Legal Updates for November 2017
Six Persons First To Be Charged Under The Organised Crime Act In Connection With Remote Gambling Offences
On 16 November 2017, the Singapore Police Force brought charges against five men and one woman under the Organised Crime Act ("OCA") for their alleged involvement in an Organised Crime Group which had been engaging extensively in illegal gambling-related activities. The group was also charged with offences under the Remote Gambling Act, the Common Gaming Houses Act, the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act and the Penal Code. This marks the first time accused persons have been charged under the OCA in connection with gambling related activities since the OCA came into force on 1 June 2016.
Sale of Food (Amendment) Bill – Forthcoming Changes in Food Legislation
On 7 November 2017, the Sale of Food (Amendment) Bill (the "Bill") was passed by the Singapore Parliament. The Bill introduces comprehensive amendments to the Sale of Food Act (Cap. 283) and other related Acts currently in force. In doing so, the Bill enhances the regulation of the sale of food, promoting public health and allowing the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority to take food safety measures. With this overarching purpose in mind, the Bill fleshes out the current provisions, whilst proposing new ones with a greater emphasis on consumer protection. This Update looks at the key highlights of the Bill.
Singapore Court Issues First Decision on Rescue Financing
Singapore's restructuring and corporate rescue framework has recently undergone significant reform, with the Companies (Amendment) Act 2017 coming into force earlier in the year. One of the areas that has seen the greatest development is that of schemes of arrangement, with the introduction of rescue financing provisions allowing the grant of 'super priority' status. In Re: Attilan Group Ltd  SGHC 283, the Singapore High Court issued its first decision on rescue financing, providing guidance on the application of these provisions and the relevant principles the Court would consider. Here, the application for super priority was successfully opposed by Leong Kah Wah, Sheila Ng and Lim Ruo Lin of Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP.
Google to Challenge Fine Imposed by EU Commission
On 11 September 2017, Google Inc. filed its appeal against the fine of €2.42 billion (approx. SGD 3.83 billion) handed to it by the European Commission in its infringement decision issued earlier this year after a seven-year long investigation. The fine imposed was the largest ever issued by the EC. This Update provides a summary of Google's ongoing legal battle with the EU Commission, as well as the implications it may have for businesses.
Singapore's Latest Green Efforts – Draft Carbon Pricing Bill
On 26 October 2017, the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources launched a public consultation on the draft Carbon Pricing Bill (the "Bill"), which will be closing on 22 December 2017. This public consultation follows an earlier consultation held by the National Climate Change Secretariat regarding the Government’s plan to introduce a carbon tax in Singapore. This Update provides a summary of the Bill and its implications.