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...

In Contracts, Non-Compensatory Damages and the Intangible Economy, Moshood Abdussalam takes up the controversial issue of non-compensatory damages as a class of remedy in contract law. The article seeks to justify the use of non-compensatory damages by demonstrating its relevance in addressing the challenges raised by the intangible economy, where contracts not only stipulate the exchange of private goods, but also create knowledge-based public goods.

In Knocking Down the Straw Man: Reflections on Bom v Bok and the Court of Appeal’s “Middle-Ground” Narrow Doctrine of Unconscionability for Singapore, Professor Rick Bigwood analyses the recent Singapore Court of Appeal judgment in Bom v Bok, which settled a three-pronged test for unconscionable transactions. The article provides a detailed breakdown of the case, contrasted with comparative jurisprudence in the United Kingdom and Australia, to elucidate and challenge the characterisation of the Singapore test as a “middle ground” between the narrow English doctrine and the broad Australian doctrine.

In Singapore’s Competition Regime and Its Objectives: The Case Against Formalism, Kenneth Khoo and Allen Sng examine Singapore’s competition law regime from a foundational perspective. Arguing for the prioritisation of the promotion of economic welfare over pluralism as the goal of competition law, the article points out the current insufficiencies in the Singapore approach, which, it is argued, has given rise to overt formalism.

In The High Court as De Facto Court of Appeal: A Revisitation of Leave Requirements in the Criminal and Family Court Jurisdictions, Assistant Professor Lau Kwan Ho discusses the enlarged constitution of the Singapore High Court from a one-judge penal to a three-judge one in the exercise of its criminal and family jurisdictions under exceptional circumstances. The article taps on representatives judgments on the issue to elucidate the consequences of such constitutional expansions and contemplate the possibility of alternatives methods to achieve desired outcomes.

In A Vineyard in a Law Clinic: The Practical Application of a Therapeutic Jurisprudence Philosophy in a UK Law Clinic, Dr James Marson, Dr Katy Ferris and Dr Anna Kawalek conduct a case study of a UK-based law clinic on how it infuses the core values of therapeutic jurisprudence, as underpinned by humanitarian philosophies, into its development and operation. The article seeks to illustrate the practical significance of therapeutic jurisprudence principles for future practitioners and thus argue for their incorporation into global legal education.

In Proximity as Reasonable Expectations, Justin Tan interrogates the concept of proximity as a necessary element to found a duty of care in negligence in Singapore. The article draws on various cases to demonstrate that the current concept of proximity is less than satisfactory in its purported function as a duty-determining device, and proposes a new formulation of proximity as reasonable expectations that the defendant should take account of the plaintiff’s interest in not suffering the damage that he suffered.

In Liability of Servant for Criminal Breach of Trust: An Exercise in Hermeneutics, Professor Tan Yock Lin focuses on sections 408 and 409 of the Penal Code relating to the liability of a servant for criminal breach of trust. The article, drawing upon a rich collection of historical materials and judicial interpretations, elucidates the meaning of the two modalities of entrustment to the servant “in such capacity [as servant]” and “in his capacity of a public servant” respectively.

In Singapore Relational Constitutionalism: The ‘Living Institution’ and the Project of Religious Harmony, Professor Thio Li-ann examines the Singapore approach of relational constitutionalism in promoting religious harmony. Situated against the backdrop of attempts to enrich and pluralise the concept of constitutionalism, the article presents the unique Singapore model as one that manages diversity with a broader vocabulary of purpose beyond rights and a wider range of participants and processes in implementation.

In Merrill and Smith’s Intermediate Rights Lying Between Contract and Property: Are Singapore Trusts and Secured Transactions Drifting Away from English Law Towards American Law?, Professor Hans Tjio investigates intermediate rights lying between contract and property as theorised by Merrill and Smith. The article corroborates this theory by presenting two illustrations from the Singapore law of trusts and secured transactions, where recent developments have recognised both proprietary and contractual characteristics in certain situations.


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

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