|81. ||JULY 2015 Issue|
|Tools for Immediate Regulatory Tax Implementation: Subsidiary Legislation vs Legislation by Press Release|
Chen Jianlin  Sing JLS 1 (Jul)
A pertinent worry plaguing the implementation of economic regulations is the circumvention manoeuvres conducted by private entities during the time-consuming legislative process typically associated with legal change. During the recent imposition of stamp duties designed to curb its exuberant property market, the Singapore government utilised two distinct mechanisms&#151;subsidiary legislation and legislation by press release&#151;to eliminate any window of tax avoidance arising from the time lapse between the initial public announcements and formal implementation. This Article utilises this episode of economic regulation to examine legal and normative considerations regarding these two mechanisms that can be employed by the executive branch to effect immediate legal change. The Article argues that while both mechanisms are legal and are practically indistinguishable under the current legal framework and political reality in Singapore, the increased possibility of a more competitive political landscape necessitates greater legal constraints on the subsidiary legislation mechanism and greater political awareness of the legislation by press release mechanism.
|82. ||JULY 2015 Issue|
|Regulating Digital Financial Services Agents in Developing Countries to Promote Financial Inclusion|
Evan Gibson, Federico Lupo-Pasini and Ross P Buckley  Sing JLS 26 (Jul)
Limited access to bank branches excludes over one billion people from accessing financial services in developing countries. Digital financial services offered by banks and mobile money providers through agents can solve this problem without the need for complex and costly physical banking infrastructures. Delivering digital financial services through agents requires a legal framework to regulate liability. This article analyses whether vicarious liability of the principal is a more efficient regulatory approach than personal liability of the agent. Agent liability in Kenya, Fiji, and Malawi is analysed to demonstrate that vicarious liability of the principal, coupled to an explicit agreement as to agent rewards and penalties, is the more efficient regulatory approach.
|83. ||JULY 2015 Issue|
|Regulation of Equity Crowdfunding in Singapore|
Hu Ying  Sing JLS 46 (Jul)
Equity crowdfunding, a fairly new form of financing, has promise as a means to finance legitimate start-up businesses or projects which are unable to obtain funds from traditional sources, eg, banks, venture capitalists and angel investors. However, the cost of complying with existing securities regulations is likely to make equity crowdfunding impractical for the businesses most likely to need it. This paper will consider the rationale for facilitating equity crowdfunding in Singapore, assess the need for additional exemptions for equity crowdfunding, and propose legal reforms which seek to strike a balance between capital formation and investor protection.
|84. ||JULY 2015 Issue|
|Convergence in Global Tax Compliance|
Stephen Phua  Sing JLS 77 (Jul)
For many countries, comprehensive tax reform is a panacea for fiscal imbalances. However, structural factors do not fully account for the causation and scale of tax gaps in many countries. For some of these countries, substantial revenue leakages can be fairly easily contained by adopting simple measures to minimise information asymmetry. By leveraging on existing infrastructure, disclosures can be facilitated and incentivised without imposing an onerous burden on compliance. Some of the key developments put in place by leading advanced countries to reduce the payoffs in domestic as well as international tax avoidance and evasion are examined in detail. The article concludes that a discernible convergence in the use of similar tools and strategies to remedy information deficiency is indicative of their efficacy and trends in the tackling of tax evasion and aggressive avoidance on the current global tax reform agenda[Full Text]
|85. ||JULY 2015 Issue|
|Litigating Over Mediation&#151;How Should the Courts Enforce Mediated Settlement Agreements?|
Dorcas Quek Anderson  Sing JLS 105 (Jul)
The courts have long supported the enforcement of compromise agreements, including settlements arrived at in the course of mediation. However, the recent trend in many countries, including Singapore, of enacting statutory provisions for the enforcement of mediated agreements suggests that the existing legal framework may be inadequate to support the mediation process. This paper examines the current principles used by the courts in determining the enforcement of mediated settlements, assessing them in light of the underlying values of mediation and contract law. This is followed by a brief analysis of how mediation confidentiality has been impacted by the current legal framework. In examining the preferred way forward, the paper also surveys various ways of buttressing the legal framework, and puts forward a few recommendations.
|86. ||JULY 2015 Issue|
|The Work of Many Hands: The Continuing Confusion Over Section 304A of the Singapore Penal Code|
Sundram Peter Soosay  Sing JLS 135 (Jul)
This article presents a critical assessment of s 304A of the Singapore Penal Code, the section setting out the offence of causing death by rash or negligent act. Along with providing a brief history of the offence, this article attempts to address the practical and conceptual difficulties that have come to trouble the application of the offence and to propose a way forward.
|87. ||JULY 2015 Issue|
|Enforcement/Recognition of Foreign Confiscatory Laws in Singapore|
Tan Yock Lin  Sing JLS 162 (Jul)
Taking its departure from the Court of Appeal decision in Republic of the Philippines v Maler Foundation, this article argues that the authorities support a self-supporting rule for accepting or rejecting a foreign confiscatory law. This rule, not unlike the rule against direct or indirect enforcement of a foreign penal, revenue or other public law, is based on considerations of territorial sovereignty and is not a choice of law rule that selects the lex situs as governing law. The implications of a rule based on considerations of sovereignty and in particular the contrast with an analysis based on the lex situs rule are elaborated.
|88. ||JULY 2015 Issue|
|By-Laws in a Strata Scheme|
Teo Keang Sood  Sing JLS 189 (Jul)
This article looks at four aspects of by-laws in a strata scheme in Singapore. In particular, it examines: (a) the applicability of by-laws to units in a strata shopping mall; (b) the appropriateness of using by-laws, which do not apply to all unit owners, primarily to finance the running of a strata scheme; 169; the validity of by-laws not lodged as required; and (d) the enforcement of statutorily prescribed by laws before a management corporation is constituted. The legal position is discussed and solutions proposed, where applicable.
|89. ||JULY 2015 Issue|
|Comparative Takeover Regulation and the Concept of 'Control'|
Umakanth Varottil  Sing JLS 208 (Jul)
The mandatory bid rule (MBR), one of the basic tenets of takeover regulation, obligates an acquirer who obtains 'control' over a target company to make an offer to acquire the shares of the remaining shareholders. What amounts to 'control' is far from clear; some jurisdictions follow a quantitative approach based on a specific shareholding threshold such as 30% voting rights, while others follow a qualitative approach through a subjective determination based on several factors, such as the specific rights available to an acquirer under a shareholders' agreement or the constitutional documents of a target. The goal of this article is to consider the merits and demerits of these approaches. It seeks to do so by examining various models adopted in jurisdictions for pegging 'control' so as to invoke the MBR. It delves into the regulatory experience in India as that jurisdiction not only adopts a combined approach (taking into account both the quantitative and qualitative tests for control), but has also been subject to a great deal of controversy and litigation in recent years that have helped tease out the jurisprudential contours of the concept. It concludes with a normative assessment that points towards partial harmonisation.[Full Text]
|90. ||JULY 2015 Issue|
|Legislation and Case Notes: An IVF Baby and a Catastrophic Error&#151;Actions for Wrongful Conception and Wrongful Birth Revisited in Singapore|
Margaret Fordham  Sing JLS 232 (Jul)
The parents of a child who is born as a result of medical negligence may bring an action to seek compensation from the relevant medical authorities for the cost of raising the child. The action, known generically as 'wrongful birth', most commonly arises either when a child is born following a failure to identify foetal abnormalities which would have led to termination of the pregnancy, or when a child is conceived and born following a failed sterilisation procedure (when the more specific term 'wrongful conception' is often employed).[Full Text]