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201.  DECEMBER 2011 Issue
p.432

Bondholder Rights and the Section 216 Oppression Remedy
Seah Chi-Ling  •  [2011] Sing JLS 432 (Dec)
Notwithstanding that s. 216 of the Singapore Companies Act, on a literal construction, extends the oppression remedy to debentureholders of a company, there have to date been no reported cases in Singapore involving any attempted use of the oppression remedy by debentureholders. This article first explores the origins of the references to 'debentureholders' in s. 216. This article then proceeds to examine the scope of the s. 216 remedy in a debentureholder context, and concludes by discussing a number of principles upon which a fairness analysis in a debentureholder context may be undertaken.

202.  DECEMBER 2011 Issue
p.456

The Reynolds Privilege in a Neo-Confucianist Communitarian Democracy: Reinvigorating Freedom of Political Communication in Singapore
David Tan  •  [2011] Sing JLS 456 (Dec)
This article explores how defamation jurisprudence in Singapore has elevated the political public figure to an exalted position, virtually according the reputation of these honourable men, or junzi, heightened protection over the constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech. It takes the position that there are sufficient bases for the Reynolds v. Times Newspapers Ltd. privilege (the Reynolds privilege) to be adopted under Singapore common law, independent of any reliance on art. 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. It further argues that courts in Singapore ought to draw on relevant English and Australian jurisprudence, and consider a broader qualified privilege defence in defamation suits involving political public figures. The author concludes that the common law of qualified privilege in Singapore should be reviewed to take into account a multi-factorial approach when examining whether greater leeway may be accorded to citizen comments on public officials and public policy that are relevant to good government and good governance.

203.  DECEMBER 2011 Issue
p.486

Taking Stock of the Insolvency Tests in Section 254 of the Companies Act
Wee Meng Seng  •  [2011] Sing JLS 486 (Dec)
The recent Court of Appeal decision in BNP Paribas v. Jurong Shipyard Pte Ltd is a landmark decision on the insolvency tests in s. 254 of the Companies Act. Although the court did not expressly decline to follow English law, various propositions in the judgment mark the beginning of a distinct Singaporean jurisprudence on the meaning of the insolvency tests. This article explains the old law, which is poorly understood due to a lack of discussion, and examines the extent to which that has been altered by BNP.

204.  DECEMBER 2011 Issue
p.510

Access to Court Records: The Secret to Open Justice
Vanessa Yeo  •  [2011] Sing JLS 510 (Dec)
This paper concerns the legal framework governing non-party access to court records in Singapore. It provides a brief comparative study of the access frameworks in Australia and the UK. From this comparative analysis, guiding principles and procedures are distilled to facilitate suggestions on how Singapore's current access regime may be reformed. Open justice and the freedom of information and expression may be fundamental principles, but they do not mandate an unquestioned right of access to judicial records as the interests of justice may be served by both disclosure and non-disclosure. Both principles must be balanced against competing considerations, such as confidentiality and the right to a fair trial. An access regime is not built on open justice alone. It must adeptly reconcile all the competing factors in a manner which best secures the proper administration of justice.

205.  DECEMBER 2011 Issue
p.533

Rationalising the Procedure for Judicial Review in Singapore
Seow Zhixiang  •  [2011] Sing JLS 533 (Dec)
This article makes two broad arguments in relation to the procedure for judicial review in Singapore. First, it argues against the traditional view that O. 53 of the Rules of Court is a separate and exclusive procedure, confined to its express provisions. The correct view should be that the other Rules of Court and the powers of the court are not excluded unless contrary to the express provisions of O. 53. Second, the article considers the effect of a little-noticed amendment which has expanded the scope of the Government Proceedings Act to include proceedings for judicial review against the Government. The practical effect of both arguments in relation to the procedure for judicial review is also discussed.

206.  DECEMBER 2011 Issue
p.553

Legislation and Case Comments: Revisiting the Similar Fact Rule in Singapore
Chen Siyuan  •  [2011] Sing JLS 553 (Dec)
The similar fact rule in Singapore - as with the law on any evidence law doctrine that can be found in both our Evidence Act and the common law - has required clarification for some time. This note, which discusses the latest local decision on the similar fact rule, considers if that decision is compatible with the Evidence Act and the various conceptualisations underlying the doctrine.

