An Introduction to Syariah Law in Singapore

Singapore is home to a multitude of religions and while Muslims form only 15.6% of the total population, our legal system provides for a Muslim to be governed by Syariah law. However, many Singaporeans do not understand what Syariah law entails or how it is enforced. This commentary seeks to answer the frequently-asked questions regarding this matter. First, we answer the question of what is Syariah law. Second, we elaborate on the persons affected by Syariah law. Third, we set out how Syariah law is administered, and finally, we discuss the substantive differences between Syariah law and “regular” law. “Regular” law in this discussion is confined to the domain of family law in Singapore.

Home-based food businesses: three questions to consider when a customer threatens to sue you for food poisoning

You’ve been running a home-based food business. One day, you’re in the kitchen when you hear your phone buzz. Is this a new order? You pick up the phone, ready for the good news. To your horror, you hear an angry lady shouting at you, claiming that she has suffered food poisoning from your cakes. This lady has threatened to sue you, unless you pay her compensation. This scenario is a nightmare for any home-based food business owner. This article highlights three questions for owners of home-based food businesses to consider when caught in such a situation: (1) when preparing the food, did you adhere to the Singapore Food Agency Guidelines on Food Safety and Hygiene Practices (“SFA Guidelines”)?; (2) was your food the actual cause of the customer’s food poisoning?; and (3) what is the customer seeking compensation for?

The Expedited Protection Order: What is it and Can it be challenged?

From the time of application to the time a Personal Protection Order (“PPO”) is granted, the applicant could still be exposed to violence from the family member. The expedited protection order (“EPO”) is a temporary PPO that serves to protect the applicant while the PPO application is pending. This article summarises the law on EPOs and offers information on what to do when an EPO is issued against you.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Venturing into the Variable Capital Company: How it works and what to expect

A VCC is a corporate entity tailored for use in investment funds. However, unlike a company which is generally utilised to carry on business, the VCCs can only be used in collective investment schemes. To understand more about VCCs and why their inception is significant, this article will look into what a VCC offers, its benefits and some matters to consider before embarking on a VCC venture.