On rare days, I get inspired by the integrity exhibited by people in the #justice system. Today is one such day.
By integrity, I mean their faithfulness to their vocation within the system.
I acted pro bono (free) for a low wage migrant worker charged for several offences. It’s a peculiar case. His involvement is minimal and tangential, which the prosecutors accept, but the events resulted in severe harm.
Prosecution initially indicated 12-18 months jail. We said it doesn’t make sense. The charges don’t even seem right. Everyone agreed to go for Criminal Case Resolution (CCR), which is a rarity.
The CCR Senior Judge read every document meticulously and questioned and considered carefully both sides’ submissions.
Charges were amended. Facts were clarified. Prosecution willingly adjusted their sentencing position. The light of justice then emerged. And my client received a low sentence relative to the initial indication from the prosecution. Today, the matter resolved.
In between 2015 (when investigations began) and today, my client’s case was dragged for reasons beyond his control, his mother passed away from Covid before he could go home to see her, his father was hospitalised, and he himself fell sick with Covid.
Soon, God willing, he will finally return home to his family.
I’m grateful for the Senior Judge, the prosecutors, my colleagues, and also the HOME staff who assisted my client, all of whom acted faithfully in their vocations in good faith, attentiveness and excellence.
Significance: In Public Prosecutor v Tay Chee Ming  SGMC 1, the court found a company director and shareholder, Tay, guilty of an offence under section 240 of the Securities and Futures Act (Cap. 289) (SFA) for raising funds from the public in Singapore through offers of convertible loan agreements (CLA) with investors by his company. Tay was sentenced to imprisonment for 15 months. Tay raised about S$8 million in total.
This appears to be the first court decision on the offence and a discussion on the small offer exemption under section 272A(1) of the SFA, which is one of the safe harbour exemptions from prospectus requirements for businesses to raise funds. The private placement exemption in section 272B of the SFA was not raised by the accused and so was not considered.
Continue reading “Case: Offence of Raising Funds Without Prospectus and Small Offer Exemption”
The Computer Misuse and Cybersecurity (Amendment) Bill was introduced in the Singapore Parliament on 9 March 2017. The Bill seeks to amend the Computer Misuse and Cybersecurity Act (Cap. 50A) to introduce new criminal offences on computer offences and cybercrimes. This is especially pertinent given the rising number and extent of cybercrimes today. Just last month (February 2017), the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) system was hacked into and the personal data of many SAF service personnel were stolen: see reports on Today Online, Channel NewsAsia, Straits Times. Do note that the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) does not apply to MINDEF as it is a public body.
Continue reading “Legislative Update: Computer Misuse and Cybersecurity Act Amendment”
Public Prosecutor v Chua Siew Wei Kathleen  SGHC 33
Significance: Singapore High Court orders retrial of criminal matter as it found that the trial judge: (1) had unfairly restricted the ambit of the prosecution’s cross-examination and impeded their ability to present their case fully; (2) had also impaired his own ability to evaluate and weigh the case presented by each side; (3) had failed to consider essential pieces of evidence in the course of arriving at his conclusion and had therefore arrived at findings which are, in all the circumstances, against the weight of the evidence.
Public Prosecutor v Chow Chian Yow Joseph Brian  SGHC 18
Significance: Singapore High Court judge cites John Stuart Mill’s “On Liberty”, applies regression analysis to plot graphs of benchmark sentences for a criminal offence, and lays down sentencing principles on offence of evading National Service (NS) without a valid exit permit under the Enlistment Act.
Continue reading “Case Update: Public Prosecutor v Chow Chian Yow Joseph Brian  SGHC 18 – SGHC applies regression analysis to criminal sentencing”
What is the criminal offence of criminal breach of trust (CBT)? What are the elements that make up the offence? When would it be criminal as opposed to a mere civil breach of trust or breach of contract? What are the sentencing norms and precedents as regards CBT?
Continue reading “Article: Criminal Breach of Trust”
In what circumstances would a person charged with a criminal offence be granted bail under Singapore law? What if the person needs to leave Singapore to attend to something important? What can a person use to post bail?
Continue reading “Article: Can You Get Bail After Being Charged For A Criminal Offence?”
Lee Siew Boon Winston v PP  SGCA 67
Significance: conditions for leave to grant criminal reference to Court of Appeal.
In Singapore’s system of criminal justice, there is only one tier of appeal. Apart from the single tier of appeal, there is the criminal reference procedure, where one or more questions of law of public interest can be brought to the Court of Appeal, but only with leave: .
Continue reading “Case Update: Lee Siew Boon Winston v PP  – criminal reference”