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321.  JULY 2010 Issue
p.1

Regional Autonomy and Legal Disorder: The Proliferation of Local Laws in Indonesia
Simon Butt  •  [2010] Sing JLS 1 (Jul)
Since Soeharto's fall in 1998, Indonesia has transformed from one of the world's most authoritarian states to one of its most democratic and decentralised. Significant lawmaking powers have been devolved to around 1000 local legislatures and executive officials. The combined legal output of these lawmakers has added great bulk, complexity and uncertainty to Indonesia's legal system. Many new local laws have been criticised for being misdirected or unclear, violating citizens' rights, imposing excessive taxes, even breaching Indonesia's international obligations. This article examines the bureaucratic mechanisms by which the national government can exercise control over local lawmaking, allowing it to strike down local laws contravening national law or the 'public interest'. It also analyses decisions of the Indonesian Supreme Court, which has jurisdiction to decide whether local laws contradict national laws. The article shows that bureaucratic and judicial review is flawed and is used largely to review and invalidate local laws imposing illegal taxation or user charges. Laws egregious for other reasons are, this research shows, likely to escape review altogether, or to be upheld by the Supreme Court without satisfactory explanation. This undermines the rule of law, may compromise the human rights provided to citizens in national laws and could affect Indonesia's ability to comply with some of its international obligations.

322.  JULY 2010 Issue
p.22

The Future of Welfare Law in a Changing World: Lessons From Australia and Singapore
Terry Carney  •  [2010] Sing JLS 22 (Jul)
This article analyses the Singaporean tradition of relatively low levels of public expenditure on social security and emphasis on family and personal responsibility through mandatory social account' investments and tax incentives to promote savings; and theAustralian tradition of tax-funded, flat-rate and means tested social security payments for most contingencies. It is suggested that both countries have developed their own particular 'twists' on their historic and cultural inheritances (Singapore blending US-style neoliberalism with Confucian reliance on familial self-provision and low tax rates; Australia breaking from a contributory model due to a strong laborist influence). Tentative observations are offered about the degree of path dependence or otherwise of these models and their contribution to debate in countries contemplating 'parameter changes' to welfare to accommodate globalisation or fiscal challenges.

323.  JULY 2010 Issue
p.37

The Challenge for Asian Jurisdictions in the Development of International Criminal Justice
Mark Findlay  •  [2010] Sing JLS 37 (Jul)
The paper reviews the different frameworks for international criminal justice in which China's influence can be measured, or should be present, looking specifically at procedural traditions on which international criminal lawand its jurisprudence are said to be based. Understanding China as a transitional hybrid criminal justice model undergoing radical transformation in its justice delivery and discourse, it is argued, assists significantly in forecasting where the synthesis of international criminal procedure may be heading. Attached to a re-interpretation and critique of individualised liability is the unpacking of China's in principle commitment to communitarian rights and social protection as a foundation for its criminal justice model. How might a similar normative direction influence the diversification and 'rights' perceptions of international criminal justice? In particular, in today's China, which is experiencing a rapid and relentless reconfiguration of communitarian identity and obligation, will collective rights commitments survive to influence the evelopment of domestic criminal justice? From a more formalist consideration of international criminal justice, the paper explores what 'alternative' global justice paradigms offer China, and vice versa. Speculation on the opportunities available to China in regional and international governance, through more constructive involvement with international criminal justice is proposed against a call for a wider consideration of rights paradigms in so far as they recognise community interests as well as individual integrity. The strain between these priorities reveals how Asian states could find it more difficult to administer domestic criminal justice in accordance with the rightful demands of international conventions.

324.  JULY 2010 Issue
p.58

Regulatory Property and the Jurisprudence of Quasi-Public Trust
Kevin Gray  •  [2010] Sing JLS 58 (Jul)
This article examines the changing meaning of property within the modern regulatory state. Government increasingly regulates in order to promote efficient competition within various fields of newly privatised industry. In many instances, this intervention leaves the operator-the nominal 'owner' of a privatised resource or utility-with only a residue of the rights conventionally associated with ownership. In particular, requirements of inter-operability and the compulsory unbundling of network facilities have the effect of exposing the operator's assets to compulsory hire by commercial competitors at non-market rates of revenue return. Where now does the 'reality of proprietorship' reside? Against this background the present article explores the tension between access and exclusion that lies at the heart of contemporary conceptualisations about property. It argues that state intervention has silently generated a novel species of property-a category of 'regulatory property'-which stands the traditional paradigm of private property on its head. An overriding control over specific kinds of vital resource or essential facility is confirmed as belonging to the public or citizenry, who, by force of consumer choice, can determine whether, how and by whom a resource may be exploited. The article goes on to demonstrate that this diffusion of entitlement among citizen-consumers has clear and direct antecedents in an older code of marketplace morality-an explicit common law doctrine of 'quasi-public trust'-that long ago emphasised the correlation of commercial privilege with social obligation. In the present context, the engrafting of some form of fiduciary responsibility on major aggregations of economic power has not only redefined our understanding of the phenomenon of property, but also reinforced important perceptions of individual and corporate citizenship. This development comprises a significant contribution to the modern democratisation of property.
[Full Text]

