Ling Kee Ling and Another v Leow Leng Siong and Others ( No 2)

JurisdictionSingapore
JudgeKarthigesu JA
Judgment Date04 May 1995
Neutral Citation[1995] SGCA 44
Citation[1995] SGCA 44
Defendant CounselSinga Retnam (Singa Retnam & Fang),Chen Chuen Tat (BT Tan & Co)
Published date19 September 2003
Plaintiff CounselDaniel Poon Choon Kow (Goh Poh & Pnrs)
Date04 May 1995
Docket NumberCivil Appeal No 77 of 1994
CourtCourt of Appeal (Singapore)
Subject MatterFailure to apply for further argument,Order of judge-in-chambers directing re-assessment of damages by registrar on basis indicated by judge with leave to parties to adduce further evidence,Nature of order,Civil Procedure,Validity of notice of appeal,Interlocutory order by judge-in-chambers,Judgments and orders,No certification by judge that further argument not required,O 56 r 2 Rules of the Supreme Court,Whether interlocutory or final,s 34(1)(c) Supreme Court of Judicature Act (Cap 322),Appeals

The first respondent by notice of motion filed herein on 13 October 1994 applied to strike out the appellants` notice of appeal filed on 5 May 1994 appealing against the whole of the decision of the learned judge made in chambers on 6 April 1994 whereby he directed the learned assistant registrar to reassess the general damages payable to the appellants on the basis as indicated by him and gave leave to the appellants to adduce evidence to meet the basis of such reassessment. [See [1995] 2 SLR 189 .] The motion came on for hearing before a judge of the High Court who adjourned it for hearing by the Court of Appeal. The motion was listed for hearing, together with the appeal, before us on 8 February 1995. After hearing counsel on the motion we reserved our judgment. We did not hear the appeal.

The first respondent was the driver and the second respondent was the owner of a motor vehicle, YE 6221S, in which one Yin Ah Joo was a passenger when the said motor vehicle was involved in a collision as a result of which the said Yin Ah Joo died.
The appellants are the wife and daughter of the said Yin Ah Joo and claimed as his dependants, damages against the first and second respondents for negligently causing the death of the said Yin Ah Joo. The third respondents are the insurers of the motor vehicle who applied to be joined as defendants in the action.

Liability was admitted and, accordingly, an interlocutory judgment was entered against the first respondent, the action against the second respondent having been discontinued, with damages to be assessed.
The learned assistant registrar duly assessed the damages payable by the first respondent. The first respondent appealed to the judge-in-chambers. The judge-in-chambers partly allowed the appeal of the first respondent on 6 April 1994 and as stated above directed the learned assistant registrar to reassess the general damages payable to the appellants on the basis as indicated by him and to receive the necessary evidence therefor. The appellants being aggrieved by the order of the judge-in-chambers filed their notice of appeal on 5 May 1994.

The sole question for consideration is whether the order of the learned judge made in chambers on 6 April 1994 is an interlocutory order, for if it is, then, the regime for bringing an appeal to the Court of Appeal as provided by s 34(1)(c) of the Supreme Court of Judicature Act (Cap 322) and O 56 r 2 of the Rules of the Supreme Court must be followed or else the matter will be non-appealable.
These provisions of the law and practice are too well known to be set out in full in this judgment. Suffice it to say that an appeal to the Court of Appeal from an interlocutory order made by a judge-in-chambers does not lie `unless the Judge has certified, on application within 7 days after the making of the order by any party for further argument in court, that he requires no further argument.` In this connection see the judgment of this court in Singapore Press Holdings Ltd v Brown Noel Trading Pte Ltd & Ors [1994] 3 SLR 151 at pp 164-166.

It is common ground that the appellants had not applied to the learned judge for further argument within seven days of the making of his order in chambers and that the learned judge had not certified or is deemed to have certified that he required no further arguments.


The test to be applied in determining whether an order is interlocutory or final is fully discussed by this court in Rank Xerox (Singapore) Pte Ltd v Ultra Marketing Pte Ltd [1992] 1 SLR 73 .
It held that the test enunciated by Lord Alverstone in Bozson v Altrincham UDC [1903] 1 KB 547 is the correct test. This is what Lord Alverstone said:

Does the judgment or order, as made, finally dispose of the rights of the parties? If it does, then it ought to be treated as a final order; but if it does not, it is then, in my opinion, an interlocutory order.



The learned Chief Justice in delivering the judgment of the court in Rank Xerox at p 76 explained what is meant by the phrase `the rights of the parties` used by Lord Alverstone in Bozson.
He said:

In our judgment the phrase `the rights of the parties` contained in the Bozson test refers to the substantive rights in dispute in the particular action in which the
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13 cases
  • Aberdeen Asset Management Asia Ltd and Another v Fraser & Neave Ltd and Others
    • Singapore
    • Court of Appeal (Singapore)
    • 11 October 2001
    ...... again reaffirmed by this court in the subsequent case Ling Kee Ling v Leow Leng Siong [1996] 2 SLR 438 . It seems ......
  • Lim Chi Szu Margaret and Another v Risis Pte Ltd
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    ...in Bozson is clearly the law in Singapore: see, for example, the Singapore Court of Appeal decisions of Ling Kee Ling v Leow Leng Siong [1996] 2 SLR 438; Aberdeen Asset Management Asia Ltd v Fraser & Neave Ltd [2001] 4 SLR 441 (“Aberdeen Asset Management Asia Ltd”); Rank Xerox (Singapore) P......
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1 books & journal articles
  • KNIGHT GLENN JEYASINGAM V PP A MATTER OF FIRST PRINCIPLES
    • Singapore
    • Singapore Academy of Law Journal No. 1998, December 1998
    • 1 December 1998
    ...Appeal No 18 of 1995. 22 On the requirement of finality of judgments or orders in civil cases, see Ling Kee Ling v Leow Leng Siong[1996] 2 SLR 438 and Rank Xerox (Singapore) Pte Ltd v Ultra Marketing Pte Ltd[19921 1 SLR 73. 23 [1903] 1 KB 547. 24 Rank Xerox (Singapore) Pte Ltd v Ultra Marke......

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