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Singapore and UK Case Law Conducted by: Carol Wee Content by: Lee Su-Lin 13 th August 2014 © C J Koh Law Library 2008-15.

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Presentation on theme: "Singapore and UK Case Law Conducted by: Carol Wee Content by: Lee Su-Lin 13 th August 2014 © C J Koh Law Library 2008-15."— Presentation transcript:

1 Singapore and UK Case Law Conducted by: Carol Wee Content by: Lee Su-Lin 13 th August 2014 © C J Koh Law Library

2 No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying and recording, without the written permission of the copyright holder, application for which should be addressed to the author. Such written permission must also be obtained before any part of this publication is stored in a retrieval system of any nature.author No copyright is claimed in the text of statutes, regulations and court decisions quoted within this work. © C J Koh Law Library

3 This tutorial is specifically designed for the Legal Analysis, Research and Communication (LARC) course for first year law students. The purpose of this tutorial is to teach students how to read Singapore and UK case citations, and to locate cases in the printed law reports.

4 © C J Koh Law Library Contents 1. Primary sources of law p.5 p.5 2. Law reports of Singapore p.6 p.6 3. The case citation p.14 p How to find a case if I have a citation p.19 p Law reports of UK p.33 p Finding cases with citations p.39 p Alternative citations p.58 p.58

5 Primary Sources of Law Primary sources of law are authoritative records of law made by the law-making bodies of Singapore. The 2 main sources of law are: 1.Legislation Statutes Subsidiary legislation Quasi-legislation 2. Case Law Decisions of the Singapore courts. 5

6 Law Reports of Singapore Law reports are the published judgments of court cases. Cases are only selected for reporting if they raise or expand upon significant points of law. Therefore, only a small proportion of cases are reported, and these are mainly from the Supreme Court (i.e. High Court, Court of Appeal and Constitutional Tribunal). 6

7 Law Reports of Singapore The principle law report series in Singapore is the Singapore Law Reports. It covers cases from Ref: K7599 SLR (1992-); K7599 SLR ( )K7599 SLR A. Singapore Law Reports 7

8 Law Reports of Singapore B. Singapore Law Reports (Reissue) Ref: K7599 SLRK7599 SLR 8 The Academy of Law has 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.

9 Law Reports of Singapore C. Malayan Law Journal The other law report series which is the major source of reported Singapore court decisions from is the Malayan Law Journal. Ref: K7599 MLJK7599 MLJ 9

10 Law Reports of Singapore D. Singapore Syariah Appeals Reports The Singapore Syariah Appeals Reports is the authoritative set of grounds of decisions delivered by the Syariah Appeal Board between 1980 and Ref: K7599 SSCK7599 SSC 10

11 Law Reports of Singapore E. Older Law Reports Series Several discontinued series of law reports contain older cases from the courts of Singapore, Malaya and Borneo. A complete listing of these reports can be found on p.vii-viii of Mallal’s Digest: Consolidated Table of Cases 2006 Reissue under the section entitled “Reports and Publications and Their Abbreviations”. (Reference: K Md 2006) Here is a reverse chronological list of a selection of old law reports: There are several discontinued series of law reports that contain older cases from the courts of Singapore, Malaya and Borneo. A complete listing of these reports can be found on p.vii-viii of Mallal’s Digest: Consolidated Table of Cases 2013 Reissue under the section entitled “Reports and Publications and Their Abbreviations”. (Ref: K Md)K Md Here is a reverse chronological list of major law reports through the years: 11 TitleAbbreviationPublication DateRef Colony of Singapore Law Reports (previously called Singapore Law Reports) SLR (covers ) (covers ) K7599 SLR Straits Settlements Law Reports SSLR (new series) (covers ) (old series) (covers ) K7596 SSLR Federated Malay States Law Reports FMSLR (covers ) K7600 FMSLR Straits Law Journal SLJ K7596 SLJ Kyshe’s Reports Ky (covers ) K7596 Ky Straits Law Reports SLR Leic1877 (covers ) K7596 SLR

12 Law Reports of Singapore F. Other Sources of Law Unreported Judgments These are full text transcripts of written judgments as handed down in the Subordinate Courts, the High Court and Court of Appeal. They are available online in LawNet. LawNet Earlier judgments are available in print in the law library: Ref: K7599 CA (Court of Appeal, Civil Appeals) K7599 CRA (Court of Appeal, Criminal Appeals) K7599 DC (District Court) K7599 J (High Court) K7599 MC (Magistrates’ Court) “Case Law & Decisions” of the Subordinate Courts and Supreme Court are also available for free for the last 3 months in LawNet under its links to Free Resources.Free Resources 12

