Sentencing guidelines in Singapore
Some of the new guidelines issued over the past few years
1. Defaulting on National Service
In Public Prosecutor v Sakthikanesh s/o Chidambaram and other appeals and another matter  SGHC 178, heard before Chief Justice Menon, Justice Chao Hick Tin and Justice See Kee Oon, the judges identified four bands of jailterm according to the period of default.
|Default period||Sentencing range|
|2 to 6 years||2 to 4 months imprisonment|
|7 to 10 years||5 to 8 months imprisonment|
|11 to 16 years||14 to 22 months imprisonment|
|12 to 23 years||2 to 3 years imprisonment|
New guidelines for this offence were issued in Ng Kean Meng Terence v Public Prosecutor  SGCA 37, heard before CJ Menon, Justice Chao Hick Tin and Justice Andrew Phang Boon Leong. The following are the three identified categories of rape:
|Band 1: Rape with little or no offence-specific aggravating factors||10-13 years in jail with 6 strokes of the cane|
|Band 2: Rape featuring two or more offence-specific aggravating factors||13-17 years in jail and 12 strokes of the cane|
|Band 3: Rape of an extremely serious nature by reason of the number and intensity of offence-specific aggravating factors||17-20 years in jail and 18 strokes of the cane|
3. Drug trafficking
Introduced in Suventher Shanmugam v Public Prosecutor  SGCA 25, heard before CJ Menon, Justice Judith Prakash and Justice Tay Yong Kwang, were drug trafficking guidelines for cannabis, a class A controlled drug. The guidelines to sentencing are similar in approach to the judgement in Vasentha d/o Joseph v Public Prosecutor  5 SLR 122, a case involving the trafficking of another class A drug, diamorphine. It provides an indicative benchmark sentence based on the amount of drugs being trafficked and encourages courts to make use of the full range of sentences spelled out in legislation.
While the guidelines are meant for cannabis, the judges advised that they may be applied to offences involving other drugs with a similar punishment range. If mandatory caning cannot be carried out because of gender or age, then a further jail term of not more than one year should be added.
|Quantity of cannabis (g)||Sentencing guideline|
In Public Prosecutor v Syed Mostofa Romel  SGHC 117, heard before CJ Menon, three broad categories of private corruption were identified.
|When the briber derives a benefit for paying the offender||Jail sentence may be meted out based on circumstance|
|When the party being bribed agrees to forbear performing a duty||Custodial sentence likely|
|When the party is bribed so that he will not harm the paying party||Jail sentence likely|
CJ Menon issued guidelines for this offence in Yap Ah Lai v Public Prosecutor  3 SLR 180, singling out that the offender’s role should be limited to importation in order for these guidelines to apply.
|Quantity of tobacco (kg)||Sentencing range|
|2-50||3 to 6 months|
|51-100||6 to 12 months|
|101-200||12 to 18 months|
|201-300||18 to 24 months|
|301-400||24 to 30 months|
|>400||30 to 36 months|
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