Singapore Courts Hierarchy

In Singapore, the court system is divided into many levels, each with its own set of powers, responsibilities and importance level. This gives birth to a proper hierarchical system of courts. Full judicial power is dependent upon the Supreme Court of Singapore, which is the highest order court in the country.

The main judges of all the important courts are appointed by the Prime Minister of Singapore. If you wish to understand the court structure or hierarchy of this nation better, you can read the following given information.

Singapore Courts HierarchySupreme Court

The Supreme Court is the topmost court or the court with the highest jurisdiction in the country. This court is composed of two other courts which are given as follows:

  • High Court – The high court of Singapore hears both criminal and civil matters and appeals. In criminal cases, this court hears cases related to death penalty and with imprisonment of more than 10 years term.
  • Court of Appeal – The Court of Appeal of Singapore hears the appeals related to criminal and civil cases which come from the high court. This particular court consists of three judges. For special reasons, the number of judges can be increased.

Subordinate Courts

In Singapore court hierarchy, Subordinate Court comes at the second level or tier of the judicial system. The Subordinate Courts is composed of the following two major courts:

  • District Court – The District court is the one which hears issues related to both civil and criminal cases.
  • Magistrate Court – The Magistrate court is the one which hears issues related civil and criminal cases.

Both the District and Magistrate Courts handle other matters related to other lower courts which are:

Family Court

The family court, as the name suggests is the court which is responsible for hearing matters related to families. It hears issues related to divorce proceedings like custody of children, maintenance of wife and children, division of marital properties. It also hears cases related to adoptions and personal protection of wife or husband.

Coroner’s Court

The Coroner’s Court is the court which is responsible for holding investigations to know about the cause of death of a person and also checks if anyone is responsible criminally or not.

Juvenile Court

The Juvenile court is the court which is responsible for hearing the offences against the persons who are below the age of 16 in the country. This court also has the power to deal with an offender who is a Juvenile and also handles the cases where the offender is a child and is beyond his/her parent’s control.

Community Court

The Community Court is the court which is responsible for hearing cases such as: young offenders (aged 16 to 18), neighborhood disputes, offenders with mental disabilities, suicide attempted cases,  cruelty towards animals cases of family violence, carnal connection offences which are committed by young offenders etc.

Small Claim Tribunals

This is the court which hears cases related to damage of properties, sale and purchase of goods and others in which the claim is below $ 10,000.