13 Law Reports of Singapore F. Other Sources of Law Decisions of Boards/Tribunals Decisions of various tribunals and boards are available online in LawNet. Most of them are not readily available in print.LawNet Decisions include those of the  Copyright Tribunal  Income Tax Board of Review  Military Court of Appeal  Syariah Appeal Board  Strata Titles Boards. 13 LawNet access: via NUS Faculty of Law ResourcesNUS Faculty of Law Resources

14 The Case Citation A. What is it? A case citation is a reference to a legal case in the law reports. 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 [2010] 1 SLR

15 The Case Citation B. Neutral Citation The neutral citation system is defined in s.74(8) of the Supreme Court Practice Directions as follows:Supreme Court Practice Directions “A neutral citation is a Court-approved system of citation which is independent of the series of law reports or other publication, and unique to each written judgment. Each written judgment from a particular level of Court is assigned a sequential number, starting from 1 at the beginning of each calendar year.” A similar definition can be found in s.53(1) of the Subordinate Courts Practice Directions (2006 Ed.). Subordinate Courts Practice Directions 15

16 The Case Citation B. Neutral Citation names of the parties to the case Example Court designators include SGCA – Singapore Court of Appeal SGHC – Singapore High Court SGDC – Singapore District Court SGMC – Singapore Magistrates’ Court year of the court decision jurisdiction/level of court sequential number The neutral citation includes Public Prosecutor v Nguyen Tuong Van[2004]SGHC54, paragraph number(s) [1] 16

17 The Case Citation C. Citation Practice According to s74(6) of the Supreme Court Practice Directions, counsel who cite a judgment must use the official series of the law report(s) or, if this is not available, any other law report series in which the judgment was published.Supreme Court Practice Directions Local law reports are to be cited in order of preference as follows (refer to s74(6) for more details):s74(6) 1. Singapore Law Reports (2010-) 2. Singapore Law Reports Reissue 3. Singapore Law Reports ( ) 4. Malayan Law Journal. Also note: Cases reported in the Singapore Law Reports shall be cited using their Singapore Law Reports citations, in priority to their neutral citations (s74(8)(a)).s74(8)(a) 17

18 The Case Citation D. Comparative Citations If you have a case with an original SLR, MLJ or neutral citation and need to determine the corresponding SLR(R) citation, refer to the Singapore Law Reports (Reissue): Comparative Table of Citations & Table of Cases Reported 1965 to (Ref: K7599 SLR)K7599 SLR SLR citation Corresponding SLR(R) citation 18

19 How to Find a Case if I Have a Citation? Step 1: Search an index to legal abbreviations to find out which law report the abbreviation stands for e.g. SSLR Step 2: Search LINC for specific law report to determine its location in the library I. Need a Print Copy? E.g. Salmah v Chop Chin Guan Hong [1929] SSLR

20 How to Find a Case if I Have a Citation? E.g. Salmah v Chop Chin Guan Hong [1929] SSLR 172 Step 1 Find out what the abbreviation SSLR stands for by consulting an index to legal abbreviations. Print: Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation, 7th ed. (Toronto: Thomson Carswell, 2010) at App. Ref: KB280.2 Can 2010KB280.2 Can 2010 Online: C J Koh Law Library, Singapore Legal Abbreviations, resources-on-the-web/law-in-singapore/glossaries-and-indexes/singapore- legal-abbreviations resources-on-the-web/law-in-singapore/glossaries-and-indexes/singapore- legal-abbreviations 20

21 How to Find a Case if I Have a Citation? Step 1 (contd.) A check online using Singapore Legal AbbreviationsSingapore Legal Abbreviations indicates that SSLR stands for the Straits Settlements Law Reports E.g. Salmah v Chop Chin Guan Hong [1929] SSLR

22 How to Find a Case if I Have a Citation? Step 2 Enter title of law report here E.g. Salmah v Chop Chin Guan Hong [1929] SSLR Search the library catalogue LINC (http://libportal.nus.edu.sg)http://libportal.nus.edu.sg Select “Title” from drop down menu

