THE HIGH COURT
9. The High Court shall consist of —
the Chief Justice; and
the Judges of the High Court.
—(1) Every proceeding in the High Court and all business arising thereout shall, except as otherwise provided by any written law for the time being in force, be heard and disposed of before a single Judge.
(2) A Judge may, subject to Rules of Court, exercise in court or in chambers all or any part of the jurisdiction vested in the High Court, in all such causes and matters and in all such proceedings in any causes or matters as might immediately before 9th January 1970 have been heard in court or in chambers respectively by a single Judge, or as may be directed or authorised to be so heard by Rules of Court for the time being in force.
(3) A Judge of Appeal may sit in the High Court and act as a Judge thereof whenever the business of the High Court so requires, in which case he shall have all the jurisdiction, powers and privileges of such a Judge.
(4) If a Judge reserves judgment in any proceedings and his appointment as a Judge expires or is terminated before his judgment is delivered, he shall have power to deliver judgment in respect of those proceedings, notwithstanding that his appointment as a Judge has expired or has been terminated.
—(1) In any proceedings before the High Court, the Court may, if it thinks fit on the application of any party, or on its own motion, summon to its assistance, in such manner as may be prescribed by Rules of Court, one or more persons of skill and experience in the matter to which the proceedings relate who may be willing to sit with the Court and act as assessors.
(2) Subject to subsection (3), the remuneration of assessors for sitting under this section shall be at such rate as may be prescribed by Rules of Court and shall be costs in the proceedings unless otherwise ordered by the High Court.
(3) Where one or more assessors are summoned for the purposes of this section otherwise than on the application of a party to the proceedings, the remuneration of any such assessor shall be payable out of moneys provided by Parliament.
(4) Where any person is proposed to be summoned as an assessor, objection to him, either personally or in respect of his qualification, may be taken by any party in the prescribed manner.
—(1) Subject to subsection (2), the High Court shall sit on every day of the year except on Sundays and public holidays.
(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), a Judge may lawfully sit on a Sunday or public holiday or during a vacation prescribed under section 12 if —
the Chief Justice has directed the Judge to sit on that day or during that vacation; or
in the opinion of the Judge, the business to be despatched is extremely urgent.
—(1) The High Court shall sit at such times and at such places as the Chief Justice shall from time to time appoint.
(2) The distribution of business among the several Judges shall be made in accordance with such directions, which may be of a general or a particular nature, as may be given by the Chief Justice.
12. The Chief Justice may make such regulations as he thinks fit as to vacations of the Supreme Court not exceeding 2 months in any calendar year.
13. A judgment of the High Court for the payment of money to any person or into court may be enforced by a writ, to be called a writ of seizure and sale, under which all the property, movable or immovable, of whatever description, of a judgment debtor may be seized, except —
the wearing apparel and bedding of the judgment debtor or his family, and the tools and implements of his trade, when the value of such apparel, bedding, tools and implements does not exceed $1,000;
tools of artisans, and, where the judgment debtor is an agriculturist, his implements of husbandry and such animals and seed-grain or produce as may in the opinion of the court be necessary to enable him to earn his livelihood as such;
the wages or salary of the judgment debtor;
any pension, gratuity or allowance granted by the Government; and
the share of the judgment debtor in a partnership, as to which the judgment creditor is entitled to proceed to obtain a charge under any provision of any written law relating to partnership.
—(1) If a judgment or order is for the execution of a deed, or signing of a document, or for the indorsement of a negotiable instrument, and the party ordered to execute, sign or indorse such instrument is absent, or neglects or refuses to do so, any party interested in having the same executed, signed or indorsed, may prepare a deed, or document, or indorsement of the instrument in accordance with the terms of the judgment or order, and tender the same to the court for execution upon the proper stamp, if any is required by law, and the signature thereof by the Registrar, by order of the court, shall have the same effect as the execution, signing or indorsement thereof by the party ordered to execute.
(2) Nothing in this section shall be held to abridge the powers of the court to proceed by attachment against any person neglecting or refusing to execute, sign or indorse any such instrument.
