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Law in Singapore: Cases

Introduction

The main database for Singapore cases is LawNet (Access: NUS Law staff & students) (Access: Other NUS staff & students)

What follows is a brief overview of the modern law reports for Singapore. For historical cases, refer to Historical Sources of Singapore Law: Cases

SLR and MLJ

1) Singapore Law Reports
The main law report for Singapore from 1965.
Call no.: K7599 SLR (1992); K7599 SLR (1965-1991)

 

2) Malayan Law Journal
Contains Singapore judgments from 1932 to 1991.
Call no.: K7599 MLJ

 

Singapore Law Reports (Reissue)

 

The Singapore Academy of Law re-issued the Singapore Law Reports from 1965 through 2009 with re-written headnotes for the reports from 1965 to 2002, and re-edited judgment texts that conform to the SAL house-style. This set of reports is called the Singapore Law Reports (Reissue).

Both the original SLR volumes from 1965 to 2002 and the Reissue are equally authoritative as each judgment reported in both remains in substance, though not in form, the same.
Call mo.: K7599 SLR

Singapore Syariah Appeals Reports

Launched on 21 May 2012, this set of reports contains the authoritative grounds of decisions delivered by the Syariah Appeal Board from 1980 to 2019. It also includes grounds of decisions for appeals heard by the Appeal Board from the decision of the Registrar of Muslim Marriages.
Call no.: K7599 SSC

Getting Cases

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
  • first page at which the case is reported.

Example:
Anwar Siraj and Another v Ting Kang Chung John [20101 SLR 1026

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

If you have a case citation, e.g. Salmah v Chop Chin Guan Hong [1929] SSLR 172:

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


 

Step 2. Run a Title Search for the law report in LINC:


 

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


Step 4. Determine the location of the relevant volume.


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

A. Full text databases

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

  • Singapore Law Reports and Singapore Law Reports (Reissue)
  • Malayan Law Journal
  • Unreported judgments
  • Historical law reports including Kyshe's Reports, Straits Settlements Law Reports, etc.
  • Singapore Syariah Appeals Reports
  • Decisions of various boards, tribunals, etc.

Lexis Advance Singapore
The Malayan Law Journal, which contains Singapore judgments prior to 1965, is available via this database.

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.

B. Open access websites

LawNet: Free Resources
LawNet provides free access to judgments of the following Singapore courts for the last 3 months:

  • Family Justice Court and Juvenile Court
  • State Courts
  • Supreme Court.

Singapore Courts & Crime
Straits Times news articles on the latest criminal cases before the Singapore courts.

Singapore Courts: Judgments
Website contains all written judgments issued by the Supreme Court of Singapore since 2000  as well as selected case briefs by the Singapore Management University.

Singapore International Commercial Court: Judgments
Judgments of the SICC and case summaries from 2016.

Singapore Law Watch: Judgments
Supreme Court judgments from 2000, and IPOS and PDPC decisions from 2018. Published by the Singapore Academy of Law.

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.

Decisions of international courts:

Case Concerning Land Reclamation by Singapore in and around the Straits of Johor (Malaysia v. Singapore)
Oral and written proceedings, and orders of the case heard before the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea.

Pedra Branca
Ministry of Foreign Affairs website providing a history of the dispute and links to ICJ proceedings. More official documents, including judgments and orders, are available through the ICJ website.

A. Online
i. Full text database

LawNet (Access: NUS Law staff & students) (Access: Other NUS staff & students)
Contains decisions heard by various boards and tribunals.

ii. Websites of tribunals, boards, etc.
Appeals Board (Land Acquisition) : Past Decisions
Full text of decisions (2001-19 ) heard by the tribunal in relation to appeals on any award of compensation made by the Collector of Land Revenue for the compulsory acquisition of land.

Competition & Consumer Commission of Singapore: Cases and Commitments
The Public Register provides information on decisions, directions and certain notices given by the Competition and Consumer Commission under the Competition Act. See also Summary of Appeals received by the Competition Appeal Board published by MTI.

Industrial Arbitration Court: Court Awards Made in Recent Years
Court awards on various matters from 2000.

IPOS: Legal Decisions
Search for decisions issued by IPOS since 1999. Grounds of decision for Trademark decisions are available from 2012.

Personal Data Protection Commission's Decisions
Recent decisions relating to organisations that have contravened provisions under the Personal Data Protection Act. See also: PDP Digest

Singapore Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy Service
Full text of proceedings under the SDRP listed by commencement date (2002 - ) or domain name. Scroll down to the bottom of the homepage for listings. Published by the Singapore Mediation Centre.

Singapore Law Watch: Judgments
IPOS and PDPC decisions from 2018.

Singapore Medical Council: Published Grounds of Decision
Grounds of decision of the Disciplinary Committee and Disciplinary Tribunal from 2008.

Strats Titles Boards: Judgments (Recent & Archived)
Judgments of the STB from 2005.

iii. Reports of Committees of Inquiry

B. Print
Specialised court and tribunal decisions are available in print in the Law Library. A few of the resources are also available online:

      Online: BookSG

Newspaper articles are important as they provide information on cases currently before the court. These cases may take a while to be published or may never be published in the law reporters.

The following databases provide access to local newspapers, including the Straits Times and Business Times:

Newspaper headlines for the last four weeks are available via Singapore Law Watch. Here are a few of the latest headlines:

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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.

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.

Online guides and tutorials: