Frequently Asked Questions
The information contained on these pages is not legal advice. We are unable to advise you as the Attorney-General's Chambers are the legal advisers to the government, and cannot provide legal advice to members of the public, including crime victims and accused persons. Should you require independent legal advice, you may wish to refer to the website of the Law Society of Singapore www.lawsociety.org.sg which provides a list of law firms in Singapore.
If you are a law student at the National University of Singapore, the Singapore Management University, or another recognised university* and are interested in applying for an internship with us, please contact
LEGAL SERVICE COMMISSION SECRETARIAT
1 Supreme Court Lane Level 4,
The Supreme Court of Singapore
Internet homepage: http://www.lsc.gov.sg
*Please visit the MinLaw website at http://www.minlaw.gov.sg for the complete list
Working in AGC
For graduate positions, degrees from universities accredited by the home government of the country where the university is located will be considered for appointment into the Public Service. This applies to degrees obtained full-time or part time, through distance-learning or twinning programmes, etc. Professional qualifications such as law and accountancy from foreign institutions also need to be recognised by the relevant professional body in Singapore to be considered for appointment.
The Public Service does not solely look at academic qualification when choosing candidates. We also take into account other important factors such as relevant work experience, past performance (e.g. track records), as well as personal attributes like leadership abilities. The relative emphasis on each factor and the criteria set depends on the nature and level of the job, and only the candidate who best fits the overall requirements of the job will be recruited.
For legal positions, please apply to the Legal Service Commission at www.lsc.gov.sg.
For non-legal positions, please apply directly at www.careers.gov.sg.
You should hear from us within 1 month. We regret that only shortlisted applicants will be notified.
AGC believes in equipping our officers with knowledge and skills to develop their full potential and perform their duties with excellence through regular training and development. As all officers are entitled to 100 hours training per year (inclusive of structured classroom training and unstructured learning on the job and digital learning), we encourage our officers to attend in-house and external workshops and courses to gain the skills and knowledge they need to perform their roles well. Promising officers may also be sponsored to go for courses resulting in formal qualifications through our annual AGC Training Awards, as part of their career development.
We provide comprehensive benefits which include:
• Vacation Leave
• Medical & Hospitalisation Leave
• Childcare Leave
• Maternity/Paternity Leave
• Marriage Leave
• Compassionate Leave
• Parent-Care Leave
• Medical Benefits: subsidised outpatient medical expenses and additional Medical
• Dental Benefits: subsidised dental treatment
• Government Holiday Bungalows
• The Civil Service Long Service Award
Deputy Public Prosecutors (“DPPs”) and Assistant Public Prosecutors (“APPs”) are appointed by the Attorney-General, who is also the Public Prosecutor, to perform prosecutorial and other duties in relation to criminal matters. They represent the PP in criminal hearings and proceedings and also assist in other proceedings such as disposal and coroner’s inquiries. In appropriate cases, these prosecutors will make legal submissions on points of law and address the Court on sentencing by highlighting the aggravating and mitigating circumstances of each case.
DPPs and APPs are appointed under different schemes of service offering different progressions and specialisations. DPPs are recruited as Legal Service Officers by Legal Service Commission. APPs on the other hand are employed under the Management Executive Scheme which is applicable to university graduates and degree holders within Civil Service.
The prosecutorial functions performed by DPPs and APPs are similar. Both DPPs and APPs may conduct any proceeding relating to a criminal matter in both the State Courts as well as the High Court. DPPs are also empowered to: a) appear on behalf of the Public Prosecutor in respect of criminal appeals and criminal reference on a question of law; b) issue any consent, fiat or authorisation for the trial of an offence before any court or tribunal; c) make any application or requisition for the forfeiture, confiscation or disposal of any case property that is required under any written law and d) issue any authorisation or permission for the exercise by any police officer of the powers of investigation under the Criminal Procedure Code.
Government's Law Firm
The Attorney-General is the Government’s legal adviser and does not act for private individuals in private disputes. If you wish to appoint a lawyer to take legal action on your behalf, please contact the Law Society of Singapore for information on private lawyers.
Section 78(2) of the Legal Profession Act provides that no solicitor shall in connection with his practice as such, without the consent of the Attorney-General, employ or remunerate any person who to his knowledge had been employed as a public officer.
Please note that the above consent requirement does not apply to any public officer who is an advocate and solicitor or a qualified person under the Legal Profession Act, or in respect of whom the Attorney-General’s consent had previously been obtained (see section 78(3).
Please note as well that employees of statutory boards are not considered “public officers” under section 78(2), thus the Attorney-General’s consent is not required in such cases.
Please also note that we are unable to advise private individuals on the applicability of section 78(2) to prospective solicitor’s clerks. If you take the view that section 78(2) applies, you may wish to forward the relevant documents (including the former public officer’s curriculum vitae) to AGC_CIVIL@agc.gov.sg for our processing.