—(1) The High Court shall have jurisdiction to try all offences committed —
on board any ship or aircraft registered in Singapore;
by any person who is a citizen of Singapore on the high seas or on any aircraft;
by any person on the high seas where the offence is piracy by the law of nations;
by any person within or outside Singapore where the offence is punishable under and by virtue of the provisions of the Hijacking of Aircraft and Protection of Aircraft and International Airports Act (Cap. 124) ; and
in any place or by any person if it is provided in any written law that the offence is triable in Singapore.
(2) The High Court may pass any sentence allowed by law.
—(1) The High Court shall have jurisdiction to hear and try any action in personam where —
the defendant submits to the jurisdiction of the High Court.
(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), the High Court shall have such jurisdiction as is vested in it by any other written law.
17. Without prejudice to the generality of section 16, the civil jurisdiction of the High Court shall include —
jurisdiction under any written law relating to divorce and matrimonial causes;
jurisdiction under any written law relating to matters of admiralty;
jurisdiction under any written law relating to bankruptcy or to companies;
jurisdiction to appoint and control guardians of infants and generally over the persons and property of infants;
jurisdiction to appoint and control guardians and keepers of the persons and estates of idiots, mentally disordered persons and persons of unsound mind; and
jurisdiction to grant probates of wills and testaments, letters of administration of the estates of deceased persons and to alter or revoke such grants.
—(1) Notwithstanding sections 16 and 17, the High Court shall have no jurisdiction to hear and try any civil proceedings involving matters which come within the jurisdiction of the Syariah Court under section 35(2)(a), (b) or (c) of the Administration of Muslim Law Act (Cap. 3) in which all the parties are Muslims or where the parties were married under the provisions of the Muslim law.
(2) Notwithstanding that such matters come within the jurisdiction of the Syariah Court under section 35(2)(d) or (e), 51 or 52(3)(c) or (d) of the Administration of Muslim Law Act (Cap. 3), the High Court shall have jurisdiction as is vested in it by any written law to hear and try any civil proceedings involving matters relating to —
maintenance for any wife or child;
custody of any child; and
disposition or division of property on divorce.
(3) Where civil proceedings involving any matter referred to in subsection (2)(b) or (c) and involving parties who are Muslims or were married under the provisions of the Muslim law are commenced in the High Court, the High Court shall stay the civil proceedings —
involving any matter referred to in subsection (2)(b) or (c), if the civil proceedings are commenced on or after the commencement of proceedings for divorce in the Syariah Court or after the making of a decree or order for divorce by the Syariah Court or on or after the registration of any divorce under section 102 of the Administration of Muslim Law Act between the same parties, unless a Syariah Court commencement certificate in respect of the civil proceedings has been filed with the High Court;
involving any matter referred to in subsection (2)(b), if proceedings for divorce are commenced in the Syariah Court or a decree or order for divorce is made by the Syariah Court or a divorce is registered under section 102 of the Administration of Muslim Law Act between the same parties after the commencement of the civil proceedings, unless a Syariah Court continuation certificate in respect of the civil proceedings has been filed with the High Court.
(4) For the purposes of subsection (3), where the proceedings in the Syariah Court are commenced on the same day as the civil proceedings in the High Court, the proceedings in the Syariah Court shall be deemed to have been commenced before the civil proceedings.
(5) Subsection (3)(a) shall not apply if the civil proceedings referred to therein are commenced in the High Court by the consent of the parties to the proceedings and the certificates of attendance of the parties issued under section 35A(7) of the Administration of Muslim Law Act (Cap. 3) have been filed in accordance with Rules of Court.
(6) Subsection (3)(b) shall not apply if the civil proceedings referred to therein are continued by the consent of the parties to the proceedings and the certificates of attendance of the parties issued under section 35A(7) of the Administration of Muslim Law Act have been filed in accordance with Rules of Court.
(7) For the avoidance of any doubt, the High Court, in exercising its jurisdiction or powers under subsection (2), shall apply the civil law.
(8) Notwithstanding section 3(2) of the Women’s Charter (Cap. 353), section 112 of that Act shall apply to the High Court in the exercise of its jurisdiction or powers under subsection (2)(c).
