Sentencing Principles in Singapore - 2nd Edition


            The second edition follows the tradition of the first edition – by continuing to draw together the many threads of sentencing pronouncements and distil them into a coherent set of sentencing principles. These principles are organised in a reader-friendly format in four parts:

(a)       general sentencing considerations – reviews fundamental sentencing doctrines that underpin the legitimacy and foundation of the sentencing process;

(b)       specific sentencing considerations – explores the types of factors that may aggravate or mitigate the gravity of an offence, and hence its sentence;

(c)       sentencing options and legislative sanctions – discusses issues relating to the selection of an appropriate sentencing option; and

(d)       sentencing decision – examines the principles and issues relating to the delivery, alteration and challenge of a sentencing decision.


The second edition provides a comprehensive update on numerous developments that have taken place in Singapore’s sentencing jurisprudence since the publication of the first edition in 2009. Through in-depth commentaries and a new chapter on Community Sentences, the second edition covers developments in Singapore’s sentencing jurisprudence up to January 2019. Since the publication of the first edition, several key pieces of sentencing-related legislation (including the Criminal Procedure Code, the Penal Code and the Prisons Act) underwent many major amendments; and more than 700 judgments on sentencing were issued by the Court of Appeal and High Court (including about 150 sentencing guideline judgments).



Kow Keng Siong graduated with a Bachelor of Laws degree from the National University of Singapore (“NUS”) Law School in 1993 and was called to the Bar the following year. In 2002, he obtained a Master of Laws degree from Columbia Law School. In recognition of his academic achievements, Keng Siong was elected a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar by Columbia Law School and awarded the Certificate for Achievement in International and Comparative Law by the Parker School of Foreign and Comparative Law.

Keng Siong’s entire career has been devoted to the advancement of criminal justice – first as a Deputy Public Prosecutor and State Counsel (1993–1999), later as a District Judge (1999–2008), thereafter as a Senior State Counsel with the International Affairs Division of the Attorney-General’s Chambers (“AGC”) (2008–2015) handling work relating to international co-operation in criminal matters, including mutual legal assistance and extradition, before returning to the Criminal Justice Division of the AGC in 2015 as a Deputy Chief Prosecutor. He is now a Chief Prosecutor with the Crime Division.

Keng Siong enjoys sharing his experience with law students. He was an adjunct faculty member with the Singapore Management University (2007–2010) and is now an adjunct professor at the Faculty of Law at NUS, where he co-leads the Advanced Criminal Legal Process elective (since 2015). He is also a member of the Law Programmes Advisory Committee of the Singapore University of Social Sciences since 2017. Apart from the present publication, Keng Siong has contributed to two Subordinate Courts publications, namely, Sentencing Practice in the Subordinate Courts (2000) and Evidence in Criminal Trials (2002).


For his contributions to the administration of criminal justice, Keng Siong was awarded the National Day Public Administration Award (Bronze) in 2004 and the National Day Public Administration Award (Silver) in 2017.

Keng Siong is happily married with a devoted wife and four lovely children.




Publication Type:


CS Redeemable:


Date of Publication:


ISBN Code:

978-981-14-2 □34-4







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"Deputy Attorney-General Hri Kumar Nair SC: Sentencing is a blend of art and science. It is a complicated process, which is under-appreciated and often misunderstood. Sentencing Principles in Singapore has become a leading text for those seeking a critical understanding of the sentencing jurisprudence in Singapore. This latest edition presents a comprehensive and timely update of this important area of law. Like its predecessor, this text is thoughtfully structured along the dominant themes in sentencing. The thoroughness and depth with which Keng Siong has delved into the jurisprudence in support of each sentencing principle is exemplary. I have no doubt that this book will continue to be an invaluable resource for criminal practitioners, prosecutors, academics and students of the law. "


"Solicitor-General Kwek Mean Luck SC: Sentencing law traverses a wide range of judicial pronouncements and statutory provisions. Drawing richly on his experience as Chief Prosecutor (Crime Division) in the Attorney-General's Chambers, the author usefully pulls together these core elements, organising them according to fundamental sentencing principles and areas, in a coherent and user-friendly format. This work sets out the key statutory provisions and cases, and explains succinctly how they interact with each other. The analysis is deepened by references to judgments and guidelines from other jurisdictions such as England and Australia. The second edition of Sentencing Principles in Singapore will be a handy and useful guide for students and practitioners of criminal sentencing. "