Students take legal look at life, death

Students take legal look at life, death
The winners of the inaugural Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) - Singapore Management University (SMU) (AGC-SMU) Law Reform Essay Competition 2012.

SINGAPORE - Change the term "culpable homicide" to "manslaughter" and relook its relation to "murder".

Separate the different degrees of homicide into altogether different offences, and add American concepts like "extreme indifference" to the mental element of murder.

These were some of the suggestions from local law students that could eventually find their way into Singapore criminal laws.

The ideas were found in entries submitted for the second Law Reform Essay Competition organised by the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) in collaboration with Singapore's two law schools.

Presenting prizes to the winners on Friday, Attorney- General Steven Chong said that feasible proposals would be compiled and sent to the relevant ministries for consideration.

He praised participants from the Singapore Management University (SMU) and National University of Singapore (NUS) for their "meaningful contribution" to an area of law that is "live".

Changes to the Penal Code and Misuse of Drugs Act, which kicked in this year, gave judges the option of imposing life imprisonment instead of the gallows in certain circumstances - for murderers who did not have the intention of killing their victims, or drug couriers who are mentally ill or have helped the authorities.

To date, three convicted murderers and one drug courier have had their lives spared.

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