Tagged: criminal law

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

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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 Thus, sections 13A to 13D of the Miscellaneous Offences (Public Order and Nuisance) Act[2] will be repealed and re-enacted in modified forms in the new Act.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