325.  JULY 2010 Issue
p.87

Liberalism and the Criminal Trial
Ho Hock Lai  •  [2010] Sing JLS 87 (Jul)
This article offers a sketch of two aspects of a liberal theory of the criminal trial. It does so by examining the criminal court first as an institution of the liberal state and second as a liberal institution of the state. Part II proposes a conception of the adversarial trial primarily as a process of holding the executive to account on its request for conviction and punishment. In some jurisdictions, the perceived need for a strong system of checks and balances has led to an expansion of the judicial role to include oversight of the executive in its exercise of investigatory powers. This expansion is resisted in other jurisdictions where a more restrictive view is taken of the court's political responsibility. Part III considers howliberal principles are reflected in thecommonlawform of criminal proceedings; it examines the importance of a 'fair trial' or 'due process'; and, it proposes an understanding of the trial not merely as a means of bringing criminals to justice but, more importantly, as a matter of doing justice to the accused.
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326.  JULY 2010 Issue
p.107

The Law in Singapore on Rights and Responsibilities in Marital Agreements
Leong Wai Kum  •  [2010] Sing JLS 107 (Jul)
People, including the soon-to-be married and the already married, have the right to enter agreements with each other. Where spouses are content with the terms they negotiated, there is no reason for family law to intervene. At the same time spouses owe one another responsibilities, some of which crystallise only upon their divorce. The law in Singapore balances the interests that arise from both facets of the marital relationship. The law upholds the legality of marital agreements unless they make a mockery of the marital relationship but subjects all of them to the scrutiny of the court, which retains power to make fair financial orders between spouses upon divorce and protect their children. This paper traces current law in Singapore and compares it with law that allows an agreement to displace the court's power.

327.  JULY 2010 Issue
p.129

Reading Suitability Against Fitness for Purpose-The Evolution of a Rule
Gail Pearson  •  [2010] Sing JLS 129 (Jul)
For some time, and more urgently since the global financial crisis, there has been an interest in suitability as a method for protecting consumers. In broad terms, suitability means that consumers should receive the thing which best suits or fits their requirements or purposes. In the context of making loans to consumers, this means that consumer credit products should be suitable to the circumstances and requirements of the borrower. Suppliers in the market for goods have long been required to provide goods that are fit for the purpose of the buyer. Nevertheless, the idea that credit providers must supply loans that are not unsuitable is seen as startlingly new. This article examines the long and international history of the statutory obligation of fitness for purpose. It argues that this history shows that the objectives of the implied term are not dissimilar to the objectives for responsible lending and now, the imposition of a suitability requirement. In this way, the article explores a convergence between what is required of product providers in the market for goods and services and those in the market for financial services, with a particular examination of the Australian model in the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (Cth).

328.  JULY 2010 Issue
p.151

The Fame Monster Reloaded: The Contemporary Celebrity, Cultural Studies and Passing Off
David Tan  •  [2010] Sing JLS 151 (Jul)
The common law jurisdictions of Australia and Singapore often adopt a conservative approach to recognising newproperty rights, particularly with respect to the human persona, but courts frequently take their cue from developments in the United Kingdom. This article revisits the landmark cases in these jurisdictions which, in declaring that a property right in the goodwill of a celebrity may be protected against unlicensed commercial appropriation, use language evocative of the right of publicity. It examines howthe courts have expanded the passing off action to prevent the unauthorised commercial use of the images of well-known personalities. Finally, by adopting a cultural studies analysis that investigates the semiotic nature of the celebrity sign and its influence on contemporary consumption, this article offers a different perspective to the debate on the protection of image rights.

329.  JULY 2010 Issue
p.177

Legislation Comment and Case Note: English Reform of Provocation and Diminished Responsibility: Whither Singapore?
Stanley Yeo  •  [2010] Sing JLS 177 (Jul)

330.  JULY 2010 Issue
p.192

Legislation Comment and Case Note: A New Era of Employer Liability in Negligence: Chandran a/l Subbiah v. Dockers Marine Pte. Ltd.
Margaret Fordham  •  [2010] Sing JLS 192 (Jul)

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