Singapore Journal of Legal Studies NUS
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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 December 2014 issue are …

In Good Faith Choice of a Law to Govern a Contract, Tan Yock Lin argues that an agreement on the proper law of a contract is not a free-standing promissory term but merely has the effect of a presumption that the express choice is the proper law. This, he reasons, would mean that more similarities than differences exist between the nature of the proper law of a possibly unformed contract, the floating proper law, and the changing proper law. Finally, he suggests that in all cases, reliance may be placed on an express choice of law unless it would be substantially unjust to the non-relying party or would occasion him substantial hardship.
In The Subsumation of Maintenance and Champerty under Third Party Orders, Zhuang WenXiong notes that maintenance and champerty are technically still torts and crimes under Singapore law, as they were historically under English law. However, he argues that it would be better to deal with them within the rubric of third party orders – at the interlocutory stage, for the third party to provide security for costs, and at the close of proceedings, for the third party to be liable for costs. This, he rationalises, would jettison archaic and technical English case law relating to maintenance and champerty and enable the Singapore courts to transparently facilitate access to justice whilst reigning in unwarranted forms of third party funding.
In The Lemon Law and the Integrated Enhancement of Consumer Rights in Singapore, Alexander F H Loke examines the new amendments to Part III of the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act, known colloquially as “the Lemon Law”. Focusing on its integrative aspects, he discusses the issues that arise when the new law is read with existing consumer protection law in the Sale of Goods Act and the Unfair Contract Terms Act. Finally, he notes that while the Lemon Law ably discharges its dispositive function of enhancing consumer rights, there remains a layer of complexity which might thwart the layman consumer’s attempt to understand and navigate it.
In Harmonisation of Takaful (Islamic Insurance) Regulation – A Realistic Goal or Improbable Ideal, Haemala Thanasegaran and Mohammed Shaiban survey the takaful regulations in Muslim-majority jurisdictions where takaful is offered on a large scale, such as Malaysia, Bahrain, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Indonesia, Egypt, Brunei, Sudan and Iran, with respect to the core takaful principles of good faith, disclosure, non-misrepresentation, insurable interest, reciprocity in claims handling and the ensuing remedies. After analysing the international takaful standards set by the Islamic Financial Services Board, the authors then benchmark the various takaful regulations against Australia's and the UK's progressive insurance provisions in assessing the viability of harmonising takaful regulations amongst Muslim-majority jurisdictions. 
In Recent (Non-) Developments in an Arrested Person’s Right to Counsel, Ho Hock Lai analyses and evaluates the High Court and Court of Appeal judgment in James Raj s/o Arokiasamy v Public Prosecutor. He then explores alternative interpretations of the relevant constitutional provision, considers the fairness of the way in which the law has been applied, makes comparisons with the legal positions taken elsewhere, and reflects on principles in the administration of criminal justice that ought to shape the attitude towards this basic right to counsel.
In Common Intention and the Presumption of Joint Possession in the Misuse of Drugs Act, Ivan Lee discusses the relevance of the doctrine of common intention in prosecuting drug offences, in light of the reliance on the s 18(4) presumption of possession in the Misuse of Drugs Act. Focusing on the recent Court of Appeal judgment in Muhammad Ridzuan bin Md Ali v Public Prosecutor, he cautions against the conflation of the doctrine of common intention with the statutory presumption, suggesting that perhaps the time has come for prosecutors to stop relying on the crutch of common intention when prosecuting drug offences.
In The Future of International Banking and Financial Law and Lawyers, Philip Wood makes a medium-term forecast of the future of banking and financial law and lawyers internationally. He explains the rationale of banks as intermediaries for credit, discusses the important role of banking and financial law in the hierarchy of law, shows that there has been a very rapid increase in the size of the law from 1830 onwards, offers some reasons for the growth of the law and legal risk, proposes that there will be a strong demand medium-term for competent banking and financial lawyers, explains the families of law, discusses various classes of legal risk and explains the high responsibilities undertaken by lawyers in their role in societies.
Our December 2014 issue also features several legislation comments and case notes, and book reviews. Click here for the complete contents page.

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