207.  DECEMBER 2011 Issue
p.564

Legislation and Case Comments: En Bloc Sales and Joint Tenancy
Barry C. Crown  •  [2011] Sing JLS 564 (Dec)
In Goh Teh Lee v. Lim Li Pheng Maria the Court of Appeal had to consider a novel point relating to the law of co-ownership. Mr. Goh was the joint tenant of a flat together with his then wife in a development which was the subject of a proposed collective sale. All the other owners of properties in the development, including Mr. Goh's wife, had agreed to the collective sale. In fact, Mrs. Goh had appended her signature to all the relevant documents relating to the sale. Mr. Goh had raised objections to the proposed collective sale before the Strata Titles Board and the High Court, both of which had rejected his submissions and had ordered the collective sale of the development. Mr. Goh appealed to the Court of Appeal seeking to reverse the order of the High Court.

208.  DECEMBER 2011 Issue
p.570

Legislation and Case Comments: Restitution for Victims of Fraud
Yip Man  •  [2011] Sing JLS 570 (Dec)
The Court of Appeal decision in Scandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB (Publ), Singapore Branch v. Asia Pacific Breweries (Singapore) Pte Ltd raised many issues of law, including those of agency, banking, tort and restitution. This note will focus on the restitutionary issues. The Court of Appeal was put in a tough spot of having to balance the justice between two victims of fraud and this may have resulted in a decision that puts the law of unjust enrichment in a difficult position.

209.  DECEMBER 2011 Issue
p.581

Book Review: Codification, Macaulay and the Indian Penal Code: The Legacies and Modern Challenges of Criminal Law Reform by Wing-Cheong Chan, Barry Wright and Stanley Yeo, eds.
Chen Siyuan  •  [2011] Sing JLS 581 (Dec)
As noted (at p. vii) by the contributors to this book, the Indian Penal Code 1860 (Central Act 45 of 1860) ("IPC"), largely the work of Thomas Macaulay, "was the first codification of criminal law in the British Empire and is the longest serving code in the common law world". Upon its enactment, the influential IPC was adopted in various British colonies, such as Singapore. The continuing use of legislation of such pedigree, however, brings about several problems. Any legislative inertia to update the statute from time to time will put the judiciary in a dilemma, whenever the latter is asked to either resolve newfound ambiguities and loopholes in the pro-visions, or interpret provisions in the context of evolving social norms. Lacking a democratic mandate, different judges will also have different conceptions of how much judicial activism can and should be accommodated.

210.  DECEMBER 2011 Issue
p.584

Book Review: The Law of Torts in Singapore by Gary Chan Kok Yew
Goh Yihan  •  [2011] Sing JLS 584 (Dec)
The Law of Torts in Singapore is the first local torts textbook in Singapore. It is published under Academy Publishing's "Law Practice Series", which aims to build up a library of textbooks on important aspects of Singapore law. The present book is a prominent addition to that series. The book is divided into twenty chapters, with seventeen chapters written by Gary Chan Kok Yew, the book's stated author. Lee Pey Woan contributed two other chapters, and co-wrote one other chapter with the author. These twenty chapters cover the major torts, with an understandable concentration on the tort of negligence. Apart from negligence, the other chapters also cover intentional torts to the person, breach of statutory duty, interference with land, occupiers' liability, interference with goods, defamation, false representations, the economic torts, protection of privacy and malicious prosecution/misfeasance of public office. There are further chapters that deal with more "general" aspects of the law of torts, such as an introductory chapter discussing (in a more theoretical vein) the aims of the law of torts, as well as more doctrinal chapters discussing the various possible parties in a tort action, vicarious liability, and remedies. This is a comprehensive spread of coverage that is similar to other contemporary textbooks of this nature (see e.g., Carolyn Sappideen & Prue Vines, eds., Fleming's The Law of Torts, 10th ed. (Sydney: Lawbook Co., 2011). In the preface, the author states that the book's aim is "to provide a synthesis of the law of torts in Singapore by bringing together … a discussion of Singapore court decisions and statutes as well as reviews and commentaries on these developments, and by tapping on the deep reservoir of English and Commonwealth precedents" (at p. ix). As we shall soon see, the book more than meets this broadly stated aim.

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