Tagged: criminal law

Roachgate – No Constitutional Crisis

Chinese Punishment, Whipping a Lawbreaker (c 1900)

A c 1900 photograph of a Chinese criminal being beaten on the buttocks with a stick as a punishment. ([CC BY 2.0], via the Wikimedia Commons.)

Olivine Lin
Lecturer, Law Programmes
School of Law
Singapore University of Social Sciences

Many Singaporeans accessing the day’s news feeds on 20 February 2018 as they sipped their afternoon kopi probably found themselves simultaneously baffled and affronted by the news that “Singapore agrees to UK request to not cane suspect if found guilty”.[1]

Baffled – because the American government had tried unsuccessfully many years ago to pressurise Singapore into agreeing not to acquaint the rear end of one of its citizens, a young delinquent known as Michael Fay, with the blunt end of a rotan, but plucky little Singapore stood its ground firmly and went on to cane the vandal. Had Singapore and her vaunted principles and values changed so much in the intervening years? Continue reading

Amendments to the Films Act: Problems and Concerns

Media recording prohibition sign

A sign indicating that media recording is prohibited. (By Juhele [CC0], via the Wikimedia Commons.)

Dr Kevin Y L Tan
Professor, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies
Nanyang Technological University
Professor (Adjunct), Faculty of Law
National University of Singapore

Dr Ang Peng Hwa
Professor
Wee Kim Wee School of Information & Communications
Nanyang Technological University

Introduction

The Films Act (Cap 107) was enacted to regulate the “possession, importation, making, distribution and exhibition of films”. The Government now proposes to pass the Films (Amendment) Act, which is the subject of this representation. We have major concerns on the following fronts: Continue reading

The Limits of Prosecutorial Discretion

Attorney-General's Chambers, Singapore

The Attorney-General’s Chambers, Singapore. (By Sgconlaw, CC BY-SA 3.0, via the Wikimedia Commons.)

Marcus Teo
Fourth-year LLB student
Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore

IN A RECENT opinion piece published in The Straits Times,[1] Professor Walter Woon examined the role and functions of the Attorney-General (“AG”) and argued that the AG’s independence should be strengthened, among other ways, by separating the AG’s current function as a legal advisor to the government from his prosecutorial function. With respect to the latter, Professor Woon reminds us that decisions to prosecute or not involve a “judgment call”, and that “[t]here are many reasons why a decision may be taken not to prosecute.” However, such decisions have serious consequences for accused persons, victims of crimes, and the public. Continue reading

Hopeful Steps on Harassment

By Vassil (CC-BY-3.0), from the Wikimedia Commons

Dr Jack Tsen-Ta Lee
Assistant Professor of Law
School of Law, SMU

THERE IS MUCH to like about the Protection from Harassment Bill[1] that was introduced into Parliament on 3 March 2014.

First, it performs a housekeeping task by consolidating criminal offences relating to harassment into a single Act of Parliament. Thus, sections 13A to 13D of the Miscellaneous Offences (Public Order and Nuisance) Act[2] will be repealed and re-enacted in modified forms in the new Act. The maximum penalties will be enhanced – intentionally causing harassment, alarm or distress to someone can currently be punished with a fine of up to $5,000, but in future a District Court will also be able to impose a jail term of up to six months in appropriate cases.[3] Continue reading