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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 March 2016 issue are …

Vivien Chen, Andrew Godwin and Ian Ramsay, in Cross-Border Cooperation in Bank Resolution: A Framework for Asia, identify challenges to cross-border cooperation in Asia in the area of bank resolution and suggest potential measures to enhance cooperation. They propose incorporating the convergence-promoting functions and the use of resolution colleges from the EU and the Trans-Tasman frameworks. Lastly, the authors consider Singapore’s provisions providing for recognition of foreign resolution action (to be implemented subject to national interests) to be of particular relevance to ASEAN.
 
In The CISG as a Model Law: A Comparative Law Approach, Angelo Chianale adopts a comparative law approach to illustrate the coexistence of various models governing the sale of goods, and their classification on the basis of two main characteristics: the transfer of property and the opposition certainty/flexibility. He uses this approach to analyse the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods and examines how the CISG influenced several national systems and can influence future attempts at regional harmonisation. He concludes with the reasons that makes the CISG a good model for the sale of goods, and with certain desired future developments. 
 
Lin Lin and Michael Ewing-Chow, in The Doing Business Index on Minority Investor Protection: The Case of Singapore, evaluate the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business index by using Singapore as a case study. They examine in depth the research methodologies employed by the Doing Business project in measuring the strength of investor protection, especially in light of the recent renaming of the indicator from Protecting Investors to Protecting Minority Investors. The authors argue that the variables and components chosen in the indicator fail to capture the salient features of minority investor protection. They argue that minority investor protection is too context-specific to be evaluated based on a unified business assumption or by pure quantitative methods. Lastly, they provide specific suggestions on improving the Protecting Minority Investors indicator.
 
In Contracts Governing the Use of Websites, Eliza Mik analyses the enforceability of contracts purporting to govern the use of websites or the content and services available thereon. She explores, inter alia, the the difficulties of establishing legal intention in a context that is not unambiguously commercial or transactional and contrasts popular beliefs with the basic principles of contract law. She concludes by suggesting that the question “are such contracts enforceable?” may be replaced with the inquiry “should they be enforceable?”.  
 
Jaclyn L Neo, in Equal Protection and the Reasonable Classification Test in Singapore: After Lim Meng Suang v Attorney-General, examines the application, scope and meaning of Article 12 of the Singapore Constitution after the seminal case of Lim Meng Suang v Attorney-General. She identifies three areas which require further judicial elucidation—the construction of the object, the standard or ‘fit’ required under rational relation, and the issue of inherent legitimacy of the impugned law. She ends off by arguing that the reasonable classification test is sufficiently capacious to allow for a more stringent scrutiny of laws, including differing standards of stringency.
 
In The Extraneous Factors Rule in Trademark Law: Avoiding Confusion or Simply Confusing?, David Tan and Benjamin Foo discuss whether the the likelihood of confusion factors as applied in the US Circuit Courts could be considered in Singapore under the “extraneous factors rule” following the Court of Appeal’s decision in Staywell Hospitality Group Pty Ltd v Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. They critique the “extraneous factors rule” as espoused in Staywell and advance a four-stage test which incorporates the US approach into the “step-by-step” framework in British Sugar v James Robertson & Sons Ltd so as to furthers its main purpose of preventing consumer confusion, and promote certainty for the business community. They conclude that by rejecting the use of extraneous factors to negate a finding of confusion, this approach creates a virtually irrebuttable presumption of confusion once marks- and goods-similarity are found.
 
Teo Keang Sood, in Management Corporation: Common Property and Structural Defects, looks at the management corporation’s powers and duties in a strata development in respect of the development’s common property. First, he critiques the Strata Title Board’s decision in Lee Lay Ting Jane v MSCT Plan No 3414 in particular its endorsement of a New South Wales court’s statement that management corporation holds the common property as trustee for the unit owners. He notes that such a principle has no application in Singapore given the Court of Appeal’s statements and the legislative provisions. He then, inter alia, identifies issues with the management corporation suing or defending actions generally in respect of the common property and makes a case for legislative intervention.

In The New ‘Asplenium Clause’—Unconscionability Unwound?, Garth C. Wooler examines the unconscionability exception to the autonomy principle pertaining to letters of credit and demand guarantees following the Court of Appeal’s decision in CKR Contract Services Pte Ltd v Asplenium Land Pte Ltd. He argues that allowing parties to contractually limit the range of causes of action available takes the exception almost entirely out of play and simultaneously shifts the power balance to the beneficiary while making the product more attractive to rational buyers. He concludes by suggesting that in the interim, boilerplate clauses will be entered into every contract of sale that requires a guarantee – virtually eliminating unconscionability as a ground for enjoining against abusive calls on independent guarantees.

Our March 2016 issue also features several legislation comments and case notes, and book reviews. Click here for the complete contents page.

 



SJLS accepts submissions on a rolling basis and publishes 2 issues a year in March and September.

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