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141.  DECEMBER 2013 Issue
p.428

The System of Private Caveats in Malaysia and Singapore: Some Reflections
Teo Keang Sood  •  [2013] Sing JLS 428 (Dec)
This article undertakes a comparative study of the Malaysian and Singaporean systems of private caveats on the following three areas: the priority of unregistered interests, the entry of further caveats and the requirements to sustain a caveat. It seeks to determine the jurisdiction which best facilitates the policy objectives of the Torrens system of land registration in the three areas discussed.

142.  DECEMBER 2013 Issue
p.447

Legislation and Case Notes: Punishment and Protection - The Disqualification of Directors in Singapore
Pearlie Koh  •  [2013] Sing JLS 447 (Dec)
The ability to operate behind the shield of the corporate form, thereby benefitting from limited liability, is thought to be a privilege conferred by statute. This privilege is however, curtailed for certain individuals who are “proven misfits”. The removal, by disqualification, of these individuals from corporate management is intended to protect the shareholders and creditors of the companies concerned from the possibility of future instances of undesirable conduct by these same individuals. Thus, the Companies Act of Singapore provides for disqualification from holding directorships or from management of a company on a number of grounds. Disqualification may be automatic or dependent on a court making a disqualification order.There is also recognition that disqualification is punitive. Indeed, the effect of a disqualification, given its “substantial interference with the freedom of the individual”, is at least quasi-penal.

143.  DECEMBER 2013 Issue
p.457

Legislation and Case Notes: Occupiers' Liability After See Toh: Change, Uncertainty and Complexity
Low Kee Yang  •  [2013] Sing JLS 457 (Dec)
With the recent Court of Appeal decision in See Toh (C.A.), the Singapore law on occupiers' liability has undergone a sea change. There are two obvious changes.The first is that there is no longer a distinction between invitees and licensees; the law accords them the same protection. The second is that occupiers' liability is no longer a separate tort; it is now subsumed under the tort of negligence. However, the full implications of See Toh (C.A.) are more far-reaching and profound than a casual reading of this landmark decision might suggest.

144.  DECEMBER 2013 Issue
p.472

Book Review:China's Journey Toward the Rule of Law: Legal Reform, 1978-2008 by Cai Dingjian and Wang Chenguang, eds.
Michael W. Dowdle  •  [2013] Sing JLS 472 (Dec)
Rule of law seems to be experiencing a bit of a dark period in China right now. Corruption is endemic; popular protests against unlawful government actions seem to be at an all-time high; and at the same time, and somewhat paradoxically, the partystate has become increasingly aggressive in suppressing people who are seeking to use law rather than violence to express grievances and felt injustices against public officials. Universities have even been told that academics should not talk about the constitution and constitutionalism.

145.  DECEMBER 2013 Issue
p.474

Book Review:The Construction of Commercial Contracts by J.W. Carter
Goh Yihan  •  [2013] Sing JLS 474 (Dec)
The Construction of Commercial Contracts by Professor J.W. Carter is an ambitious book. Its stated aim is to “explain as a coherent whole the principles which regulate the construction of commercial contracts” (at p. vii). As will be seen, it more than meets this lofty aim, and is a valuable contribution to an area of work that is not only difficult, but also of immense practical importance. The book achieves its aim by explaining construction as constituting three separate stages: the identification of context (and terms), the determination of the meaning (and legal effect) of a contract, and, finally, the application of a contract to the factual circumstances that have arisen (see p. vii). This central thesis is primarily supplemented by detailed references to English and Australian law, but references to other Commonwealth jurisdictions (including Singapore), as well as the UNIDROIT principles, CISG and the American Restatement (Second) of Contracts, are also made where relevant. The structural result is a book neatly organised around seven parts, with Parts I to III setting out the general concepts and themes behind the book, in addition to the general principles that apply to the construction of commercial contracts.

