Citation(2020) 32 SAcLJ 330
Published date01 December 2020
Date01 December 2020

1 The first edition of Kow Keng Siong's Sentencing Principles in Singapore, published in 2009, quickly established itself as a reliable resource on sentencing in Singapore. Ten years on, the author has produced a much-needed second edition. It is much needed because of the tremendous developments that have taken place in criminal sentencing in Singapore over the last decade. The author, presently a Chief Prosecutor in the Crime Division of the Attorney-General's Chambers, is eminently qualified to produce this work, with his considerable experience over more than two decades as a prosecutor and District Judge.

2 The foreword to this second edition by the Chief Justice of Singapore, the Honourable Sundaresh Menon, succinctly describes three key trends in the case law over this period, and it bears summarising them here. First, there has been a steady increase in guideline judgments by the court, led in large part by the Chief Justice himself. Secondly, the amendment of the Criminal Procedure Code2 in 2010, preceded by the establishment of the Community Court in 2006, has resulted in a rise of community-based sentences. This regime provides greater flexibility for the courts to provide individualised justice and reduce the rate of incarceration. Thirdly, courts in Singapore, more than their counterparts elsewhere, encourage the Prosecution and Defence to assist the court through submissions on sentencing. Counsel now have a responsibility to make sentencing submissions, and this book will be an invaluable resource to practitioners.

3 The book itself is organised in four parts. The first part, containing 14 chapters, deals with general sentencing considerations. It covers fundamental principles underpinning sentencing, including constitutional matters, sentencing objectives, proportionality and guideline judgments. The second part, constituting ten chapters, focuses

on specific sentencing considerations, including aggravating and mitigating factors; nature and effect of the offence; and characteristics and circumstances of the offender. The third part, made up of nine chapters, examines various sentencing options and sanctions, including fines, imprisonment, corporal and capital punishment, probation and discharges, as well as community sentences. The fourth part has three chapters and deals with procedural matters pertaining to the sentencing decision, appeals and revisions.

4 For students and academics, the most interesting section of the book is...

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