court is of the opinion that costs have been wasted by the inclusion of unnecessary authorities, the Court will have no hesitation in making a special order for costs against the relevant person.

(c) The bundle of authorities shall be filed and served on all relevant parties at least 3 working days before trial.

(2) Bundles of authorities should not be filed electronically.

39. Documents

(1) Except for the Statement of Facts and Schedule of Offences, all documents must be e- filed using the Portable Document Format (PDF).

(2) The Statement of Facts and the Schedule of Offences may be filed in Word Document Format (.doc or .docx).

(3) The investigation officer or prosecutor putting up the Statement of Facts must key in “ /s/ ” followed by his name.

(4) The proper document type must be selected and a clear and appropriate document title must be entered. The document title should not be abbreviated.

(5) It is not necessary for documents to have a cover page or backing sheet.

(6) Every page of a document must be paginated consecutively so that the pagination on the actual document corresponds with the pagination of the Portable Document Format (PDF) document in the electronic case file, and the page number must be inserted at the centre top of the page.

(7) The prosecution or defence must provide hard copies of documents that are electronically filed to the unrepresented litigant.

40. Documents which cannot be converted into electronic format

(1) If a document cannot be converted in whole or in part into an electronic format for any reason, the hard copy of the document must be tendered to the court.

(2) A document which is not wholly converted into an electronic format without good reason may be rejected as the Court sees fit.

41. Amendment of charges and documents

Where a charge or document is required to be amended, a fresh copy of the charge or document must be produced and e-filed, regardless of the number and length of the amendments sought to be made.

42. Noting of appearances of advocates/prosecutors

(1) To facilitate the contacting of advocates having conduct of matters in the Family Justice Courts, advocates appearing in cases must fill in a Form 212 of Appendix A each and hand it to the court officer before their cases are mentioned.

(2) This practice applies to all Youth Court trials and mentions courts.

(3) The forms will be placed on all bar tables.

43. Limits on size and number of documents submitted using Electronic Filing Service

(1) The following limits shall apply to the filing of documents:

(a) the total number of pages in a single document must not exceed 999;

(b) the size of a single transmission must not exceed 50 mega-bytes.

(2) The resolution for scanning, unless otherwise directed by the court, must be no more than 300 DPI.

(3) In the event that any party wishes to file documents which exceed the limits specified in sub-paragraph (1), he may make multiple submissions.

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