23 How to Find a Case if I Have a Citation? Step 2 (contd.) Determine availability and location of volume 1929 of the Straits Settlements Law Reports. E.g. Salmah v Chop Chin Guan Hong [1929] SSLR

24 How to Find a Case if I Have a Citation? Step 2 (contd.) E.g. Salmah v Chop Chin Guan Hong [1929] SSLR 172 Search for locations of all 1929 volumes 24

25 How to Find a Case if I Have a Citation? Step 2 (contd.) The 1929 volume can be found in various locations in the Law and Central Libraries. But the most convenient locations for retrieval are the Legislation/Reports and Singapore/Malaysia collections in the Law Library. Once you obtain the law report, turn to page 172 for the case.Legislation/ReportsSingapore/Malaysia E.g. Salmah v Chop Chin Guan Hong [1929] SSLR

26 How to Find a Case if I Have a Citation? II. Searching Online You may also obtain Singapore cases from full text databases. Databases are particularly useful when you only have partial citations: LawNet - the only database that contains a comprehensive collection of Singapore cases. Access via NUS Faculty of Law ResourcesNUS Faculty of Law Resources Lexis Singapore - contains Singapore cases reported in the Malayan Law Journal from 1954 to Access via NUS Libraries E-ResourcesNUS Libraries E-Resources 26

27 How to Find a Case if I Have a Citation? 27 E.g. LawNet Access via NUS Faculty of Law ResourcesNUS Faculty of Law Resources E.g. Find the case heard in 2010 where one party was Ng Swee Hua Select LawNet

28 How to Find a Case if I Have a Citation? 28 E.g. Find the case heard in 2010 where one party was Ng Swee Hua Enter NUS ID and password

29 How to Find a Case if I Have a Citation? Legal Research 2.Cases 5. SEARCH After login, select: 3. Click Simple Search. Enter name of party and year case was heard 4. Select “all of the words” from drop down menu E.g. Find the case heard in 2010 where one party was Ng Swee Hua

30 How to Find a Case if I Have a Citation? 30 E.g. Find the case heard in 2010 where one party was Ng Swee Hua

31 How to Find a Case if I Have a Citation? 31 E.g. Find the case with the neutral citation [2013] SGHC Select Citation Search 3. Enter neutral citation 2. Select Neutral Citation from drop down menu

32 How to Find a Case if I Have a Citation? 32 E.g. Find the case with the neutral citation [2013] SGHC 122

33 1.The Law Reports (1865- ) The official set of law reports published by the Incorporated Council of Law Reporting for England and Wales Text of each report is reviewed by judges before publication So, it takes between 10 and 14 months to report cases The only set of reports that has a summary of the arguments of counsel The High Court and the Court of Appeal require that where a case has been reported in the Law Reports, it must be cited from that source. Other series may only be used when a case is not reported in the Law Reports. See Practice Direction (Judgments: Form Citation) (Supreme Court) [2001] 1 WLR 194. Law Reports of UK A. Modern Reports 33

34 Law Reports of UK A. Modern Reports 1.The Law Reports (1865- ) (contd.) The 4 current series of the Law Reports are: TitleReports Decisions ofRef Appeal Cases (AC) House of Lords, Privy Council & Court of Justice of the European Communities K2022 4C Queen’s Bench (QB) Queen’s Bench & Court of Appeal & ECJ on appeal from QB K2022 2E Family (Fam) Family Division & Court of Appeal on appeal from Fam D K2022 1C Chancery (Ch) Chancery Division & Court of Appeal on appeal from Ch D K2022 3B Online: ICLRICLR 34

35 Law Reports of UK A. Modern Reports 2. The Weekly Law Reports (WLR) (1953- ) Timely, full text reports. Ref: K2020 WNR Online: ICLRICLR 3. All England Law Reports (All ER) (1936- ) Timely, full text reports; contains editorial notes. Ref: K2020 AELR Online: Lexis LibraryLexis Library 35

36 Law Reports of UK A. Modern Reports 4. Specialist series Contain a selection of cases in a discrete practice area. e.g. Lloyds Law Reports (maritime and commercial law) Ref: K2020 LLLR Online: i-lawi-law 5. Newspapers Brief, edited reports. e.g. The Times Law Reports Ref: K2020 TR/ K2020 TLR Online: ICLRICLR 36

