JUDICIAL REVIEW OF PROSECUTORIAL DECISIONS

Written by Fun Wei Xuan, Joel* I. IntroductionProsecutorial discretion, broadly speaking, refers to the Public Prosecutor’s ability to, in its sole discretion, make a myriad of decisions, including: whether to initiate prosecution, what charge to prefer, whether to amend a charge, and whether to discontinue prosecution.[1] This power is provided for in Article 35(8) of … Continue reading JUDICIAL REVIEW OF PROSECUTORIAL DECISIONS

The Right Time and Place for a Criminal Motion: Amarjeet Singh v Public Prosecutor [2021] SGHC 73

Written by: Adel Zaid Hamzah* I. EXECUTIVE SUMMARYCriminal motions are routinely filed to seek a broad range of remedies associated with the court’s criminal jurisdiction. There being no explicit limits on the sort of remedies pursuable by way of a criminal motion, it risks being abused to subvert established mechanisms that gatekeep other court procedures. … Continue reading The Right Time and Place for a Criminal Motion: Amarjeet Singh v Public Prosecutor [2021] SGHC 73

Retirement from Trusteeship – Express and Statutory Powers: Chan Yun Cheong (trustee of the will of the testator) v Chan Chi Cheong (trustee of the will of the testator) [2021] SGCA 33

This case involved two trustees of a testamentary trust, both of whom alleged that they had resigned as trustees. Trusteeship is a serious appointment that comes with responsibilities. Under the Trustees Act (Cap 337, 2005 Rev Ed) (“Trustees Act”), which governs trusts in Singapore, once a person takes up a trusteeship, he cannot simply relinquish his duties at will but must do so in accordance with the law and the terms of the trust instrument.  

Demystifying Prosecutorial Discretion – What It Is & How It Is Exercised

Parti Liyani was an Indonesian domestic helper who was charged with stealing up to $34,000 worth of items from then-Changi Airport Group chairman Liew Mun Leong and his family. She was initially sentenced to jail, but on appeal the High Court acquitted Ms Liyani of all charges. The High Court held that the Prosecution had not provided sufficient credible evidence to support its claims. Furthermore, the Prosecution could not rebut the Defence’s allegation that Ms Liyani’s employers had an improper motive in making a police report against Ms Liyani, i.e. to prevent her from lodging a complaint to the authorities about being asked to work outside her approved place of employment.

The precise ambit of the sealing requirement for deeds: Lim Zhipeng v Seow Suat Thin [2020] SGCA 89

Parties (“creditors”) who loan money to others (“debtors”) are often concerned that the debtors will be unable or unwilling to repay them. Such creditors may then enter into deeds of guarantee with third parties (“guarantors”) to secure the repayment of their loans if their debtors default on payment of the same. Unlike a contract, a deed does not require consideration to be legally enforceable.[1] However, for a deed to be legally enforceable, several other formalities must be fulfilled. In particular, the deed must be “signed, sealed, and delivered”.

Standing by decided things: How the Singapore courts decide cases

Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the first leader of Pakistan apocryphally said, “Think 100 times before you take a decision, but once that decision is made, stand by it as one man.”

Our lives have their shapes because of decisions made or not made. Of course, some decisions are weightier than others. In particular, the decisions that judges make regarding the cases before them have significant bearing on many, even extending in more extreme cases to determining whether a person lives or dies.

Wilful Blindness in the Context of the Presumption of Knowledge: Gobi a/l Avedian v Public Prosecutor [2021] 1 SLR 180

Under section 7 of the Misuse of Drugs Act (Cap 185, 2008 Rev Ed) (the “MDA”), it is an offence, with consequences that may extend to the mandatory death penalty, to import into or export from Singapore controlled drugs. As part of proving the charge, the Prosecution must prove that the accused was both in possession of, and had knowledge of the controlled nature of the drugs involved. Further, under section 18 of the MDA, the Prosecution is also allowed to rely on a presumption - under certain circumstances - that the accused did indeed have said possession (section 18(1)) and knowledge (section 18(2)). If the accused is unable to rebut these presumptions, the elements of possession and knowledge are made out under section 7.  

Deciding Priority between Two Competing Judgment Creditors: Singapore Air Charter Pte Ltd v Peter Low & Choo LLC and another [2020] 2 SLR 1399

Where a judgment in respect of a debt is concerned, a “judgment creditor” is the party to whom the debt is owed, and a “judgment debtor” is the party who has been ordered by the court to pay a sum of money – the “judgment debt” – to the judgment creditor. However, obtaining the court order alone will not necessarily provide the judgment creditor with satisfaction, as the judgment debtor may not want to, or may not be able to, satisfy the judgment debt.