Criminal Compensation in Singapore

Last updated on January 12, 2011

Recently, the Singapore Chief Justice highlighted a provision in the new Criminal Procedure Code 2010. That is the provision that makes it mandatory for courts to consider making criminals pay compensation to their victims.

Before this, the courts have been reluctant to order this kind of compensation. That is to say, before this, if you were attacked, you would have had to commence your own lawsuit to recover damages from your attacker, even if the prosecutor had been successful in charging him under the criminal law.

Now, the courts will consider making the criminal pay you compensation. This is to benefit those who do not have the money to sue the criminals for damages. However, the provision is new, so we have not seen many of such cases. Will the compensation be the same as if you had sued the criminal yourself for a private wrong against you? Will this complicate matters too much for the courts? We will probably get a clearer picture as this provision comes into play more often.

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