Criminal Defence lawyer’s duty in Singapore
In a commentary to Channel News Asia, Associate Darren Koh Ngiap Thiam from the Singapore University of Social Sciences (“SUSS”), shares how being a criminal defence lawyer in Singapore is more than a job.
2. Criminal lawyer’s duty
Eugene Thuraisingam LLP acted for the daughter of the founders of a luxury watch retail chain, in a criminal matter, who was sentenced to 22 months’ imprisonment for taking drugs and causing a car crash, both at first instance and on appeal to the High Court against sentence.
Eugene Thuraisingam LLP also act for another criminal case, British drug offender Yuen Ye Ming who is seeking to persuade the Court of Appeal to reduce the enhanced sentence for drug trafficking meted out to him by the District Court and upheld by the High Court. Our application for leave to refer a question of public interest on the enhanced sentencing regime for trafficking is scheduled to be heard in August 2019.
These are two examples of criminal cases cited by Singapore University of Social Services Associate Professor Darren Koh in this article where he comments on what he refers to as the “sacred duty of due process” that comes with being a criminal defence lawyer.
Associate Professor Darren Koh further wrote that it may seem ridiculous to some to be defending such offenders. These criminal defence lawyers in Singapore are often criticised for handling such cases.
The role of the criminal defence lawyer in Singapore is to ensure that all available evidence and arguments are put before the judge. On top of the criminal lawyer’s duties as an officer of the court and assisting in the administration of justice, the lawyer is to present client’s best possible case in court.
3. What inspires Criminal Defence lawyers in Singapore?
It is not about grabbing the attention of the media but what really inspires criminal defence lawyers in Singapore is the belief that everyone deserves legal representation regardless of the crimes committed.
Access to legal representation is fundamental to the criminal justice process. Let us not forget that.