Close

HEADLINES

Headlines published in the last 30 days are listed on SLW.

Reformative training law may be reversed

Reformative training law may be reversed

Source: Straits Times
Date Published: 12 Feb 2019
Author: Selina Lum

Young offenders who are sentenced to reformative training can no longer have their stint backdated to take time spent in custody into account, if proposed tweaks to criminal procedure tabled in Parliament yesterday are passed.

Young offenders who are sentenced to reformative training can no longer have their stint backdated to take time spent in custody into account, if proposed tweaks to criminal procedure tabled in Parliament yesterday are passed.

This would reverse a new law to allow backdating of reformative training sentences that took effect in October last year as part of wider reforms of the criminal justice system.

Reformative training is a strict regimen aimed at rehabilitating offenders below the age of 21 who commit relatively serious crimes.

Up till last year, it has been the practice for sentencing courts not to backdate reformative training sentences, which could last between 18 months and three years.

This changed when more than 50 diverse reforms to the Criminal Procedure Code were approved by Parliament in March last year. Changes related to reformative training include reducing the minimum detention period from 18 months to six or 12 months and providing for backdating if the offender had spent time in remand before being sentenced.

Now, the Ministry of Law has recommended that the legislation be amended to remove the possibility of backdating a reformative training sentence.

"Backdating reformative training sentences shortens the time spent by the offender in prescribed rehabilitation programmes, and may prevent them from completing these programmes as designed," the ministry said.

Agencies will work together to ensure that remand is avoided or minimised in cases where reformative training is likely to be imposed.

The amendments are being proposed to fine-tune processes introduced or changed when the Criminal Justice Reform Act was passed last year.

Another key amendment relates to video-recorded interviews of suspects - the main change introduced in the reforms.

Currently, only the police have the power to investigate any unauthorised recording of the interview process or unauthorised copying or distribution of a video statement.

The ministry has now proposed allowing prescribed law enforcement agencies, such as the Central Narcotics Bureau, to probe offences relating to the video recording of interviews.

Another amendment proposes allowing sensitive information to be removed from materials disclosed to the defence, including material that can compromise national safety or public order.

The amendments will set out the mechanism for resolving disputes in court if the defence wants to challenge the removal of such information. Sensitive information cannot be removed in situations where the prosecution intends to rely on it or where it can strengthen the defence's case.

Source: Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Permission required for reproduction.

 

Print
630

x

Latest Headlines

No content

A problem occurred while loading content.

Previous Next
190124-190223 Rockwills
190130-190129_bottom_LawSocProBono

Terms Of Use Copyright 2019 by Singapore Academy of Law
Back To Top