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.

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.

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.

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.

Collaboration with the Supreme Court

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.

Redress for Legal Misconduct: Iskandar bin Rahmat v Law Society of Singapore [2021] 1 SLR 874

Part VII of the Legal Profession Act (“LPA”) sets out the complex process whereby complaints and investigations into legal misconduct may be undertaken. Section 96 LPA specifically gives a complainant the right to appeal to the High Court (“HC”) for the complaint to be advanced to a disciplinary tribunal where the Council of the Law Society has recommended that the complaint should be dismissed. The Court of Appeal in Iskandar bin Rahmat v Law Society of Singapore clarified that it had the jurisdiction to hear a section 96 LPA appeal against a decision of the HC to dismiss the complaint and decline to advance it to a disciplinary tribunal.

A Novel Approach to Deriving Sentencing Frameworks: Sentencing as a Science and/or Art? Takaaki Masui v Public Prosecutor [2021] 4 SLR 160

I. Executive SummaryIn Takaaki Masui v Public Prosecutor and another appeal and other matters [2021] 4 SLR 160 (“Masui v PP”), the High Court (“HC”) introduced a new sentencing framework for purely private corruption offences under ss 6(a) and 6(b) of the Prevention of Corruption Act (Cap 241, 1993 Rev Ed) (“PCA”). Significantly, the HC utilised … Continue reading A Novel Approach to Deriving Sentencing Frameworks: Sentencing as a Science and/or Art? Takaaki Masui v Public Prosecutor [2021] 4 SLR 160

The Law Governing Contract Formation: Solomon Lew v Kaikhushru Shiavax Nargolwala and other and another appeal [2021] SGCA(I) 1

I. Executive SummaryCross-border contracts often raise questions as to which country’s law should govern the contract. A three-stage test is usually used to determine the governing law. The first two stages determine, respectively, whether parties had expressly or impliedly chosen a governing law, and the third stage determines the governing law based on the law … Continue reading The Law Governing Contract Formation: Solomon Lew v Kaikhushru Shiavax Nargolwala and other and another appeal [2021] SGCA(I) 1

The penal-compensatory dichotomy of liquidated damages clauses: Denka Advantech Pte Ltd v Seraya Energy Pte Ltd [2021] 1 SLR 631

I.          Executive summary Parties are generally free to contract as they wish, through exchanging promises and imposing obligations on one another that are enforceable in a court of law. However, there are specific limitations that the court has set on contracts, whether for policy or practical reasons.One such limitation is the ability of a party … Continue reading The penal-compensatory dichotomy of liquidated damages clauses: Denka Advantech Pte Ltd v Seraya Energy Pte Ltd [2021] 1 SLR 631

Establishing the Authenticity of a Document: CIMB Bank Berhad v World Fuel Services (Singapore) Pte Ltd and another appeal [2021] SGCA 19

Written by: Teo Kay Liang Alan, 2nd-year JD student                              I. EXECUTIVE SUMMARYThe authenticity of a document is of paramount importance in the law of evidence.[1] This was illustrated in CIMB Bank Berhad v World Fuel Services (Singapore) Pte Ltd and another appeal [2021] SGCA 19, which concerned the authenticity of a deed of debenture, i.e. a document which creates or … Continue reading Establishing the Authenticity of a Document: CIMB Bank Berhad v World Fuel Services (Singapore) Pte Ltd and another appeal [2021] SGCA 19