Commencing Proceedings at the SICC
Commencement of SICC proceedings
SICC proceedings can be commenced by way of:
1. Writ of summons; or
2. Originating summons
Where there is a fact that would likely be heavily contested, proceedings must commence by writ of summons. Where the sole or main question at issue pertains to construction of any written law or document, or where facts are unlikely to be heavily contested, proceedings should begin by originating summons.
Joinder of other persons as parties
In order for a person to be joined as a party to an action, the following requirements have to be satisfied:
(a) Requirements under ROC O 15 r 4 for joinder of parties; and
(b) Where a prerogative order is not the form of relief sought after and the claims are suitable to be heard in the SICC.
It is not required that the claims sought by or against a person have to be international or commercial in nature but the SICC would consider the nature of the claim when exercising its discretion on whether to join that person.
Enforcement of SICC Judgement or Order Abroad
An SICC judgement or order is enforced as an order of a superior court of law. An SICC judgement or order may also be recognised and enforced in certain jurisdictions pursuant to the Reciprocal Enforcement of Commonwealth Judgments Act (Cap 264), the Reciprocal Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act (Cap 265) and the Choice of Court Agreements Act 2016 (Act 14 of 2016).
Foreign Legal Representation in Proceedings in the SICC
Typically, only advocates and solicitors who are qualified locally have rights of audience before the courts in Singapore. However, considering the international nature of the SICC, foreign lawyers may represent parties in SICC proceedings.
Parties may be represented by Registered Foreign Lawyers in:
(a) An “offshore case”; or
(b) Where the SICC has allowed a named Registered Foreign Lawyer to make submissions on behalf of a party to determine a question of law.
A foreign lawyer has to apply for either full registration or restricted registration in accordance with the Legal Profession Act (Cap 161) s 36P in order to represent a party in SICC proceedings.
Disapplication of Singapore Evidence Law
On application by a party, pursuant to O 110 R23(1) of ROC, the SICC may order that foreign rules of evidence or otherwise apply instead of the Singapore evidence law.
The SICC provides a set of recommended model clauses which include the following:
1. Submission of disputes to the jurisdiction of the SICC before or after a dispute arises; and
2. Exclusion or limitation of the parties’ rights of appeal.
SICC Judicial Code of Conduct
The SICC Judicial Code of Conduct encompasses six core values which represent the principles that determine the standards of ethical conduct to be expected of judges of the SICC. They are namely, Independence, Impartiality, Integrity, Propriety, Equality, and Competence and Diligence.
The SICC allows for non-Singaporean nationals to be appointed as International Judges to sit in the SICC. International Judges are also required to comply with similar ethical obligations in relation to conduct in their own countries where such conduct would affect the performance of their duties in the SICC.
As International Judges also take up positions as arbitrators, mediators, academics, lecturers, consultants and advisers, the principled of the SICC Code of Conduct also applies when International Judges take on roles other than that of being an International Judge of the Supreme Court of Singapore.
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