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Historical Sources of Singapore Law: Cases

Introduction

This section features discontinued series of law reports and modern law reports as well as case digests relating to Singapore.

The resources are arranged roughly by date of publication and are generally available in the Law Library, unless otherwise stated.

* indicates subscription databases
* key modern law reports for Singapore

Law Reports

Title  Abbreviation  Publication Date/Coverage Location

Cases Heard and Determined in Her Majesty's Supreme Court of the Straits Settlements
(also known as Kyshe's Reports)

 Ky

 1885-1890 (covers 1808-1890)

Ref: K7596 Ky

Online: Book SG
Vol 1 (1808-84)
Vol 2 (1808-84)
Vol 3 (1808-84)
Vol 4 (1885-1890)

Online: Internet Archive
Vol 1 (1808-84)
Vol 3 (1808-84)
Vol 4 (1885-1890)

Online: *LawNet (NUS Law) (Other NUS staff & students)

Straits Law Reports : being a report of cases decided in the Supreme Court of the Straits Settlements, Penang, Singapore and Malacca
(by Stephen Leicester)
 
 SLR Leic  1877 (covers 1827-75)

Ref: K7596 SLR

Online: Internet Archive

A Selection of Oriental Cases Decided in the Supreme Court of the Straits Settlements
(also known as Wood's Oriental Cases)

 WOC

 1869 (covers 1835-69)

Ref: K7596 WOC

Online: Book SG

Online: Internet Archive

Straits Law Journal
(Vol 5 incorporates the Straits Law Reports, New Series)

 SLJ

 1888-92

Ref: K7596 SLJ

Online: *HeinOnline

Online: *LawNet (NUS Law) (Other NUS staff & students)

Straits Settlements Law Reports

 SSLR

 Old series -
 1893 - 1931 (covers 1867 - 1922)

         -------------------------------

 New Series -
 1927-50 (covers 1926-42)

Ref: K7596 SSLR
 

        ---------------------------------
Ref: K7596 SSLR

Online: *LawNet (NUS Law) (Other NUS staff & students)

A Short Treatise on Registration of Title in the Federated Malay States : with Reports of Cases Decided in the Supreme Court under the Land and Mining Laws from 1907 to 1913
(by J.R. Innes; also known as Innes Reports)
 
Innes 1913 (covers 1907-13) Ref: K7625 Lan.I

Federated Malay States Law Reports

 FMSLR

 1922-41 (covers 1906-41)

Ref: K7600 FMSLR

Online: *LawNet (NUS Law) (Other NUS staff & students)

Quarterly Notes of Cases Decided in the Supreme Court of the Straits Settlements

 QN

 1926-27

Ref: K7596 QN

Online: BookSG

Malayan Law Journal

 MLJ

 1932-91

Ref: K7599 MLJ

Online: *LawNet (NUS Law) (Other NUS staff & students)

Online: *Lexis Advance Singapore

Malayan Cases
(contain mainly unreported judgements)

 MC


 1939 (covers 1908-36)
 1958 (covers 1904-57)
 1964 (covers 1916-62)
 1980 (covers 1949-75)

Ref: K7596 MC
Vol 1
Vol 2
Vol 3
Vol 4

Online: BookSG
Vol 1 (limited preview)

Online: *LawNet (NUS Law) (Other NUS staff & students)

The Singapore Law Reports

Colony of Singapore Law Reports

 SLR

 1950-51 (covers 1946-49)

 1954-57 (covers 1953-56)

Ref: K7599 SLR

Ref: K7599 SLR

Online: *LawNet (NUS Law) (Other NUS staff & students)

Malayan law reports : containing reports of cases decided in the Federation of Malaya and the Colony of Singapore
 
 MLR  1950-54

Ref: K7599 MLR

Online: *LawNet (NUS Law) (Other NUS staff & students)

*Singapore Law Reports
 
 SLR  1965-91
 1992 -

Ref: K7599 SLR
Ref: K7599 SLR

Online: *LawNet (NUS Law) (Other NUS staff & students)

The Privy Council cases : Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, 1875-1990
 
PCC 1990 (covers 1875 - 1990) Ref: K7605 Pcc
*Singapore Law Reports (Reissue)  SLR(R) 2010 (covers 1965 - 2009)

Ref: K7599 SLR

Online: *LawNet (NUS Law) (Other NUS staff & students)

Singapore Syariah Appeals Reports  SSAR 2012 -

Ref: K7599 SSC

Online: *LawNet (NUS Law) (Other NUS staff & students)

Case Digests

Title  Abbreviation  Publication Date/Coverage Location
Digest of Cases 1808 to 1911: in the Straits Settlements and Federated Malay States
(by M. Pallonjee)
 
 - 1915 (covers 1808 - 1911) Ref: K7596.3 PD
The Malayan Digest : being a Complete Digest of Every Case in the Colony of the Straits Settlements and the Federated Malay States Reported from 1808 to the Present day, Including Annotations and Full Index
(by C.H. Withers Payne)
 
 - Mainwork 1936 (covers 1808 - 1933);
Supplement 1940 (covers 1933 - 1940)
Ref: K7596.3 MDW
Mallal's Digest of Malaysian, Singaporean, English and Australian Case Law
 
 -

2015-18 (covers 1808 - )

Ref: K7599.3 Md 

Resource Librarian

Profile Photo
Lee Su-Lin
Contact:
C J Koh Law Library
469D Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 259773
+65 6516 2042
Website
Subjects: Law

Re-Using this Guide?

