Tort of Defamation before the Singapore Courts 1965–2015 : A Comparative and Empirical Study

Based on data collated concerning defamation cases decided by the Singapore courts from 1965 to 2015, this monograph assesses the trends in the courts’ use of foreign decisions and the diverse origins and nature of the foreign sources. In addition to the research methodology, it discusses the comparative law literature relating to such use of foreign precedents by judges and their contributions to the transnational judicial dialogue.

Lawyers and judges may also be interested in the comparative analysis of the defamation laws of the selected foreign jurisdictions (England, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Malaysia and Hong Kong) as well as the specific legal issues (namely, defamatory meaning, reference to plaintiff and publication, the legal defences to defamation, the remedies and conflict of laws). This book not only reflects upon the past 50 years of legal evolution, but also looks ahead to the potential challenges and prospects for the development of the tort of defamation in Singapore.


Chapter 1 - Methodology of research

Chapter 2 - Comparative law, foreign precedents and transnational judicial dialogue

Chapter 3 - Foreign precedents in Singapore defamation cases: overview of main trends
Chapter 4 - Selected foreign jurisdictions: a comparative analysis and the impact of defamation statutes
Chapter 5 - The plaintiff’s case and the elements
Chapter 6 - The defences
Chapter 7 - The remedies
Chapter 8 - Conflict of laws
Chapter 9 - Present trends, future prospects and challenges



Gary Chan is Associate Professor of Law and JD Programme Director, School of Law, Singapore Management University (“SMU”). He graduated with an LLB (Second Class Upper Honours) from the National University of Singapore (“NUS”) and obtained his LLM (Merit) from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He also attained a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy (Second Class Upper Honours) from the University of London as well as a Master of Arts (Southeast Asian Studies) from NUS. He is an Advocate and Solicitor of the Singapore Supreme Court and an Attorney & Counselor-at-law (New York). Prior to joining academia in 2002, he served as Assistant Registrar of the Supreme Court, Magistrate of the then Subordinate Courts of Singapore, and was a corporate lawyer in one of the leading law firms in Singapore and legal counsel in two major telecommunications companies.

Gary was the Associate Dean (Teaching and Curriculum) of the School of Law (2007–2009) and Director, Continuing Legal Education (2010–2012). He sits on the SMU Faculty Advisory Committee on Teaching and Learning (“FACTL”), the Technology Enhanced Education Taskforce and the Wee Kim Wee Centre Director Search Committee. He has taught law of torts, legal system, legal method and analysis, comparative legal systems as well as ethics and social responsibility at SMU. His main research interests are tort law, the Singapore legal system and ethics. Gary has co-authored The Law of Torts in Singapore (Academy Publishing, 2nd Ed, 2016) and published widely in reputable law journals including Legal Studies, Law Quarterly Review, Torts Law Journal, Tort Law Review, Media and Arts Law Review, Singapore Academy of Law Journal and Singapore Journal of Legal Studies.



Publication Type:


CS Redeemable:


Date of Publication:

Dec 2016

ISBN Code:








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