Singapore Journal of Legal Studies NUS
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The Singapore Journal of Legal Studies is the flagship law journal of the Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore and one of the oldest law journals in the Commonwealth. As the first and leading legal journal in Singapore, it contains a rich store of legal literature analysing the legal, political and social development of Singapore in its progression from a developing to a First World nation. The journal continues to advance the boundaries of global and local developments in law, policy and legal practice by publishing cogent and timely articles, legislation comments and case notes on a biannual basis.  

The highlights of this issue include...
A special feature comprising a series of a commentary and 5 articles from the 8th Asian Privacy Scholars Network Conference organised by the EW Barker Centre for Law & Business and the Centre for Technology, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence & the Law and convened by David Tan.

In Privacy, Confidence & Data Protection in the 21st Century, David Tan explores how the featured articles address pressing and increasingly relevant issues with regard to the theme of “Privacy, Confidence & Data Protection in the 21st Century”. These include the discussion of conceptual frameworks and practical analysis of personal data protection legislation; such as the EU GDPR and other national regulatory regimes; health data management, privacy issues at the Tokyo Olympics, privacy and the Hong Kong protests, and the surveillance economy.

In A Common Law of Privacy?, Megan Richardson explores in her keynote address whether there is, or can be, an existence of a common law of privacy. Following that, she explores five disruptive moments that have altered the course of history across the common law world, and produced, albeit within a limited scope, some common new or renewed privacy traditions. Finally, she provides some speculations about what she might hope to see in the digital century with regard to a common law of privacy.

In Enforcement Design for Data Privacy: A Comparative Study, Gehan Gunasekara explores whether the design of enforcement mechanisms in data privacy laws influences the types of privacy harms addressed by them. Employing three of Ann Cavoukian’s seven foundational design principles, he examines if data privacy should be addressed through enforcement tools suited to their characteristics. He also evaluates the data privacy regulatory frameworks of four jurisdictions from the standpoint of how they enforce data privacy rights.

In The Charter of Fundamental Rights, the Aims of EU Competition Law and Data Protection: Time to Level the Playing Field, Divin De Buffalo Irakiza examines the question whether the status of data protection as a human right under the European Charter of Fundamental Rights requires consideration of data protection issues in EU competition law. He concludes that the charter imposes a duty on the EU by to respect fundamental rights, including data protection.

In Whose Health Record? A Comparison of Patient Rights Under National Electronic Health Record (NEHR) Regulations in Europe and Asia-Pacific Jurisdictions, James Scheibner, Marcello Ienca and Effy Vayena compare the implementation strategies of NEHR regulations in nine jurisdictions from Europe and the Asia-Pacific to determine whether there is an international convergence of norms concerning the rights of patients. They argue that NEHR implementations should be neither considered patient property nor a means of outsourcing liability to patients, rather, NEHRs should be conceived as a public good.
Last but not least, in Three Shades of Data: Australia, Philippines, Thailand, Robert Brian Smith, Mark Perry and Nucharee Nuchkoom analyse the the privacy legislation of Australia, the Philippines and Thailand. Their article focuses on the different types of data protected by privacy provisions, methods for investigating breaches and imposing penalties, and whether breaches result in administrative action, civil liability or criminal offences.
There are 4 separate articles apart from the special feature.
In The State of the Doctrine of Unconscionability in Singapore, Nelson Enonchong assesses the state of the doctrine of unconscionability in Singapore in the light of recent jurisprudence. His article examines the current state of the doctrine in Singapore. Following that, his article argues that the doctrine is not made redundant by the doctrine undue influence and that the doctrine of unconscionability in earlier English cases is a broad doctrine. Finally, his article analyses the reshaped doctrine in BOM v BOK, highlights difficulties in the doctrine and concludes with suggestions of reconsideration of the doctrine.
In Mobile Intellectual Property and the Shift in International Tax Policy From Determining the Source of Income to Taxing Location-Specific Rents: Part Two, Daniel Shaviro continues his two part series on the assessment of the challenges that the rise of mobile intellectual property has posed for countries’ international tax systems, viz. the traditional income tax concept of source and the OECD’s proposed focus on the site of “value creation”. His article focuses on proposals to shift taxing rights towards market jurisdictions that may enjoy location-specific rents, viz. digital service taxes.
In Revisiting the Double Actionability Rule in Singapore, Tan Ming Ren argues for the Singapore Courts to depart from the double actionability rule. His article first provides a brief overview of the historical development of choice of law in tort. His article then discusses the reforms in Canada regarding the choice of law in tort before examining the jurisprudence and reluctance of the Singapore Courts over the past two decades towards reform. Following this, his article argues that the Singapore Courts should change with the times and depart from the double actionability rule, following the Canadian courts.
In A Case for Proportionality Review in Singaporean Constitutional Adjudication, Marcus Teo argues for the adoption of proportionality review in Singapore’s constitutional adjudication. First, his article argues that proportionality’s four enquires are already latent in Singapore’s constitutional jurisprudence. Second, his article argues that Singapore’s courts have the constitutional authority to adopt proportionality as a ground of constitutional review and are not institutionally incompetent to answer its enquiries. Third, his article argues that proportionality is desirable from a public policy perspective to ensure the cogency and rationality of legislative or executive acts within Singapore’s political culture of justification.

SJLS accepts submissions on a rolling basis and publishes 2 issues a year in March and September.

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