Judiciary launches new system to authenticate court orders that saves users time and cost

With the new system, court orders for civil cases in the State Courts and High Court will come with access information to retrieve an authentic copy from a secure government website.
With the new system, court orders for civil cases in the State Courts and High Court will come with access information to retrieve an authentic copy from a secure government website.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - A new system which allows court orders to be verified via a QR code can save time and money for litigants who need to show the documents to organisations such as banks and government agencies.

Previously, litigants had to make more than one trip to the court, wait several days for a court order to be certified, and pay for each copy.

With the launch of the system on Jan 2, court orders for civil cases in the State Courts and High Court will come with access information to retrieve an authentic copy from a secure government website.

By using a QR code reader or keying in the reference number, banks and agencies can verify the authenticity of the order by retrieving it directly from the system, instead of asking the person who produces it for a certified hard copy.

The service, which is free of charge, was mentioned by Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon in his speech to mark the opening of the legal year on Monday (Jan 6) as one of the initiatives by the courts to enhance efficiency.

Another measure in the works is an application for lawyers to take queue numbers remotely for selected hearings.

The judiciary is also pursuing automated speech-to-text transcription, with a view to providing real-time transcripts that are reasonably accurate and affordable.

Chief Justice Menon said these initiatives represent first steps in the journey to build a system that better meets society's justice needs.

In his conversations with 160 people across 16 focus groups in the legal sector, there was broad agreement that while technology has substantially improved court processes, it can accomplish far more, he said.

 

"Technology can be deployed to mitigate persistent inefficiencies, delays, expense and inaccessibilities within existing court processes," he said.