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Revisiting The Similar Fact Rule In Singapore: Public Prosecutor V. Mas Swan Bin Adnan And Another, Siyuan Chen Apr 2017

Revisiting The Similar Fact Rule In Singapore: Public Prosecutor V. Mas Swan Bin Adnan And Another, Siyuan Chen

Siyuan CHEN

The similar fact rule in Singapore—as with the law on any evidence law doctrine that can be found in both our Evidence Act and the common law—has required clarification for some time. This note, which discusses the latest local decision on the similar fact rule, considers if that decision is compatible with the Evidence Act and the various conceptualisations underlying the doctrine.


The 2012 Amendments To Singapore's Evidence Act: More Questions Than Answers As Regards Expert Opionion Evidence?, Siyuan Chen Apr 2017

The 2012 Amendments To Singapore's Evidence Act: More Questions Than Answers As Regards Expert Opionion Evidence?, Siyuan Chen

Siyuan CHEN

Singapore amended the expert opinion evidence provisions in its Evidence Act (EA) in 2012. The criteria for admissibility have been broadened, but the courts are now also expressly given the discretion to exclude relevant expert opinion evidence if it is ‘in the interests of justice’. This article explains why the 2012 amendments have raised more questions than answered them. First, Parliament did not appear to have properly appreciated the distinction—as conceptualised by the EA—between legal and logical relevance and relevance and admissibility. Second, it did not appear to have appreciated the distinction between general and specific relevance. Third ...


Redefining Relevancy And Exclusionary Discretion In Sir James Fitzjames Stephen’S Indian Evidence Act Of 1872: The Singapore Experiment And Lessons For Other Indian Evidence Act Jurisdictions, Siyuan Chen Apr 2017

Redefining Relevancy And Exclusionary Discretion In Sir James Fitzjames Stephen’S Indian Evidence Act Of 1872: The Singapore Experiment And Lessons For Other Indian Evidence Act Jurisdictions, Siyuan Chen

Siyuan CHEN

In many jurisdictions, the rules of evidence can often be instrumental in determining the outcome of a dispute. But to what extent can evidence law be controlled by codification, or is it better to leave its regulation and development to the judges via common law? In an attempt to bridge the gap between the rules of an antiquated evidence statute and the modern realities of practice, Singapore’s Evidence Act was amended in 2012. Certain relevancy provisions were amended to allow greater admissibility of evidence, while new provisions were introduced to act as a check against abuse. However, it will ...


'In The Interests Of Justice' As The New Test To Exclude Relevant Evidence In Singapore: Anb V Anc [2014] Sghc 172; Wan Lai Ting V Kea Kah Kim [2014] Sghc 180, Siyuan Chen Apr 2017

'In The Interests Of Justice' As The New Test To Exclude Relevant Evidence In Singapore: Anb V Anc [2014] Sghc 172; Wan Lai Ting V Kea Kah Kim [2014] Sghc 180, Siyuan Chen

Siyuan CHEN

In 2012, Singapore’s venerable Evidence Act (EA), which is based on Stephen’s Indian Evidence Act of 1872, underwent major amendments for only the third time in 120 years. Previously, conflicting case law had created long-standing confusion as to whether the Singapore courts possessed any discretion to exclude evidence even when was found relevant under the EA. The main reason driving this jurisprudential inconsistency was that while the relevancy provisions in the EA were meant to provide exhaustive definitions of admissibility, Stephen’s then-revolutionary ‘inclusionary’ approach to relevance was simply at odds with modern conceptions of relevance and modern ...