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|281. ||DECEMBER 2011 Issue|
|Book Review: Codification, Macaulay and the Indian Penal Code: The Legacies and Modern Challenges of Criminal Law Reform by Wing-Cheong Chan, Barry Wright and Stanley Yeo, eds.|
Chen Siyuan  Sing JLS 581 (Dec)
As noted (at p. vii) by the contributors to this book, the Indian Penal Code 1860 (Central Act 45 of 1860) ("IPC"), largely the work of Thomas Macaulay, "was the first codification of criminal law in the British Empire and is the longest serving code in the common law world". Upon its enactment, the influential IPC was adopted in various British colonies, such as Singapore. The continuing use of legislation of such pedigree, however, brings about several problems. Any legislative inertia to update the statute from time to time will put the judiciary in a dilemma, whenever the latter is asked to either resolve newfound ambiguities and loopholes in the pro-visions, or interpret provisions in the context of evolving social norms. Lacking a democratic mandate, different judges will also have different conceptions of how much judicial activism can and should be accommodated.
|282. ||DECEMBER 2011 Issue|
|Book Review: The Law of Torts in Singapore by Gary Chan Kok Yew|
Goh Yihan  Sing JLS 584 (Dec)
The Law of Torts in Singapore is the first local torts textbook in Singapore. It is published under Academy Publishing's "Law Practice Series", which aims to build up a library of textbooks on important aspects of Singapore law. The present book is a prominent addition to that series. The book is divided into twenty chapters, with seventeen chapters written by Gary Chan Kok Yew, the book's stated author. Lee Pey Woan contributed two other chapters, and co-wrote one other chapter with the author. These twenty chapters cover the major torts, with an understandable concentration on the tort of negligence. Apart from negligence, the other chapters also cover intentional torts to the person, breach of statutory duty, interference with land, occupiers' liability, interference with goods, defamation, false representations, the economic torts, protection of privacy and malicious prosecution/misfeasance of public office. There are further chapters that deal with more "general" aspects of the law of torts, such as an introductory chapter discussing (in a more theoretical vein) the aims of the law of torts, as well as more doctrinal chapters discussing the various possible parties in a tort action, vicarious liability, and remedies. This is a comprehensive spread of coverage that is similar to other contemporary textbooks of this nature (see e.g., Carolyn Sappideen & Prue Vines, eds., Fleming's The Law of Torts, 10th ed. (Sydney: Lawbook Co., 2011). In the preface, the author states that the book's aim is "to provide a synthesis of the law of torts in Singapore by bringing together 8230; a discussion of Singapore court decisions and statutes as well as reviews and commentaries on these developments, and by tapping on the deep reservoir of English and Commonwealth precedents" (at p. ix). As we shall soon see, the book more than meets this broadly stated aim.
|283. ||DECEMBER 2011 Issue|
|Book Review: Networks as Connected Contracts by Gunther Teubner|
Goh Yihan  Sing JLS 588 (Dec)
Networks as Connected Contracts is the seventh volume in the International Studies in the Theory of Private Law Series. This series of books "aims to investigate the normative and theoretical foundations of the law governing relations between citizens". The book under review was originally written in the German language by Gunther Teubner, and translated into the English language by Michelle Everson. Hugh Collins, who also provides a substantial introduction spanning some 72 pages, is the editor of the present book. The subject of the book is the business network, which is "a contractual network consist[ing] of a number of independent firms that enter a pattern of interrelated contracts, which are designed to confer on the parties many of the benefits of co-ordination achieved through vertical integration in a single firm, without in fact ever creating a single integrated business entity such as a corporation or a partnership" (at p. 1). The legal problem with business networks is that they do not fit neatly into recognised legal concepts and hence escape easy legal resolution. A paradigm example of a business network is the retail franchise: it is neither a bilateral contractual arrangement (since that ignores the interdependance of the separate franchise agreements), nor a company (since that ignores the general independence of the franchisees from the franchisor). Through the use of an approach known loosely as "sociological jurisprudence", Teubner advances the novel idea of "connected contracts", which he in turn uses to address the legal problems arising from business networks. This book is a synthesis and development of Teubner's earlier works on the same subject.
|284. ||DECEMBER 2011 Issue|
|Book Review: Trusts and Shared Property; Trusts, Credit Security andTrading by Tey Tsun Hang|
Seow Fu Hong Colin  Sing JLS 592 (Dec)
Equity, through the mechanism of the trust, may generally be thought to encompass a dualistic approach capable of resolving non-commercial shared property disputes through the use of either the resulting trust or the common intention constructive trust as alternative vehicles of remedy. In this monograph, the author addresses head-on this dualistic characteristic of equity-in-action by offering a broad-picture critique of the law in an effort to convince readers that the common intention constructive trust should prevail over the resulting trust as the preferred analytical vehicle whenever equity intervenes to resolve shared property disputes in non-commercial contexts.
