Singapore Journal of Legal Studies NUS
Browse/Advanced Search
The Singapore Journal of Legal Studies is the flagship law journal of the Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore and one of the oldest law journals in the Commonwealth. As the first and leading legal journal in Singapore, it contains a rich store of legal literature analysing the legal, political and social development of Singapore in its progression from a developing to a First World nation. The journal continues to advance the boundaries of global and local developments in law, policy and legal practice by publishing cogent and timely articles, legislation comments and case notes on a biannual basis.  

Highlights of our July 2015 issue are …

In Comparative Takeover Regulation and the Concept of “Control”, Umakanth Varottil evaluates the different possible approaches towards the concept of control in the context of the mandatory bid rule in takeover regulations. In particular, the article delves into the regulatory experience in India as that jurisdiction not only adopts a combined approach that takes into account both quantitative and qualitative tests for control, but the “control” factor has also been subject of extensive litigation in recent years in India, which have helped tease out its jurisprudential contours. The article concludes with a normative assessment that points towards partial harmonization of the law on control.
Chen Jianlin, in Tools for Immediate Regulatory Tax Implementation: Subsidiary Legislation vs Legislation by Press Release, examines two distinct mechanisms adopted in the implementation of new economic regulations – subsidiary legislation and legislation by press release – through the lens of the recent imposition of stamp duties by the Singapore government to curb its exuberant property market. He argues that while both mechanisms are legal and 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 the press release mechanism. 
In The Work of Many Hands: The Continuing Confusion over Section 304A of the Singapore Penal Code, Sundram Peter Soosay assesses section 304A of the Singapore Penal Code, which sets out the offence of causing death by a rash or negligent act. After providing a historical context, he assesses the current legal position vis-ŕ-vis the provision and concludes with proposals as to how the practical and conceptual difficulties that have come to trouble the application of the provision should be resolved.
Evan Gibson, Federico Lupo-Pasini and Ross P Buckley examine in Regulating Digital Financial Services Agents in Developing Countries to Promote Financial Inclusion the provision of digital financial services through agents in developing countries by banks and mobile money providers. The issue of whether vicarious liability of the principal or personal liability of the agent is a more efficient regulatory approach is analysed, drawing from experiences in Kenya, Fiji, and Malawi, with the conclusion that vicarious liability of the principal, coupled with an explicit agreement as to agent rewards and penalties, is the more efficient approach.  
Four aspects of by-laws in a strata scheme in Singapore are examined by Teo Keang Sood in By-Laws in a Strata Scheme. In particular, the article examines and proposes solutions, where applicable, for the following issues: (1) 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; (c) the validity of by-laws not lodged as required; and (d) the enforcement of statutorily prescribed by-laws before a management corporation is constituted.
In Enforcement/Recognition of Foreign Confiscatory Laws in Singapore, Tan Yock Lin examines the Court of Appeal case in Republic of the Philippines v Maler Foundation and argues that the authorities support a self-supporting rule for accepting or rejecting a foreign confiscation law. This rule is not unlike the prohibition against direct or indirect enforcement of a foreign penal, revenue, or other public law, as it is similarly based on considerations of territorial sovereignty and is not a choice of law rule selecting the lex situs as governing law. The implications of such a rule based on considerations of sovereignty and not lex situs are elaborated on.
Dorcas Quek Anderson examines the issue of enforcing mediated agreements in Singapore in Litigating Over Mediation – How Should the Courts Enforce Mediated Settlement Agreements? After noting the local courts’ long support for compromise agreements, the article examines the current principles used by the court in determining the enforcement of mediated settlements, assessing them in light of the underlying values of mediation and contract law. The specific issue of mediation confidentiality and how that impacts the current legal framework is discussed, and the article concludes with a few recommendations as to the preferred way forward in buttressing the legal framework.

In Convergence in Global Tax Compliance, Stephen Phua discusses the discernible convergence in the development of strategies that countries formulate to take flagrant tax evasion and complete tax avoidance schemes. He elucidates on the concept of a tax gap, which is the difference between full potential tax revenues that are legally due to the state and the actual tax revenues collected, and examines in detail the various remedies proposed to resolve the problem on both national and international level, including enhanced accounting disclosure standards, expanded information reporting obligations, Exchange of Information regimes, etc.

Hu Ying, in Regulation of Equity Crowdfunding in Singapore, tackles this fairly new form of financing as a means of financing legitimate start-up businesses or projects which are unable to obtain funds from traditional sources. The article identifies as a problem, however, the cost of complying with existing securities regulation, which may put the option out of the reach of businesses that most likely need it. Drawing from the rationale of facilitating equity crowdfunding in Singapore, the author argues that there is a need for exemptions for such financing methods, and proposes legal reforms that seek a balance between capital formation and investment protection.
Our July 2015 issue also features several legislation comments and case notes, and book reviews. Click here for the complete contents page.

sjls lcolumn sjls lcolumn sjls rcolumn sjls rcolumn sjls rcolumn