The legal effect of no-oral modification clauses: Charles Lim Teng Liang and another v Hong Choon Hau and another [2021] SGCA 43

No-oral modification clauses seek to invalidate contractual modifications which are not made in writing. In Charles Lim Teng Siang and another v Hong Choon Hau and another, the Court of Appeal held that the no-oral modification clause in question did not apply to a rescission of the contract. It explored the legal effect of no-oral modification clauses in obiter, noting that such clauses likely raise a rebuttable presumption that in the absence of an agreement in writing, there would be no variation of the contract.

Consistency in Sentencing: Exploring the Dichotomy between Judicial Judgments and Public Perception

Singapore's criminal justice system prefers deterrence over other sentencing considerations. However, where sentencing outcomes seemingly defy this expectation, claims of inconsistency oversimplify the delicate balance between sentencing considerations. Rather, to appreciate the consistencies within Singapore's sentencing framework, it is necessary to understand the intricate workings of its application and administration. Year 2 LL.B. students John Hoy and Damien Teo deconstruct the concept of consistency, before exploring the dichotomy between the metric of consistency utilised by the public on one hand and the judiciary on the other.

Deterrence? Or Mercy and Second Chances? An Evaluation of the Singaporean Judiciary’s Attempts to Tread a Tightrope in Sentencing

Year 2 LL.B. student Isabelle Lim examines the interplay between deterrence, rehabilitation and judicial mercy in sentencing and evaluates how well the judiciary has struck a balance between these competing principles. Whilst the judiciary clearly favours deterrence over judicial mercy in sentencing, the common perception that the judiciary prioritises deterrence over rehabilitation is not necessarily true. Further, cases where deterrent sentences were meted out to youth offenders and offenders with mental disorders do not evidence inconsistency in sentencing or a disproportionate focus on deterrence, for a closer examination of such cases reveals compelling facts justifying a departure from rehabilitation as the primary sentencing principle.

Deconstructing the legal contours of POFMA: The Online Citizen Pte Ltd v Attorney-General and another appeal and other matters [2021] SGCA 96

In The Online Citizen Pte Ltd v Attorney-General, the Court of Appeal (“CA”) discussed the issuance of Part 3 Directions under the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act 2019 (“POFMA”). Such Directions may be issued to any statement-maker who communicates a false statement of fact online. Significantly, the CA made conclusive findings regarding the constitutionality of the POFMA, the new five-step framework to be used by courts in assessing applications to set aside a Part 3 Direction, and the applicable burden of proof.

Sticking to your guns: Keeping an antique weapon-collecting hobby while keeping out of trouble

Exotic weapons, flashy guns, and explosive fight scenes – these are the fundamental parts of James Bond movies. If you’ve become a fan of medieval weaponry (i.e. guns, swords, knives) after seeing them used by 007, you’d probably want to purchase them online from overseas dealers and ship them to you in Singapore. However, be warned – just as secret agents require a license to kill, you also require a license to bring such items into Singapore.

When a Company is Unable to Pay its Debts: Sun Electric Power Pte Ltd v RCMA Asia Pte Ltd [2021] SGCA 60

The winding up of a company spells its death. It is the process of collecting and selling off the company's assets in order to pay off creditors, after which any remaining assets will be distributed to its shareholders. The company is then dissolved and no longer exists. In Sun Electric Power Pte Ltd v RCA Asia Pte Ltd, the Court of Appeal introduces new legal principles; firstly, with respect to the conduct of a company's appeal against a winding-up order, and secondly, with regards to the test to be used in determining whether a company is unable to pay its debts.

Did my lawyer overcharge me? And what to do about it

Having lost a lawsuit, imagine receiving this in your mailbox the next day: “legal fees owed to W&O Partnership: $200,000”. While you know that litigation can be expensive, your lawyer had originally estimated the fees to be half that amount. Could he have overcharged you for unnecessary work? How then can you get the bill reduced? This article will first set out the types of legal costs expected in litigation, followed by a guidance on how fees are calculated. Lastly, it will list the recommended steps to challenge a legal bill if you believe that you have been unfairly charged.

The law and policy of carbon pricing in Singapore – Incoming shifts towards greater ambition towards carbon neutrality

Climate change has recently been given greater attention globally, since it poses one of the greatest security threats that humans have ever faced. This paper, which focuses on carbon pricing in Singapore, will first set out the goals that Singapore have set out in tackling climate action at the international plane. Then, it will look specifically at the laws and regulations in Singapore surrounding carbon pricing to meet these goals and assess their effectiveness. Subsequently, it will take a comparative approach and assess the laws and policy relating to carbon pricing in other jurisdictions, elucidating certain learning points and recommendations to improve the current carbon tax scheme in Singapore.

When the Court may order Personal Costs against Defence Counsel: Syed Suhail bin Syed Zin v Public Prosecutor [2021] SGCA 53

Defence counsel perform an important task of mounting a robust defence for accused persons. In so doing, they must also uphold proper conduct in courts. Where defence counsel invoke the courts’ processes without merit, the Court of Appeal has an inherent power to order personal costs against them. In Syed Suhail bin Syed Zin v PP, a three-step step test was adopted to clarify when the courts would exercise this power.