The Electronic Filing System (EFS) is the latest electronic and web-based network for the Singapore Judiciary. It serves as a tool to record, store, and organize all documents concerning court proceedings. The creation of the Electronic Filing System aims to provide Singapore’s Supreme Court a system where managing and monitoring existing cases can be easier.
In the year 2000, the Electronic Filing System became available for use not just for the Singapore Judiciary, but also for all law firms nationwide. It takes advantage of the booming popularity of Internet use and creates a shorter method of filing and submitting cases. Clerks and assistants would usually travel back and forth in order to put documents in the registry’s system. The new electronic network minimizes physical effort, travel costs, and time usage while efficiently filing all legal documents faster. This also reduces to a great extent any problems related to recovery, misplacement, and privacy of documents.
The Electronic Filing System provides four services to all registered law firms: the Electronic Filing Service, Electronic Extract Service, Electronic Service of Documents Facility, and the Electronic Information Service. All services, except the latter, are available for use directly on the official website’s interface. The Electronic Filing System allows registered users to electronically file their documents anytime of the day, any day of the week. Payments for the filing service can also be transferred online, with accurate billing statements sent to the law firm.
Law firms can use the Electronic Extract Service for two purposes: to search and to extract. Any existing documents will appear on the system’s database, which makes for an easier search. Law firms can also print and duplicate any documents when the request is granted by the courts. The Electronic Service of Documents Facility, on the other hand, has a feature called “One Click File-n-Serve," which simultaneously sends and serves documents both to the courts and the other party. This feature decreases unnecessary procedures and “red tape” to anyone who wants to bring a case to the courts.
Interested law firms who want to use the Electronic Filing System can apply online. They must submit a completed application form and other required documents before receiving an installer for the legal software. Individuals can also attend training sessions prepared by the Singapore Academy of Law before using the software.