37 Law Reports of UK B. Nominate Reports The Nominate Reports refer to the various published reports of English cases from the Middle Ages to the 1860s. They are known by the names of the reporters and have been reprinted in: 1. The English Reports ( ) Most comprehensive compilation. 176 volumes of cases & 2 index vols. Ref: K2020 ER Online: Hein OnlineHein Online CommonLII (free access)CommonLII 2. The All England Law Reports Reprint ( ) Criterion for inclusion: present day relevance or value to the legal profession. Ref: K2020 AE/ K2020 AEE (extension volumes) Online: Lexis LibraryLexis Library 37

38 Law Reports of UK B. Nominate Reports The English Reports Ref: K2020 ER 38

39 Finding Cases with Citations A. Law Reports Examples of Case Citations Ashley and another v Chief Constable of Sussex Police [2008] 3 All ER 573 Sam v Atkins [2006] RTR 171 Patterson v Smiths Dock Ltd and others [2006] 2 AC 572, [2006] 3 All ER 785, 89 BMLR 1 Corporacion Nacional del Cobre de Chile v Sogemin Metals Ltd and others [1997] 2 All ER 917, [1997] 1 WLR

40 Step 1: Search an index to legal abbreviations to find out which law report the abbreviation stands for e.g. WLR Step 2: Search LINC for law report by title to determine its location in library 40 Need a Print Copy? Finding Cases with Citations A. Law Reports

41 Indexes to Legal Abbreviations Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations Online: “Table of Abbreviations” in the first volume for the year in the Current Law Yearbook Ref: KB3 CLY Index to Legal Citations & Abbreviations (by Donald Raistrick, 3rd ed., 2013) Ref: KB280 Rai 2013 “Law Reports and Journals and Their Abbreviations” in Osborn’s Concise Law Dictionary Ref: KB12 Osb Finding Cases with Citations A. Law Reports

42 42 Finding Cases with Citations A. Law Reports E.g. Use Cardiff Index to Legal AbbreviationsCardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations

43 Finding Cases with Citations B. Nominate Reports Examples of Citations Hall v Hall, 3 Sw. & Tr. 347 Horn v Quash, 1 Keb. 5 Kinshela v Lee, 7 Beav. 300 Lord Fairfax v Lord Derby & Al’, 2 Vern. 612 Uvedale v Halfpenny, 2 P Wms

44 I. Need a Print Copy? Use the indexes to the English Reports. These indicate the volumes of the English Reports in which the cases have been reprinted: English Reports: Index of Cases (vols. 177 & 178) Alphabetical listing of cases. Use this if you know the name of the case, e.g. Alexander v Comber. Ref: K2020 ER English Reports Wall Chart Use this when you only have the citation to the case, e.g. I Keb 434. Location: On wall opposite Law Library Information Desk 44 Finding Cases with Citations B. Nominate Reports

45 Volume of relevant English Report Page where case starts A. Use the English Reports: Index of Cases (vols. 177 & 178) when you have a case name, e.g. Alexander v Comber. Search Vol 177 (A-K) to find out in which volume and on which page of the English Reports the case is located. Case name 45 Finding Cases with Citations B. Nominate Reports

46 A. Use the English Reports: Index of Cases (vols. 177 & 178) when you have a case name, e.g. Alexander v Comber. 46 Finding Cases with Citations B. Nominate Reports Required case Page 13 Volume 126 of English Reports

47 B. Use the Wall Chart when you have nominate report citation e.g. 5 Co. Rep. 24 Locate volume of English Report in which nominate report is reprinted. 47 Volume no. of relevant Report Nominate report abbreviation, e.g. Co. Rep. Finding Cases with Citations B. Nominate Reports

48 B. Use Wall Chart when you have Nominate Report citation e.g. 5 Co. Rep Finding Cases with Citations B. Nominate Reports Search for 5 Co. Rep. 24 Broughton’s Case is the first case that starts on this page Vol. 77 of English Reports

49 Need a print copy? Use Wall Chart Use Index of Cases Locate case in the English Reports Ref: K2020 ER Have Nominate Report citation? E.g. 1 Keb 434 Have names of parties? E.g. Alexander v Comber 49 Finding Cases with Citations B. Nominate Reports In summary:

50 50 Finding Cases with Citations B. Nominate Reports II. Searching Online Search for case by citation or case name in HeinOnline or CommonLII (free access). HeinOnlineCommonLII E.g. Using CommonLII

