Differing Common Intention Charges: Public Prosecutor v Aishamudin bin Jamaludin [2020] SGCA 70

Under section 34 of the Penal Code (Cap 224, 2008 Rev Ed) (“Penal Code”), can the Prosecution charge two different people based on a common intention to commit a criminal act between them, but press a more serious charge against one accused person and a less serious charge against the other (“differing common intention charges”)? The Court of Appeal (“CA”) held that there was nothing under section 34 which required the Prosecution to bring identical charges against all who were charged pursuant to a common intention to do a criminal act. Further, there were good reasons why there was no general rule requiring the Prosecution to do so.

The appropriate sentencing framework for sexual assault by penetration cases: BPH v Public Prosecutor [2019] SGCA 64

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 [2017] 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.

PROTECTION FROM THE PEEPING TOM: Interpreting the New Offence of Voyeurism

Under the Criminal Law Reform Act 2019, it is an offence for any person to observe or record someone doing a private act, without that person’s consent. It is also an offence to possess, gain access to, distribute, or threaten to distribute images so recorded.This paper focuses on the core offence of voyeurism, and its interpretation under the new laws.

The Attorney-General’s Cup 2019

Since its inception in 2011, the Attorney-General's Cup – the brainchild of former Attorney-General, Professor Walter Woon, SC – has played an instrumental role in introducing law undergraduates to the intricacies of criminal law. The 2019 edition of the competition had a scenario considering the criminal sanctions for the offence of "making atmosphere noxious to health of persons in general". 3rd-Year LL.B. student Marcus Chia Hao Jun reports on the finals held on 29 August 2019.

Convicting secondary offenders of money laundering: Yap Chen Hsiang Osborn v Public Prosecutor [2019] SGCA 40

In Yap Chen Hsiang Osborn v Public Prosecutor [2019] SGCA 40, the Court of Appeal (“CA”) clarified that section 47(1) of the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act (Cap 65A, 2000 Rev Ed) (“CDSA”), which essentially makes it an offense to launder proceeds which represents one’s (i.e. the offender’s) benefits from criminal conduct, applies only to primary offenders (someone who launders the benefits of his or her own criminal conduct) and not secondary offenders (someone who does not himself or herself commit the offence from which the proceeds were originally derived, but launders the proceeds of another person’s crime).