Fourth-year LLB student
Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore
IN A RECENT opinion piece published in The Straits Times, 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
Eugene K B Tan
Associate Professor of Law
WHAT’S THE SIGNIFICANCE and relevance of Magna Carta, an 800-year old handwritten sheepskin parchment that is currently on a world tour having been to New York City, Luxembourg, China (Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shanghai), Hong Kong, and now Singapore?
Magna Carta was never intended as a “great charter” of people’s rights and liberties. In fact, when it was first created on June 15, 1215, it was essentially a peace treaty warding off a civil war. Continue reading
Assistant Professor of Law
School of Law, SMU
THE COURT OF APPEAL’S judgment of 5 July in Vellama d/o Marie Muthu v Attorney-General – popularly known as the Hougang by-election case – shows that the Court sees its role as policing the margins rather than involving itself in the heart of politics.
The decision came as a surprise to those used to a judicial stance that is fairly deferential towards the Government. It is one of only a handful of cases in which the courts have not accepted the Government’s interpretation of the Constitution.