Parliament: Changes proposed to allow the High Court and Court of Appeal powers to restrain vexatious litigants

The proposed changes would give the High Court and Court of Appeal the power to stay the proceedings and order that no further documents be filed by a party, if the filing of documents is vexatious or for an improper purpose.
The proposed changes would give the High Court and Court of Appeal the power to stay the proceedings and order that no further documents be filed by a party, if the filing of documents is vexatious or for an improper purpose.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Supreme Court will be able to issue orders to stop a litigant from filing further documents in vexatious mattersunder proposed changes to the Supreme Court of Judicature Act.

Vexatious proceedings are those which are groundless. They may be initiated with the purpose of annoying or embarrassing the other party, and not for the purpose of having the court decide on the issues.

The proposed changes, which seek to enhance and improve court processes, will give the High Court and Court of Appeal greater powers to control such proceedings.

This would include issuing different types of civil restraint orders to address varying degrees of vexatious conduct.

Senior Minister of State for Law and Health Edwin Tong introduced the Supreme Court of Judicature (Amendment No. 2) Bill in Parliament on Monday (Sept 10).

In a statement, the Ministry of Law said the proposed changes would introduce a more nuanced approach to restrain a vexatious litigant, taking into account the facts of each case.

It would give the courts the power to stay the proceedings and order that no further documents be filed by a party, if the filing of documents is vexatious or for an improper purpose.