The new Rules of Court (ROC 2021) in Singapore were gazetted on 1 December 2021 and will come into operation on 1 April 2022
The new civil procedure rules for the General Division of the High Court in Singapore, excluding the Singapore International Commercial Court, (ROC 2021) were gazetted on 1 December 2021 and will come into operation on 1 April 2022.
The new regime signifies the first major overhaul of the civil justice system in Singapore since the 1990s. ROC 2021 is the result of a collective effort that began with the establishment of the Civil Justice Commission (CJC), in January 2015, and the Civil Justice Review Committee (CJRC), in May 2016.
Thereafter, the CJC and CJRC each published separate reports containing proposals for the reform of Singapore’s civil litigation practices.1 In late October 2018, a public consultation was held to receive feedback on the two committees’ proposals. The release of the response to public feedback on the recommendations of the CJC and the CJRC in June 2021 was the penultimate step before the publication of ROC 2021.
ROC 2021 sets out to enhance various aspects of civil procedure in Singapore by streamlining the process of litigation, and making court hearings speedier and more cost-effective. Various online publications, including an entry in the January 2022 feature in the Law Gazette, have sought to outline and comment on some of the main changes which will be brought in under ROC 2021.
For the most part, their aim has been to provide a broad overview of the main developments under the incoming civil justice regime. This entry, though, has a much narrower focus. In particular, it sets out to examine the impact of the new rules of court on the Singapore courts’ approach to assuming jurisdiction over foreign-based defendants (the service-out jurisdiction) in private-international-law disputes. read more