Research Article

This article is the second of a three-part series on Constitutional Law. The first examining the limits of judicial review, now calls into question, the second, constitutional adjudication and the role of judges. This article was chosen for its nuanced and comparative approach which also analyses the Indian and American constitution.

I. Introduction

“It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.”[1]

Like Alice, who accepted that the past is written in stone, lawyers who assume the mantle of the judiciary should accept that their responsibility may no longer simply involve declaring what the law…


Commentary

A treaty, in the words of Philip Allot, is a ‘disagreement reduced to writing’ (The Concept of International Law). In this vein, treaty reservations are ‘one of the most complex and controversial parts of treaty law’. (Swaine). This essay submits that it is easy to blame the vagueness the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties 1969 (‘VCLT’) which has spillover effects on attempts to clarify it, multilateral treaties and human rights covenants. Yet, the VCLT is itself a secondary source, where treaties themselves are the primary source of authority. …


I. Introduction

Non-oral modification (“NOM”) clauses are one of the many boilerplate clauses that contracting parties include in their contracts. A quick survey of commercial precedents readily available on legal resource databases shows that standard form contracts usually include NOM clauses.[1] There are legitimate commercial reasons to include NOM clauses in contracts, such as to prevent attempts to undermine written agreements and avoid pitfalls associated with oral discussions.[2] Coupled with the fact that both parties agreed on the terms and signed on the jurat of the contract, it may seem intuitive to conclude that courts should strictly enforce NOM clauses…


“To have virtuous citizens who are kind to their neighbours, this is precious treasure for a country.”[1]

Similar in principle to the ancient Chinese proverb, the Christian divine command to ‘love thy neighbour’ encapsulated in the parable of the Good Samaritan preaches that justice supported by principles of charity can elevate humans to the fullness of existence.[2] The principle of Charity is thus one of the fundamental principles behind society’s flourishing. The existence of Good Samaritan Laws contribute to this by encouraging the initiation and proliferation of altruistic actions.

This paper aims to identify the Good Samaritan laws in selected…


Commentary

This article is the first of our three part series on Constitutional Law. Judicial Review forms the core of many constitutions, in providing checks on legislative power. It is therefore chosen as the first of this series.

Introduction

Singapore is a common law country, that is, a country which, inter alia, applies the doctrine of binding precedent (in Latin, the doctrine of stare decisis), as opposed to civil law countries (say, of the Franco-German variety) which do not follow the same doctrine. …


Research Article

“In the end, people don’t view their life as merely the average of all its moments..A seemingly difficult life may be devoted to a great cause. We have purposes larger than ourselves.” (Atul Gawande, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End)

In 2008, the Organ Donation Taskforce (‘ODTF’) cited growing disproportionate trends between deceased donor transplants and waiting recipients from 1999 to 2006.[1] Removing barriers to organ donation[2] was identified amongst recommendations targeted at 50% increase in donor transplants by 2013.[3]


Commentary

Veil-piercing is defined as ‘discretionary jurisdiction’ of the courts to ‘disregard the corporate veil and look to those controlling the entity’ (Hannigan) with a view to ascertaining liability where companies are concerned. This essay argues that while the law post Prest v Petrodel on veil-piercing seems unsettled, it is not. It is still trite law that veil-piercing is not to be conducted unless absolutely necessary, in cases of fraud or schemes interposed independently of the company, allowing controllers to ‘defeat the right or frustrate its enforcement’ (per Lord Sumption, Prest v Petrodel at [28]). This has a threefold rationale…


Commentary

The original conceptions of the European Union (‘EU’) was an economic community (EEC). As such, the codification of fundamental rights was not incorporated in the Treaty of Rome. Three formal sources for EU human rights law are listed in Art 6 TEU. The first and most important in the hierarchy is the EU Charter of Fundamental rights (‘ECFR’) followed by the ECHR and general principles of EU law that predates the ECFR. The ‘autonomy’ of the EU legal order will be defined as the need to remain distinct. This essay argues that the CJEU protects the autonomy of the…


Commentary

The International Court of Justice (ICJ)’s jurisdiction as the ‘principal judicial organ’ of the UN (Art 1, ICJ) is twofold. Firstly, it decides, in accordance with international law, legal disputes submitted by States (Art 36(1) ICJ). Secondly, it gives advisory opinions on legal questions at the request of the organs of the United Nations, specialized agencies or one related organization authorized to make such a request. The scope of its jurisdiction pertains to treaty interpretation, any question of international law, existence of any fact that would breach international obligations and nature or extent of reparation to be made for…


Commentary

The treaty of Westphalia symbolized state sovereignty in choosing their own religion in 1648. Henry Kissinger in his instructive work, argued the said treaty was more of a ‘practical accommodation’ to avoid conflict in the wake of the Thirty-Year war from 1618–1648 than for any other reason (Henry Kissinger, World Order). This inchoate idea of statehood was therefore officially codified into customary international law in Article 1 of the Montevideo Convention in 1933 encompassing 4 criteria: — (i) territory (ii) effective government governing over a (iii) population with (iv) capacity to enter inter-state relations. The importance for having certainty…

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