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221.  JULY 2011 Issue
p.129

Helping the Less Privileged Gain Access to Justice - The Role of the Legal Aid Bureau in Giving Effect to the Women's Charter
Lim Hui Min  •  [2011] Sing JLS 129 (Jul)
This article traces the development of the legal aid scheme and the work of the Legal Aid Bureau, which was set up pursuant to the passing of the Legal Aid and Advice Act in 1958, about 3 years before the advent of the Women's Charter. Since its inception, the Legal Aid Bureau has helped thousands of less privileged applicants from Singapore society enforce or defend their rights under the Women's Charter. Matters under the Women's Charter have formed the bulk of the Bureau's caseload over the past 5 decades. The number of cases handled by the Bureau each year has been rising steadily in the past few years. Going forward, the Bureau expects to continue its work of helping the less privileged get access to justice - particularly in the field of matrimonial matters - for an ever increasing number of applicants.

222.  JULY 2011 Issue
p.152

The Next Fifty Years of the Women's Charter - Ripples of Change
Leong Wai Kum  •  [2011] Sing JLS 152 (Jul)
What changes will the next fifty years of this remarkable statute, which enactment was so uniquely bonded with the process of national reconstruction of Singapore from the late 1950s, bring? This article attempts to project the changes that appear likely in the short and medium terms and will also, rather foolishly, speculate on changes that are conceivable over the longer term.
[Full Text]

223.  JULY 2011 Issue
p.178

The Inherent Jurisdiction and Inherent Powers of the Singapore Courts: Rethinking the Limits of their Exercise
Goh Yihan  •  [2011] Sing JLS 178 (Jul)
The issue of the limits of the court's inherent jurisdiction and inherent powers has always been an important one. For a long time the courts have been satisfied with broad tests based on "need" or the "justice of the case" to set such limits. These tests are highly useful by being flexible, but that flexibility is also a source of uncertainty. This article suggests a new way of understanding the limits of the Singapore courts' inherent jurisdiction and inherent powers. It does this with a three-step approach. First, it argues for a new approach towards terminology and explains why this is important. From a study of all reported Singapore cases between independence and mid-2010 that contain the expression "inherent jurisdiction" or "inherent power(s)", it will be seen that the Singapore courts have meant different things even when the same expression is being used. It is thus necessary to be clear about what is actually meant by the expressions "inherent jurisdiction" and "inherent power(s)". Second, utilising the suggested approach towards terminology, this article shows that it is possible to separate three distinct categories of the courts' inherent jurisdiction and inherent powers. Third, and finally, this article argues that the limits to be placed on each category ought to be distinct. Thus, a test based on "need" or "justice of the case" may be more strictly (or liberally) applied in one category than in another. The underlying consideration is that of legislative exclusion; and, where this is not express, it may be possible to imply this based on a sliding scale according to the three categories of inherent jurisdiction and inherent powers suggested in this article.

224.  JULY 2011 Issue
p.212

Sedition and its New Clothes in Singapore
Tan Yock Lin  •  [2011] Sing JLS 212 (Jul)
In all the important common lawjurisdictions surveyed here, seditious libel means defiance or censure of constituted authority leading to foreseeable harm to public order. In sharp contrast, the Sedition Act in Singapore, it was recently decided, makes allegations of censure of constituted authority and foreseeable harm to public order unnecessary, with the result that the offence, created by s. 3(1)(e) read with s. 4 of the Sedition Act, is transformed into a hybrid offence of blasphemous libel wider than the offence of blasphemous libel against a group of persons created by s. 153A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and the common law offence of blasphemous libel. This article argues that the decision cannot be defended and that furthermore, where the constitutional freedom of expression of a citizen is implicated, the Singapore Constitution would require the Sedition Act to be modified in order to differentiate between class divisive publications that threaten public order and those that do not.

225.  JULY 2011 Issue
p.298

Book Review: Private Security, Public Order: The Outsourcing of Public Services and Its Limits by Simon Chesterman and Angelina Fisher, eds.
Cheah Wui Ling  •  [2011] Sing JLS 298 (Jul)
Much of the public debate about the use of private military and security companies ("PMSCs") has focused on PMSCs as a separate and independent phenomenon. This excellent compilation edited by Simon Chesterman and Angelina Fisher, Private Security, Public Order, adds much breadth and nuance to this debate by bringing together a group of scholars who analyse the topic of PMSCs through different theoretical frameworks, disciplinary perspectives and comparative case studies.