|285. ||DECEMBER 2011 Issue|
|Book Review: Trusts and Asset Protection; Trusts and Forced Heirship by Tey Tsun Hang|
Terence Tan Zhong Wei  Sing JLS 596 (Dec)
The law of trusts today is an area of law which is characterised by fluidity and dynamism. This can be partially attributed to the modern tendency in equity to place more emphasis on the principles underlying detailed rules formulated in cases rather than on the rules themselves, treating these rules more like guidelines which a court can refer to in applying the principles.
|286. ||DECEMBER 2011 Issue|
|Book Review: Dalhuisen on Transnational Comparative, Commercial, Financial and Trade Law by Jan Dalhuisen|
Tey Tsun Hang  Sing JLS 600 (Dec)
Not many writers in the diverse and very broad fields of transnational law are capable of integrating them into a clear, coherent and concise reading. The fourth edition of Dalhuisen on Transnational Comparative, Commercial, Financial and Trade Law continues to examine these bodies of law - from the formation of contracts in civil and common law to the private international law aspects of chattels and assignments, and from modern security interests to international aspects of financial services regulations - with its unique virtuosity in explanation, narration and presentation. Dalhuisen takes an international perspective on these various subjects, helping to locate domestic commercial and financial law in their wider context.
|287. ||JULY 2011 Issue|
|Women, Marriage and Motherhood in the United States: Allocating Responsibility in a Changing World|
Martha Albertson Fineman  Sing JLS 1 (Jul)
The lesson from the United States is that egalitarian law reform alone is inadequate to achieve gender equality, be it at home or in the workplace. Formal equality may be useful in defining some relations between adults, but family dynamics, as well as the realisation that state and market institutions must be responsive to human dependency and vulnerability, must also be factored into considerations of what is needed in the way of reforms. For example, merely encouraging egalitarian family policies has not resulted in significantly removing the obstacles to women's equal participation in the workplace when they become mothers. The State must also respond to the situation of women (and others) who are placed in vulnerable positions in the workplace because of the care work they perform in the family. A responsive State would pay attention to the operation and functioning of the institutions, entitlements and other mechanisms that provide the resources that individuals need in order to successfully undertake responsibility for those who are dependent in society, such as infants and children, as well as some elderly, disabled, or ill adults. It is time to expand our rhetoric of 'personal responsibility' to include a notion of 'shared responsibility', in which the state and market institutions are charged with ensuring that there is truly equality of access and opportunity. This would require the accommodation of our shared human vulnerability and dependency, as well as the undoing of institutional practices and relations that unduly privilege the circumstances of some workers while tolerating the structural disadvantages with which others grapple on a daily basis.[Full Text]
|288. ||JULY 2011 Issue|
|Women in English Family Law: When Is Equality Equity?|
Gillian Douglas  Sing JLS 18 (Jul)
The principle that women are equal with men lies at the heart of their emancipation, and underpins the enactment of the Women's Charter of Singapore. But the question of how that equality is to be reflected in women's treatment under the law is more complicated. The device usually employed in the law is that of formal equality - on the face of the legislation, or in the case-law, women are to be regarded and assumed to be equal. But it does not follow from the principle that men and women should be treated as equal under the law, that their position in the wider society is in fact equal. This article examines two key aspects of English family law which exemplify the problem of the gap between formal and substantive equality for women: asset division on divorce and post-separation parenting.
|289. ||JULY 2011 Issue|
|Relatively Criminal: Spouses and the Criminal Process|
Micahel Hor  Sing JLS 37 (Jul)
This article explores the interface between family law and criminal law in the criminal process, in the contexts of the spouse as a witness and the spouse as a victim. It probes the question of whether the criminal law should retain or develop special rules or policies when the marital relationship is potentially affected by the operation of the criminal process, contrasting the decline of spousal 'exceptionalism' in the context of spousal witnesses with the apparent vigour exhibited in the official reluctance to enforce the criminal law in situations of minor spousal violence.
|290. ||JULY 2011 Issue|
|The Quest for Optimal State Intervention in Parenting Children: Navigating Within the Thick Grey Line|
Debbie Ong Siew Ling  Sing JLS 61 (Jul)
This article draws upon lawand social science research in examining the private and public spheres in parenting children. It argues for state intervention in cases where evidence of acts can be marked out with clear consensus as constituting abuse or ill-treatment. Beyond this, there is a substantially large area of uncertainty, a 'thick grey line', within which it is not always clear whether parents' behaviour should be regarded as abuse or ill-treatment. 'Better safe than sorry' is an inappropriate adage for supporting intervention in the 'thick grey line'. The law should guard against being overzealous in interfering in the parent and child relationship. Suggestions are made on reform of the statutory provisions on child protection as well as how the court may, under the current provisions, be guided to make appropriate orders in this area.