What is the Criminal Case Management System (CCMS) in Singapore?

What is the Criminal Case Management System (CCMS) in Singapore?


When a charge is brought against an accused person, he/she must be allowed to defend himself/herself if necessary. The usual process is to claim trial and and to dispute any issue of fact or law that arises from the prosecution's case.

It is in the interest of both the prosecution and the defence to be aware of each other's case. Having a strong awareness of each side's cases can lead to more considered plea bargaining and possibly save the Court's time and resources.

As such, the Criminal Case Management System (CCMS) was introduced in 2003 with the primary objective of assisting in the resolution of criminal cases in an effective and timely manner.

What Is The Criminal Case Management System (CCMS)?

The CCMS process is only applicable for accused persons represented by a law firm and involves a 'without prejudice' meeting between the Defence Counsel (the law firm representing the accused) and the Prosecution. 'Without prejudice' means that the information stated during the discussion between the parties will not be used against them if they cannot come to an agreement, thereby allowing parties to speak openly and freely.

During this private meeting, the parties will usually seek to identify the key issues in the case that are disputed, and to solicit and disclose information that may be pertinent to the case. It aids both parties to assess the relative merits of their case and possibly facilitates a higher chance of reaching an agreement on plea bargaining.

What Is The Process To Request For A CCMS?

The process to request for a CCMS is generally quite informal. After representations have been made, the defence counsel may request for a CCMS at the Pre-Trial Conference.

The prosecution and defence counsel then arrange to meet at the prosecution's office to review the facts and evidence, and to have an open and frank discussion. The parties may also opt to have the CCMS conducted over the phone instead.

Subsequently, after the CCMS, the accused and defence counsel will then be in a better position to assess the accused's case and to decide on next steps.

The parties can then update the Court subsequently on the outcome of the CCMS.


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Filed under: Criminal Defence
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