226.  JULY 2011 Issue
p.301

Book Review: The Presumption of Innocence: Evidential and Human Rights Perspectives by Andrew Stumer
Ho Hock Lai  •  [2011] Sing JLS 301 (Jul)
The presumption of innocence is widely celebrated. In Singapore, it has been hailed by V. K. Rajah J.A. as "the cornerstone of the criminal justice system and the bedrock of the law of evidence" (see XP v. PP [2008] 4 S.L.R.(R.) 686 (H.C.) at para. 90). But what exactly is the presumption of innocence?

227.  JULY 2011 Issue
p.304

Book Review: The Goals of Private Law by Andrew Robertson and Tang Hang Wu, eds.
Karin Lai Yiling  •  [2011] Sing JLS 304 (Jul)
The origins of this book lie in the Fourth Biennial Conference on the Law of Obligations, hosted for the first time by the National University of Singapore in July 2008. Out of the sixty-eight papers presented at the conference, nineteen were ultimately assembled and presented in this collection of essays about The Goals of Private Law.

228.  DECEMBER 2010 Issue
p.227

Malaysia - Death of a Separate Constitutional Judicial Power
Richard S.K. Foo  •  [2010] Sing JLS 227 (Dec)
This article examines the position of the separation of powers doctrine within the Federal Constitution of Malaysia and in particular, the position of "the judicial power of the Federation" before and after the 1988 constitutional amendment to Article 121. Through textual analysis and a review of the extant case law, conclusions are offered regarding the manner in which the separation doctrine is incorporated within the Constitution and whether its principles may apply with implicit constitutional force, the efficacy of the 1988 amendment to effect substantive constitutional change, and whether "the judicial power of the Federation" remains exclusively vested in the courts established under Article 121. The Federal Court's decision in Public Prosecutor v. Kok Wah Kuan [2008] 1 M.L.J. 1 is discussed.

229.  DECEMBER 2010 Issue
p.256

Reynolds Privilege, Common Law Defamation and Malaysia
Andrew T. Kenyon and Ang Hean Leng  •  [2010] Sing JLS 256 (Dec)
The defence of qualified privilege has developed in the defamation law of many countries that share English legal heritage. Malaysian cases have applied, in particular, English or Australian developments in qualified privilege. However, Malaysian judgments have not engaged in a close analysis of how the foreign changes arise under Malaysian law. This article explains how the Australian developments appear difficult to apply within the Malaysian context, while the English developments offer a clear avenue for Malaysian defamation law's modernisation. The key reason for this is the way in which the English Reynolds privilege can be seen to have its origins, at least in part, within the common law as well as within European human rights standards. The common law aspects of Reynolds, apparent from a wide range of English judicial statements, offer a doctrinal basis for the existing and future application of the Reynolds defence in Malaysian defamation law.
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230.  DECEMBER 2010 Issue
p.282

Sudden Fight, Consent and the Principle of Comparative Responsibility in the Indian Penal Code
Ian Leader-Elliott  •  [2010] Sing JLS 282 (Dec)
Sudden fight is one of four partial defences to murder in the Indian Penal Code. It was a late addition which lacks the qualifying provisos and illustrations that constrain applications of the partial defences of provocation and excessive force in private defence. A survey of recent decisions of the Indian Supreme Court suggests that sudden fight has the potential to subvert the principled limits that constrain the other partial defences. Sudden fight has no equivalent in other Commonwealth jurisdictions. It can be argued that it is an anachronism that should be eliminated from the law of murder. This essay argues in favour of its retention. The partial defences of provocation, excessive defence, sudden fight and consent are unified by an underlying principle of comparative responsibility that extenuates murder when the offender was seriously wronged by the victim or acted with the consent of the victim to die or engage in an activity that was likely to result in death. A set of provisos and illustrations is proposed that will constrain applications of the partial defence of sudden fight in conformity with the principle of comparative responsibility.

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