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The 4 Key Pillars Of Singapore Criminal Law Before Sentencing Someone In Court

What Is Criminal Law?

 

Criminal law in Singapore is largely based on statutes known as Acts of Parliament. Criminal law seeks to impose punishment for breach of certain rules, conduct or behaviour that is designated as criminal in legislation that has been enacted by Parliament.

Crime involves behaviour that is so serious that it cannot be treated simply as matter that can be resolved privately.

The State has both a right and a responsibility to respond to criminal behaviour and or offences by devoting resources to its investigation, prosecution, adjudication and punishment.

 

 

Different State Agencies Involved

 

In generality, criminal law covers the entire criminal process from the “arrest and investigation” stage to the prosecution of a charge against a person, the criminal trial and sentencing.

Different state agencies are involved at each state of this response to crime and these agencies are all vital to our criminal legal system.

Examples of these state agencies are our Police, the Attorney-General’s Chambers (the Prosecution) and our Courts. Singapore’s main piece of legislation covering most of our criminal offences is the Penal Code.

The rules regulating the criminal process is our Criminal Procedure Code. Other serious offences are also covered by various other pieces of legislation and evidence relating to our criminal law is governed by the Evidence Act.

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How Are Criminal Offences Punished?

Criminal law is the branch of law dealing with state punishment. Punishment is the most distinguishing consequence of criminal acts. It is what the state considers imperative in maintaining law and order in Singapore.

Thus, in our criminal justice system, the court may impose an order depriving a convicted person of his life, liberty or property.

Sentencing, or the process for the determination of punishment is an important part of the criminal law process. Legislation provides the range of punishment Parliament has intended for a particular offence.

A court must impose a sentence that is prescribed by the law under which the accused has been convicted and in accordance with established sentencing principles.

4 Key Pillars Of Sentencing

 

Singapore’s criminal law has established 4 key pillars of sentencing in its criminal law namely, retribution, deterrence, prevention and rehabilitation which serves as a guide when punishment is meted out to a person convicted of an offence.

Apart from imprisonment, the Courts of Singapore can impose capital punishment, caning, fines and probation. There are also community-based sentences whereby offenders are ordered to do community work or attend a reporting centre regularly for supervision or counselling.

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