A fiduciary is someone who has undertaken to act for or on behalf of another (his principal). As such, a fiduciary owes an obligation of loyalty to the principal. Indeed, the principal relies on the fiduciary to act in his or her best interests, and is especially vulnerable to the fiduciary’s breach of duty. Thus, it has been observed that a fiduciary owes his or her principal the highest standard of duty known to the law. It is also well-established that a director of a company has a fiduciary relationship with the company.
Can an employer sue a former employee for the mere wrongful copying, abuse and exploitation of protected information, without also having to prove that the employee wrongfully used the information? This was the question before the Court of Appeal (“CA”) in I-Admin (Singapore) Pte Ltd v Hong Ying Ting and others  SGCA 32.
In a collaboration with the Supreme Court, SMU Law students (under SMU Lexicon) are reporting on selected Court of Appeal judgments, highlighting the significant points, so as to foster greater public awareness of these cases and their implications. The summaries are available on the Supreme Court of Singapore Website, and are reproduced here on SMU Lexicon's website as well.
Can an agreement which is formed purely through the operation of algorithms be considered a binding contract? If so, can such a contract be unilaterally cancelled because of a mistake, where such mistake resulted in trades being concluded at 250 times the market rate?
What happens when a criminal act is alleged, and the only evidence is from a sole eyewitness (i.e. the evidence is uncorroborated)? In Public Prosecutor v GCK  SGCA 2, the Singapore Court of Appeal clarified that the "unusually convincing" standard applies to such cases as well, and is not just limited to cases dealing with sexual offences. Furthermore, a stricter standard is not to be imposed for cases dealing with sole eyewitnesses.
The law on "impossible attempts" (i.e. attempts to commit an offence that could not have been possibly completed) has long been fraught with conceptual difficulties. In Han Fang Guan v PP  SGCA 11, the Singapore Court of Appeal finally laid down a two-stage approach for such crimes.
Singapore Shooting Association and others v Singapore Rifle Association  SGCA 83 was the latest instalment in a series of cases about a long-running dispute between Singapore Shooting Association (“SSA”) and Singapore Rifle Association (“SRA”). This decision by the Court of Appeal, addressed issues of contractual indemnities, disproportionate litigation and the tort of unlawful means conspiracy.
In cases involving medical negligence, lawyers for both parties often use, as evidence, voluminous amounts of scientific and statistical evidence. However, parties may incorrectly confuse what the evidence shows, with what is required by the legal standard of proof. In Armstrong, Carol Ann v Quest Laboratories Pte Ltd  SGCA 75, the Court of Appeal clarified the proper approach in using statistical evidence to prove negligence
Section 376 of the Penal Code (Cap 224, 2008 Rev Ed) (“PC”) sets out the offences of sexual assault by penetration, including those through: digital-vaginal penetration; digital-anal penetration; and fellatio. The case of Pram Nair v Public Prosecutor  2 SLR 1015 (“Pram Nair”) established a sentencing framework for cases of sexual assault through digital-vaginal penetration. However, it left open the following questions: (a) whether the Pram Nair framework should apply to other forms of sexual assault by penetration, and (b) whether there was a hierarchy of severity, for the various permutations of “sexual assault by penetration” under section 376 of the PC. The Court of Appeal answered these questions in BPH v Public Prosecutor.
Doctors are expected to uphold high standards when dispensing medical treatment to patients. However, not every misstep by a medical practitioner amounts to professional misconduct. Where a doctor does depart from acceptable standards of conduct, disciplinary action is warranted only where such departure is egregious. As highlighted in Singapore Medical Council v Dr Lim Lian Arn  SGHC 172, the law seeks to strike a balance between (a) ensuring that serious misconduct and failings are duly censured, and (b) guarding against over-penalisation of doctors.