News Releases
CJ launches books on family law and sentencing policies


Both books provide a handy and reliable reference for the busy practitioner

Singapore, 26 March 2009 – Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong launched two new books by the Subordinate Courts today. The books provide a rare and comprehensive insight into how court decisions are arrived with regard to various aspects of family law, and the principles, philosophy and policies behind sentencing.

At the launch of the books today, CJ Chan said that it is admirable that both titles were written by incumbent and former District Court Judges whose duty is to judge and not to write books.  “They have written them not to advance their own careers, but for the benefit of practitioners and offenders,” said the Chief Justice.

Sentencing Principles in Singapore

Sentencing Principles in Singapore is authored by Kow Keng Siong, currently a Deputy Senior State Counsel who spent close to 10 years distilling and rationalising Singapore’s sentencing principles and policies. Mr Kow, a former District Judge, had presided over many criminal trials and has an abiding interest in criminal justice.

In his Foreword to Sentencing Principles, Chief Justice Chan said public opinion has an important (but controversial) role in the administration of justice. “There are now greater calls for a more sensitive approach in sentencing by concerned members of the public,” said the Chief Justice. However, he added that while courts must be sensitive to public opinion, they cannot be led by it. Instead judges should guide public opinion where there is none or where such opinion is divided. There is thus a need to explain sentencing policies and guidelines to the public.

Sentencing Principles, published by Academy Publishing, is written in a user-friendly style and is “an absolute necessity for all state prosecutors and criminal law practitioners,” said the Chief. It is also a boon to law teachers and students of the subject and a mine of information to the concerned members of the public on the whys and hows of punishment for crime.

Family and Juvenile Court Practice

Family and Juvenile Court Practice, published by LexisNexis, is the work of 15 judges and deputy registrars of the Family Court.  It provides a quick but comprehensive introduction to family law in Singapore.

This second edition (first edition was published in 2000) includes updates on major changes in legislation and procedures relating to family law such as the introduction of the CHILD Programme , the Children Care Court and the establishment of the Family Relations Chambers which provides parties with alternative means to resolve their disputes through mediation and counselling. There is also a new chapter on the Juvenile Court.

Family and Juvenile Court Practice contains comprehensive references to leading cases. It covers all the important Court decisions, in particular those of the Court of Appeal which provide broad principles to guide the lower courts, for example, in the division of matrimonial assets. 

Both titles are part of a series of practitioners’ texts to assist lawyers in their practice. Sentencing Principles in Singapore is part of Academy Publishing’s Law Practice Series which provides authoritative first-principles texts on key areas of law and legal practice.

Family and Juvenile Court Practice is part of The Practitioners’ Library Series jointly published by the Subordinates Courts and LexisNexis.  Currently there are five titles in this Series providing lawyers with a comprehensive guide on core areas of practice in the Subordinate Courts. This series is continuously updated.

Where to buy the books

Sentencing Principles in Singapore priced at $150 (Softcover edition) and $330 (Leather edition; prices before gst), is available in both premium leather-bound edition and soft cover edition at major bookstores in Singapore.  Orders can also be placed on-line via the Singapore Academy of Law website For more information, call 63324388.

Family and Juvenile Court Practice is available in hardcover and reasonably priced at $275 (prices before gst).  Order online at or contact LexisNexis Customer Service on 6349 0110 or email: [email protected].

The CHILD (Children’s Best Interest, Less Adversarial) PROGRAMME provides a less adversarial model to facilitate greater co-operation between the parties to find a solution that is in the child’s best interests.

About Academy Publishing

Academy Publishing is a division of the Singapore Academy of Law. It was officially launched on 18 May 2007 by the President of the Academy, the Honourable the Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong. This division was set up to publish books and other texts on Singapore law, and its objectives are threefold:

• To provide affordable legal materials to the legal profession (including corporate counsel), law academics, law students, and the Judiciary; 
• To provide an alternative avenue to the academics in our law schools to publish their writings and thereby to encourage them to produce more works; and 
• To disseminate the laws of Singapore to a wider public in the region and internationally.

The titles to be published are selected by a Commissioning Panel helmed by the Honourable Justice Andrew Phang Boon Leong.

Academy Publishing is not profit-driven and its immediate priority is to publish books on areas of law that fulfil practice and student needs, although other kinds of legal texts will also be included.

About LexisNexis

LexisNexis® ( is a leading global provider of content-enabled workflow solutions designed specifically for professionals in the legal, risk management, corporate, government, law enforcement, accounting and academic markets. LexisNexis originally pioneered online information with its Lexis® and Nexis® services and operates globally with more than 18,000 employees.

Since it’s origins in Butterworths UK in 1818, LexisNexis has been an authoritative legal publisher with a strong tradition of providing legal professionals with reliable and up-to-date works that are sold through offices in more than 100 countries.

Today, LexisNexis drives commercial success for our customers with innovative products and services. We incorporate sought after research and industry information with the latest technological solutions to address specific customer needs, enhance productivity, increase profitability and stimulate growth.

In Singapore, LexisNexis has been publishing for over 27 years. Our experienced editorial team continues to engage actively with leading legal practitioners, field experts and academics to deliver a growing list of topical, authoritative and accessible books that meet the changing needs of the industry.

A member of Reed Elsevier [NYSE: ENL; NYSE: RUK] (, LexisNexis has a strong commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility. We actively promote the Rule of Law and further engage the community through efforts focused on education for disadvantaged children.

Academy Publishing

Foo Kim Leng (Ms)
Senior Corporate Communications Manager
Tel:  +65 63325365/96358850
Email: [email protected]


Edmund Choo
Marketing Manager
Tel:  +65 6349-0193
Email: [email protected]