(9) In this section —
“Syariah Court” means the Syariah Court constituted under the Administration of Muslim Law Act;
“Syariah Court commencement certificate” means a commencement certificate issued by the Syariah Court under section 35A(4) of the Administration of Muslim Law Act;
—(1) The High Court shall have such powers as are vested in it by any written law for the time being in force in Singapore.
(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), the High Court shall have the powers set out in the First Schedule.
Appellate Jurisdiction of the High Court
19. The appellate criminal jurisdiction of the High Court shall consist of —
the hearing of appeals from District Courts or Magistrates’ Courts before one or more Judges according to the provisions of the law for the time being in force relating to criminal procedure; and
the hearing of points of law reserved by special cases submitted by a District Court or Magistrate’s Court before one or more Judges according to the provisions of the law for the time being in force relating to criminal procedure.
20. The appellate civil jurisdiction of the High Court shall consist of —
the hearing of appeals from District Courts;
the hearing of appeals from District Courts and Magistrates’ Courts when exercising jurisdiction of a quasi-criminal or civil nature; and
the hearing of appeals from other tribunals as may from time to time be prescribed by any written law.
—(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act or any other written law, an appeal shall lie to the High Court from a decision of a District Court or Magistrate’s Court in any suit or action for the recovery of immovable property or in any civil cause or matter where the amount in dispute or the value of the subject-matter exceeds $50,000 or such other amount as may be specified by an order made under subsection (3) or with the leave of a District Court, a Magistrate’s Court or the High Court if under that amount.
[4/86; 16/93; 43/98]
(2) Such appeals may be heard before one Judge provided that the Judge, if he thinks fit, may reserve any appeal for the decision of a court consisting of 3 Judges, and in such case the appeal shall be decided in accordance with the opinion of the majority of the Judges composing the High Court.
(3) The President may, after consulting the Chief Justice, by order published in the Gazette vary the amount mentioned in subsection (1).
23. The High Court may exercise powers of revision in respect of criminal proceedings and matters in subordinate courts in accordance with the provisions of any written law for the time being in force relating to criminal procedure.
24. The High Court may call for and examine the record of any civil proceedings before any subordinate court for the purpose of satisfying itself as to the correctness, legality or propriety of any decision recorded or passed, and as to the regularity of any proceedings of any such subordinate court.
25. In the case of any civil proceedings in a subordinate court the record of which has been called for, or which otherwise comes to its knowledge, the High Court may give such orders thereon, either by directing a new trial or otherwise, as seem necessary to secure that substantial justice is done.
26. Where an appeal lies from any decision in any civil matter, and no appeal is brought, no proceeding by way of revision shall be entertained at the instance of a party who could have appealed.
—(1) In addition to the powers conferred on the High Court by this Act or any other written law, the High Court shall have general supervisory and revisionary jurisdiction over all subordinate courts.
(2) The High Court may in particular, but without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), if it appears desirable in the interests of justice, either of its own motion or at the instance of any party or person interested, at any stage in any matter or proceeding, whether civil or criminal, in any subordinate court, call for the record thereof, and may remove the matter or proceeding into the High Court or may give to the subordinate court such directions as to the further conduct of the matter or proceeding as justice may require.
(3) Upon the High Court calling for any record under subsection (2), all proceedings in the subordinate court in the matter or proceeding in question shall be stayed pending further order of the High Court.
—(1) Subject to the provisions of any written law for the time being in force, no party shall have any right to be heard before the High Court when exercising its powers of revision and supervision.
(2) No final order shall be made to the prejudice of any person unless that person has had an opportunity of being so heard.
Allocation of Proceedings
—(1) The Chief Justice may, where he considers it necessary or expedient to improve efficiency in the administration of justice and to provide for more speedy disposal of proceedings commenced in the High Court, by order direct such class or classes or description of proceedings as may be specified in the order to be heard and determined by the District Court.
(2) Notwithstanding any other written law, any order under subsection (1) —
may confer jurisdiction on a District Court to hear and determine —
any proceedings specified in the order which, but for the order, the District Court would not have jurisdiction to hear and determine by reason only of the fact that the amount involved exceeds the monetary limit of its jurisdiction; or
may make such incidental provision for the transfer of the proceedings to the District Court (including matters relating to procedure and costs) as the Chief Justice thinks fit.