Unless otherwise stated, the contents in this guide Historical Sources of Singapore Law © by National University of Singapore Libraries is licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0 . Attribute and link back to this LibGuide if you are going to re-use the content.

Resources

A case citation is a reference to a legal case in the law reports. You will need this in order to locate the report of a case.

It generally includes the

  • names of the parties to the case
  • year the decision of the court was delivered or published
  • volume number of the law report
  • abbreviation of the law report series (ref to Singapore Legal Abbreviations)
  • first page at which the case is reported.

Example:
Salmah Binte Mohamed Ali Al Tway v Chop Chin Guan Hong [1929SSLR 172

Identify the legal abbreviations of law reports using these online and print resources:

E.g. Salmah v Chop Chin Guan Hong [1929] SSLR 172

Step 1. Identify the legal abbreviation in the case citation using an index, e.g. Singapore Legal Abbreviations. In this example, SSLR stands for the Straits Settlements Law Reports.


Step 2. Search for the law report by "Title" in LINC (Books & Media tab).


Step 3. Select the relevant title from the results listing.


Step 4. Determine the location of the relevant volume.


Step 5. Once you've retrieved the relevant volume from the shelves, turn to the first page of the report, which in this case is page 172.

*LawNet (access: NUS Law staff & students) (access: Other NUS staff & students)
Access to older law reports including Kyshe's Reports, the Federated Malay States Law Reports, Straits Settlements Law Reports, etc.

*Lexis Advance Singapore
Search the Malayan Law Journal for Singapore cases from 1931 to 1965.

NewspaperSG
Newspapers are a good source of case information, particularly unreported judgements. This digital archive, maintained by the National Library Board, contains historical Singapore and Malaya newspapers from 1831 to 2009.

*War Crimes Case Files, Second World War - WO 235
This series contains the trials of Japanese war criminals by the Military Court in Singapore for crimes committed in Southeast Asia during the Second World War.

Singapore War Crimes Trials
Web Portal co-founded by Dr Cheah Wui Ling and Ng Pei Yi. Features comprehensive case summaries of trials for WWII crimes committed in Singapore and other locations in Asia.

* indicates subscription database

A. Indexes

Mallal's Digest: Consolidated Subject Index 1808 to 2015
K7599.3 Mdcs 2016 (LW Reference 1)
4-volume subject index of cases digested in Mallal's Digest (5th ed).

Mallal's Digest: Consolidated Table of Cases 2015
K7599.3 Md (LW Reference 1)
Alphabetical table of cases digested in the 5th edition of Mallal's Digest. Refer to the Preface for details of coverage.

Primary Sources of Law: Cases & Decisions
Index to open access decisions from local courts and tribunals. Maintained by the C J Koh Law Library.

Singapore Law Reports (Reissue): Comparative Table of Citations & Table of Cases Reported 1965 to 2009
K7599 SLR (LW Sing-Mal Coll)
The Table of Cases Reported contains an alphabetical list of cases reported in the Singapore Law Reports (Reissue) from 1965 to 2009.

B. Citators (Print)

Mallal's Digest: Case Citator 1932 to 2015
K7599.3 Mdc 2016 (LW Reference 1)
Alphabetical table of annotated cases containing references to all subsequent cases in which the annotated cases have been judicially considered.

Singapore Law Reports (Reissue): Comparative Table of Citations & Table of Cases Reported: 1965 to 2009
K7599 SLR (LW Sing-Mal Coll)
The Comparative Table of Citations provides corresponding SLR(R) citations to SLR/MLJ citations.

Singapore Law Reports (Reissue): Table of Cases Referred to: 1965 to 2009 (A to L; M to Z)
K7599 SLR (LW Sing-Mal Coll)
Citators for cases reported in the SLR(R) from 1965 to 2009.

C. Citator (Online)

LawNet (Access: NUS Law staff & students) (Access: Other NUS staff & students)

Search for the case you wish to note-up, e.g. Ang Sunny v Public Prosecutor. Case treatment is indicated just above the case name by the words "Following", "Referring", "Distinguishing", etc. Click on each section to the see the listing of cases.

Alternatively, look under "Case References - Referring" on the left panel of the screen for annotating cases.

D. Digests

Mallal's Digest ... : being a Comprehensive Statement of the Case Law of Singapore and Malaysia for the Year ... [Mallal's Digest Yearbook]
K7599.3 MDY (LW Reference 1, LW Sing-Mal Coll)
Annual compilation, in digest form, of reported cases decided by the Singapore superior courts and all relevant unreported decisions.

Mallal's digest of Malaysian, Singaporean, English and Australian case law
K7599.3 Md (LW Reference 1, LW Sing-Mal Coll)
Summaries of reported and selected unreported decisions of Singapore superior courts.

E. Commentaries
Singapore Academy of Law annual review of Singapore cases ...
KE5003 SALAR (LW Bound Journals, LW Sing-Mal Coll)
The review encapsulates and evaluates decisions of the Singapore courts. Cases from other jurisdictions impacting local law are also discussed. Open access to the review is provided by Academy Publishing.

Singapore Law Watch: Commentaries
Includes Supreme Court case summaries as well as various other commentaries on Singapore judgments.

F. Encyclopaedia

Halsbury's Laws of Singapore
KE5011 Hal (LW RBR, LW Reference 1, LW Sing-Mal Coll)
Encyclopaedia of Singapore law on various subjects. Contains commentaries on case law. Online version available via Lexis Advance Singapore.