The relevant law enforcement agency will commence investigations into the complaint or police report if there is reason to suspect that an offence may have been committed.
As part of the investigations, the law enforcement agency will interview witnesses, including the accused person(s), and also gather documentary, scientific, forensic and physical evidence, if necessary.
If the investigations reveal that there is no evidence or insufficient evidence to show that an offence has been committed, no further action will be taken against the accused person.
If there is sufficient evidence to prove that an offence has been committed, the accused person can either be given a warning or charged in court.
If an accused person is charged in court, he can either plead guilty or claim trial (i.e. dispute the charge). If an accused agrees with the assertions made in his charge, it is in his interest to plead guilty as soon as possible.
Regardless of whether he pleads guilty or claims trial, the accused person may engaged a lawyer, or choose to represent himself in court.
If an accused person pleads guilty pleads guilty, no witnesses will be called to give evidence in court, unless a fact which is relevant and material to sentencing is disputed.
The accused person will be given the opportunity to mitigate (i.e. persuade the judge why he should be treated leniently) before he is sentenced.
If the Prosecution and / or accused person is dissatisfied with a judge’s decision in finding that the accused is not guilty or guilty of the charge, or in sentencing, they may file an appeal. A crime victim or his next-of-kin does not have an independent right to appeal against a judge’s decision, including sentencing.
If an accused person has pleaded guilty to his charge, he can only appeal against his sentence and not against his conviction.
If an accused person disputes his charge, a judge will fix dates for the trial.
At the trial, the Prosecution will call witnesses to give evidence in court to prove the charge against the accused person. The accused person can cross-examine these witnesses.
After the Prosecution has presented its evidence, the accused person will then have the opportunity to give his own evidence. He can also to call witnesses to testify in his defence.
At the end of the trial, the judge will assess the evidence, and determine whether the Prosecution has proven the charge against the accused person beyond a reasonable doubt. If the judge finds that the Prosecution has proven the charge, the accused person will be sentenced. If the judge finds that the Prosecution has not proven the charge, the accused person will be acquitted.
A private prosecution is brought by a private individual to seek redress for a wrong done unto him. If the subject of the prosecution is found guilty and convicted, he will be duly sentenced by the Court, even though the Prosecution was not instituted by the State. A private prosecution is thus “a prosecution by a private individual which, if successful, relies on the state machinery to mete out the sentence imposed”- per Yong CJ, in Cheng William v Loo Ngee Long Edmund  2 SLR(R) 626. The private individual may conduct the prosecution himself if he does not have a lawyer.
A private individual will have to first file a complaint with a Magistrate at the State Courts, Singapore.
Generally, Singapore does not have extra-territorial jurisdiction to prosecute criminal offences committed overseas. However, such a person may be prosecuted under the laws of the jurisdiction he is in. Also, there are certain offences which have been legislated by Parliament to have extra-territorial effect, for example corruption offences (see: section 37 of the Prevention of Corruption Act) and offences of having commercial sex with a minor under 18 outside Singapore (see section 376C of the Penal Code).
Prosecutors routinely interview witnesses and victims of crime in order to assess the case fully before deciding whether or not to prosecute the accused person. In addition, prosecutors may also interview witnesses and victims of crime before a trial for a better understanding of the evidence that the witnesses and victims of crime are likely to give in court. These interviews are designed to allow prosecutors to acquire a deeper understanding of the facts of the case, and will involve the prosecutors asking some questions in order to clarify what had transpired. The questions asked are not meant to intimidate, and witnesses and victims are only required to relate the relevant events to the extent that their memories allow.
Interviews with prosecutors are usually conducted in the presence of the investigating officer in a meeting room in AGC. Interpreters may also be present where necessary.
You can wish to engage a lawyer to advise you on (a) whether you have a defence to the charge, or (b) whether there is some basis for the Prosecution to deal with you more leniently even if you do not have a defence.
Regardless of whether you engage a lawyer, you can make representations to AGC. Representations are letters or emails where an accused person (or his lawyer) sets out clearly the circumstances of the case, other facts which are relevant to how the case may be handled, and the accused person’s request regarding his charge
If you wish to make a representation, you can email it to AGC at AGC_Crime_Representations@agc.gov.sg.
No. The CCMS applies to cases prosecuted in both the High Court and the State Courts. CCMS sessions for cases prosecuted in the High Court may be arranged through requests to the relevant DPP.
A magistrate’s complaint can be filed by any person who wishes to seek redress for an offence they believe has been committed against them. This can be done without any email or approval from AGC. The manner in which a magistrate’s complaint may be filed can be found at the State Court’s website.
IAD was established on 1 July 1995.
Drafters of Laws
For FAQs on legislation and the reproduction of legislation, please go to https://sso.agc.gov.sg/Help/FAQ.