51 51 Finding Cases with Citations B. Nominate Reports II. Searching Online CommonLII e.g. Williams v Byrne, 7 Ad. & E If you select Database Search, you can: a. search by case name or b. search by citation

52 52 Finding Cases with Citations B. Nominate Reports II. Searching Online CommonLII e.g. Williams v Byrne, 7 Ad. & E. 177

53 Finding Cases with Citations C. Neutral Citations Examples of citations A v Hoare and other appeals [2008] UKHL 6 Mealing (a child suing by her grandmother and litigation friend) v Chelsea and Westminster Healthcare NHS Trust [2008] EWHC 1664 (QB), [2008] All ER (D) 306 (Jul) Home Office v Tariq [2011] UKSC 35 A neutral citation contains the jurisdiction and court designator. 53 England & Wales High Court United Kingdom House of Lords United Kingdom Supreme Court

54 Finding Cases with Citations C. Neutral Citations E.g. Using BAILII 54 Free resources from other jurisdictions E.g. AustLII CanLII HKLII

55 Finding Cases with Citations C. Neutral Citations Using BAILII e.g. Barnett & Ors v Nigel Hall Menswear Ltdhttp://www.bailii.org/ 55

56 Finding Cases with Citations C. Neutral Citations 56 Using BAILII e.g. Barnett & Ors v Nigel Hall Menswear Ltdhttp://www.bailii.org/

57 Finding Cases with Citations D. Using Databases Major databases: WestLaw Access via Faculty of Law ResourcesFaculty of Law Resources Lexis Singapore Access via NUS Libraries E-ResourcesNUS Libraries E-Resources ICLR (covers the Law Reports, TLR & WLR) Access via NUS Libraries E-ResourcesNUS Libraries E-Resources HeinOnline (English Reports only) Access via NUS Libraries E-ResourcesNUS Libraries E-Resources BAILLI Free website at For a more comprehensive listing, refer to the Guide to Electronic Resources Collection.Guide to Electronic Resources Collection 57

58 Alternative Citations A. What Are They? An important case may be reported in several places. There will be a different citation for each law report. Examples: 1.David Wilson Homes Ltd v Survey Services Ltd (In Liquidation) [2001] EWCA Civ 34; [2001] 1 All E.R. (Comm) 449, CA; [2001] Build LR 267, 80 ConLR 8 2.Donoghue (or M’Alister) v Stevenson [1932] AC 562; 101 LIPC 119; 48 TLR 494; 37 Com Cas 350; 1932 SC (HL) 31 *Where a Law Report citation is available, the case should be cited from that source. 58

59 Alternative Citations B. Finding Alternative Citations Reference: K2028 EED One way to find alternative citations for UK cases is to refer to The Digest. This is a multi-volume set containing summaries of UK cases. The set is accompanied by the Consolidated Table of Cases, an index of all cases referred to in The Digest. 59

60 Alternative Citations C. Using The Digest Step 1. Refer to the relevant volume of the Consolidated Table of Cases. There are 3 index volumes (A-G; H-P; Q-Z). Search for the case in the relevant volume. The volume of The Digest that contains the case can be found next to the case name. Step 2. Look for the case in the “Table of Cases” in the relevant volume of The Digest. The case number can be found adjacent to the case name. Step 3. Refer to the relevant case number. This provides a summary of the case followed by the citation(s) of the case. 60

61 Alternative Citations The case summary is located in Volume 35(3) on Negligence 61 C. Using The Digest Example: Donoghue v Stevenson Step 1. Refer to volume “A-G” of the Consolidated Table of Cases. Search for Donoghue v Stevenson in the alphabetical list. The table shows that the case summary can be found in Volume 35(3) on “Negligence”.

62 Alternative Citations Refer to para 1851 in Vol 35(3) 62 C. Using The Digest Example: Donoghue v Stevenson Step 2. Search the “Table of Cases” in Volume 35(3) for the case. The case number in Volume 35(3) where the case summary can be found is indicated next to the case name.

63 Alternative Citations Example: Donoghue v Stevenson Step 3. Refer to paragraph The paragraph provides a summary of the case followed by its citations. Citations for Donoghue v Stevenson 63 C. Using The Digest Para 1851

64 Updated 8 Aug 2014 © C J Koh Law Library Thank you! You have reached the end of this tutorial. If you have any queries, or speak to a librarian at the C J Koh Law Library Information Desk: For comments, send an to:


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