|281. ||DECEMBER 2011 Issue|
|Air Pollution in Hong Kong: The Failure of Judicial Review and the Slight Promise of Recent Cases|
Rohan Price and John Kong Shan Ho  Sing JLS 394 (Dec)
Public bodies are endowed with far-reaching administrative powers to formulate and implement policy. Administrative law focuses upon the extent of these powers, the way in which they are exercised and controlled, and on the relationship between public bodies and those who are affected by decision-making. With the growth of executive power, judicial review has emerged as a necessary counterweight to assure accountability in the decision-making of government authorities. Against such a background, this article evaluates the contribution which judicial review has made to combating air pollution in Hong Kong to date. It essays a variety of reasons to do with Hong Kong's colonial past as to why judicial review has, in general, been a dilute force for accountability of administrators and especially so when a decision has environmental implications.
|282. ||DECEMBER 2011 Issue|
|Focusing on Corporate Short-Termism|
Razeen Sappideen  Sing JLS 412 (Dec)
Much concern has been expressed over the problem of 'short-termism' as evidenced in the numerous discussion papers made public by industry and investor associations and regulatory bodies in the US and the UK. While concerns over short-termism and its effects are not new, the short-termism being experienced now is the result of structural changes brought about by agency theory based managerial compensation and its four legged strategy of short term managerial employment contracts, stock based compensation, high stock price, and the pursuit of high-risk high-return investment strategies to achieve the latter. This article investigates the changes to corporate governance structure that have produced short-termism, short-termism's present form and continuing hold, how it has impacted on corporate governance, and what, if anything, should be done about it.[Full Text]
|283. ||DECEMBER 2011 Issue|
|Bondholder Rights and the Section 216 Oppression Remedy|
Seah Chi-Ling  Sing JLS 432 (Dec)
Notwithstanding that s. 216 of the Singapore Companies Act, on a literal construction, extends the oppression remedy to debentureholders of a company, there have to date been no reported cases in Singapore involving any attempted use of the oppression remedy by debentureholders. This article first explores the origins of the references to 'debentureholders' in s. 216. This article then proceeds to examine the scope of the s. 216 remedy in a debentureholder context, and concludes by discussing a number of principles upon which a fairness analysis in a debentureholder context may be undertaken.
|284. ||DECEMBER 2011 Issue|
|The Reynolds Privilege in a Neo-Confucianist Communitarian Democracy: Reinvigorating Freedom of Political Communication in Singapore|
David Tan  Sing JLS 456 (Dec)
This article explores how defamation jurisprudence in Singapore has elevated the political public figure to an exalted position, virtually according the reputation of these honourable men, or junzi, heightened protection over the constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech. It takes the position that there are sufficient bases for the Reynolds v. Times Newspapers Ltd. privilege (the Reynolds privilege) to be adopted under Singapore common law, independent of any reliance on art. 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. It further argues that courts in Singapore ought to draw on relevant English and Australian jurisprudence, and consider a broader qualified privilege defence in defamation suits involving political public figures. The author concludes that the common law of qualified privilege in Singapore should be reviewed to take into account a multi-factorial approach when examining whether greater leeway may be accorded to citizen comments on public officials and public policy that are relevant to good government and good governance.
|285. ||DECEMBER 2011 Issue|
|Taking Stock of the Insolvency Tests in Section 254 of the Companies Act|
Wee Meng Seng  Sing JLS 486 (Dec)
The recent Court of Appeal decision in BNP Paribas v. Jurong Shipyard Pte Ltd is a landmark decision on the insolvency tests in s. 254 of the Companies Act. Although the court did not expressly decline to follow English law, various propositions in the judgment mark the beginning of a distinct Singaporean jurisprudence on the meaning of the insolvency tests. This article explains the old law, which is poorly understood due to a lack of discussion, and examines the extent to which that has been altered by BNP.
|286. ||DECEMBER 2011 Issue|
|Access to Court Records: The Secret to Open Justice|
Vanessa Yeo  Sing JLS 510 (Dec)
This paper concerns the legal framework governing non-party access to court records in Singapore. It provides a brief comparative study of the access frameworks in Australia and the UK. From this comparative analysis, guiding principles and procedures are distilled to facilitate suggestions on how Singapore's current access regime may be reformed. Open justice and the freedom of information and expression may be fundamental principles, but they do not mandate an unquestioned right of access to judicial records as the interests of justice may be served by both disclosure and non-disclosure. Both principles must be balanced against competing considerations, such as confidentiality and the right to a fair trial. An access regime is not built on open justice alone. It must adeptly reconcile all the competing factors in a manner which best secures the proper administration of justice.
|287. ||DECEMBER 2011 Issue|
|Rationalising the Procedure for Judicial Review in Singapore|
Seow Zhixiang  Sing JLS 533 (Dec)
This article makes two broad arguments in relation to the procedure for judicial review in Singapore. First, it argues against the traditional view that O. 53 of the Rules of Court is a separate and exclusive procedure, confined to its express provisions. The correct view should be that the other Rules of Court and the powers of the court are not excluded unless contrary to the express provisions of O. 53. Second, the article considers the effect of a little-noticed amendment which has expanded the scope of the Government Proceedings Act to include proceedings for judicial review against the Government. The practical effect of both arguments in relation to the procedure for judicial review is also discussed.
|288. ||DECEMBER 2011 Issue|
|Legislation and Case Comments: Revisiting the Similar Fact Rule in Singapore|
Chen Siyuan  Sing JLS 553 (Dec)
The similar fact rule in Singapore - as with the law on any evidence law doctrine that can be found in both our Evidence Act and the common law - has required clarification for some time. This note, which discusses the latest local decision on the similar fact rule, considers if that decision is compatible with the Evidence Act and the various conceptualisations underlying the doctrine.
|289. ||DECEMBER 2011 Issue|
|Legislation and Case Comments: En Bloc Sales and Joint Tenancy|
Barry C. Crown  Sing JLS 564 (Dec)
In Goh Teh Lee v. Lim Li Pheng Maria the Court of Appeal had to consider a novel point relating to the law of co-ownership. Mr. Goh was the joint tenant of a flat together with his then wife in a development which was the subject of a proposed collective sale. All the other owners of properties in the development, including Mr. Goh's wife, had agreed to the collective sale. In fact, Mrs. Goh had appended her signature to all the relevant documents relating to the sale. Mr. Goh had raised objections to the proposed collective sale before the Strata Titles Board and the High Court, both of which had rejected his submissions and had ordered the collective sale of the development. Mr. Goh appealed to the Court of Appeal seeking to reverse the order of the High Court.
|290. ||DECEMBER 2011 Issue|
|Legislation and Case Comments: Restitution for Victims of Fraud|
Yip Man  Sing JLS 570 (Dec)
The Court of Appeal decision in Scandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB (Publ), Singapore Branch v. Asia Pacific Breweries (Singapore) Pte Ltd raised many issues of law, including those of agency, banking, tort and restitution. This note will focus on the restitutionary issues. The Court of Appeal was put in a tough spot of having to balance the justice between two victims of fraud and this may have resulted in a decision that puts the law of unjust enrichment in a difficult position.