146.  DECEMBER 2013 Issue
p.475

Book Reviews: International Handbook on Unfair Competition by Frauke Henning-Bodewig, ed.
Burton Ong  •  [2013] Sing JLS 475 (Dec)
The law of unfair competition stands at the intersection between several spheres of law: these include tort law, antitrust law, intellectual property law, consumer protection law and various statutory regimes regulating specific areas of commercial conduct. Given the divergence between the legal traditions of different legal systems, particularly between the common law and civil law based jurisdictions, the organisational structure of this area of the law varies dramatically from country to country. The scope of unfair competition encompasses areas of conduct as diverse as product design, sales, advertising, marketing and other commercial dealings with a trader's competitors, customers, and parties upstream or downstream from the business. While all these legal systems recognise the importance of regulating the behaviour of traders in the marketplace to ensure compliance with their respective ethical norms of fair conduct and honesty, their individual approaches towards responding to these issues depend very much upon the architecture of their respective legal regimes.

147.  DECEMBER 2013 Issue
p.481

Book Reviews: Offshore Commercial Law in Bermuda by Ian R.C. Kawaley, ed.
Leena Pinsler  •  [2013] Sing JLS 481 (Dec)
The opening chapter alone holds forth the promise of a tantalising read, unusual for a book on commercial law. It begins with an account of English adventurers bound for Virginia who are shipwrecked off Bermuda. This sets the scene for the subsequent settlement of the uninhabited islands by the British in 1609. The incident fires the imagination of the Bard. He references the “Bermoothes” in The Tempest (1st ed., 1623), conceiving “the islands as a place where valuable property could be safely hidden” (at p. 3). Fact, fiction and fortune are masterfully blended into a cocktail of factors explaining Bermuda's development as an offshore financial centre. It is evident that painstaking efforts were made to create a legal work that is at once both practical and scholarly. This book rejects the patois of the commercial marketplace for a more elegant literary style which flows right through the book and lends cohesiveness to the contributions by some 25 authors. The result is a comprehensive manual for offshore business in Bermuda and one which is a reflection of the country's sophistication as an offshore financial centre.

148.  JULY 2013 Issue
p.1

Which Road to the Past? - Some Reflections on Legal History
Judge of Appeal, Andrew Phang  •  [2013] Sing JLS 1 (Jul)
It is not customary to commence a keynote address with caveats and disclaimers. However, this is the rare occasion when such qualifications are necessary because - if I may be permitted a crude pun - of the lack of qualifications of the speaker himself. This is not false modesty. It is very real. I know that I have often been referred to in the Singapore context as a legal historian.1 Clearly, the dearth of personnel has been a reason for what I consider to be an oversight. I have no professional qualifications - or formal training - in history (except for a couple of courses in, respectively, English and American legal history during my postgraduate studies).2 I have some interest - but only as a rank amateur. As a result, nothing I shall say will be of any significance to virtually all (if not all) of you. However, as I shall elaborate upon later, in the spirit of diversity which I believe the discipline of history in general and of legal history in particular represents, I trust that the somewhat different perspectives which are contained in this paper will be of some interest to you - if only because some thoughts might arise even from the mistakes I make.
[Full Text]

149.  JULY 2013 Issue
p.24

Banking Law and Banking Practice in their Conceptual and Historical Perspectives
Peter Ellinger  •  [2013] Sing JLS 24 (Jul)
When I first arrived in Singapore, in 1961, the retail banking world was dominated by British-based banks. The leading players were the Chartered Bank and the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. The local banks known to me were the Chung Khiaw Bank, the Lee Hwa Bank and the Overseas-Chinese Banking Corporation ("OCBC"). United Overseas Bank - UOB - had not as yet opened its doors. The same applies to OUB - Overseas Union Bank - which much later, in the nineties, merged with UOB.

150.  JULY 2013 Issue
p.50

Prosecutorial Discretion and Prosecution Guidelines
Kumaralingam Amirthalingam  •  [2013] Sing JLS 50 (Jul)
Prosecutorial discretion is an essential element of our criminal justice. This discretion vests in the Attorney-General as the Public Prosecutor and is constitutionally protected. Recently, there have been several challenges to the exercise of this discretion on the basis of alleged violation of the constitutionally protected right to equal treatment. This article examines the basis of the prosecutorial discretion and considers the value of developing prosecution guidelines to assist prosecutors in making decisions consistently and fairly.

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