Sentencing Offenders for Driving Dangerously or Carelessly While Under Influence: Resolving the Double-counting Quandary

The Singapore legislature introduced a set of refined and interlinked provisions in the Road Traffic Act 1961 (RTA), which came into force on 1 November 2019. These provisions were intended to deal better with cases in Singapore where motorists drove dangerously or carelessly while under influence of drink or drugs. However, these provisions when applied may give rise to an issue of double-counting in punishment, and the way in which the courts have applied these provisions is such that in some cases this double-counting is fully ameliorated while in other cases it is not.

A New Fashion Vocabulary and its Implications for Trademark Law

The whimsical and ephemeral trends of the fashion world can be confounding and yet rewarding at the same time. As luxury fashion brands such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Versace, Balenciaga and Vetements capitalise on ironic cultural references to rejuvenate sales and capture new customer segments, their actions have resulted in unanticipated implications for trademark law. Simultaneously, countercultural commentary is also taking the form of subversive parodic and satirical fashion merchandise which audaciously play with the semiotic signs of these famous trademarks.

Good Models Borrow, Great Models Steal: Intellectual Property Rights and Generative AI

Two critical policy questions will determine the impact of generative artificial intelligence (AI) on the knowledge economy and the creative sector. The first concerns how we think about the training of such models — in particular, whether the creators or owners of the data that are ‘scraped’ (lawfully or unlawfully, with or without permission) should be compensated for that use.

Why Singapore Needs a Digital Dollar

The increasing popularity of digital tokens has raised concerns among central banks worldwide, leading them to explore the concept of a digital version of central bank money. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is no exception, and it has been actively studying the potential benefits and risks associated with a digital version of the Singapore dollar (digital SGD). My article published in the Banking and Finance Law Review (volume 39, page 381) delves into the potential impact of a digital SGD on the public’s choices for store of value and conducting payment transactions, the funding model of the banking industry, and the monetary policy operations of MAS. It revisits fundamental topics such as the existing types of official money, bank funding models, central banks’ authority to issue banknotes, and the concept of legal tender while discussing the changes that a digital SGD would bring. The conclusion is that introducing a digital SGD would yield net positive effects, encouraging MAS to modernize its currency system to align with the evolving digital landscape in financial markets.

Consent in Modern Criminal Law

Our Festschrift essay, published in the Victoria University of Wellington Law Review to honour Professor ATH Smith, addresses the current law and practice in England and Wales and in New Zealand relating to findings of consent or non-consent by P to interactions between D and P. Publication constraints required confining attention to interactions between competent adults. Neither could we discuss which activities are permissible on a menu of choices that any competent adult might make. Contested and divisive issues relating to radical choices such as the consensual infliction of serious bodily harm or ministering death to the terminally ill are not considered. Rather, our concern is with interactions between D and P, in circumstances where what D does is uncontestably lawful if done with P’s consent, yet otherwise unlawful. The cases and statutory rules discussed relate predominantly to criminal law but there is also discussion of the civil law of consent, especially in the context of crimes relating to financial and propriety wrongs.

Should Determinations of Trade Mark Similarity Consider Their Distinctiveness Acquired From Being Used in the Market?

The vast majority of trade mark disputes – whether they involve opposition, infringement or revocation proceedings – involve the same threshold question: are the competing marks similar or dissimilar? Only if the marks-similarity assessment yields a positive result can the registered proprietor of a trade mark proceed with his case to show that the other legal requirements set out in the relevant provision of the Trade Marks Act (e.g. whether the goods or services involved are identical or similar, and whether there is a likelihood of consumer confusion) have been satisfied.

Concordance Legalization: An Alternative Regional Trading Arrangement to the EU and USMCA Models

My article “Intergovernmental Yet Dynamically Expansive: Concordance Legalization as an Alternative Regional Trading Arrangement in ASEAN and Beyond” published in the European Journal of International Law conceptualizes the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) integration model, which I term ‘Concordance Legalization’. This is amid the regional trading arrangement landscape that holds two contrasting models epitomized by the European Union (EU) and the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA). Concordance Legalization may offer sovereignty-centric states, especially those in the Global South, a ‘third way’ to regionalize dynamically whilst retaining intergovernmental preferences.

The Tragedy of AI Governance

Despite hundreds of guides, frameworks, and principles intended to make artificial intelligence (AI) ‘ethical’ or ‘responsible’, ever more powerful applications continue to be released ever more quickly. Safety and security teams are being downsized or sidelined to bring AI products to market. And a significant portion of AI developers apparently believe there is a real risk that their work poses an existential threat to humanity.