Singapore High Court Sounds Caution Against Citing COVID-19 Pandemic to Avoid Testimony in Person at Trial

13 Apr 2022 CaseWatch

Reiterating the importance for trials to be seen as fair by all litigants in an action, the General Division of the Singapore High Court (“High Court”) has issued guidance to witnesses overseas who cite the COVID-19 pandemic as the reason for not giving evidence in person at trial, and who instead seek to testify via video link. The High Court emphasised the need for a holistic assessment of all the circumstances of the case and, in particular, the precise grounds advanced in support of any claim that the witness is unable, as opposed to unwilling, to travel to Singapore to give evidence: Wang Xiaopu v Koh Mui Lee and others [2022] SGHC 54.

This update examines the High Court’s decision.

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