The Present and Future of Provocation as a Defence to Murder in Singapore

22 Pages Posted: 8 Dec 2003

See all articles by Wing Cheong Chan

Wing Cheong Chan

Singapore Management University - School of Law


The practice of the local courts in relation to provocation as a partial defence to murder has hitherto been to follow the developments of the defence in English law. This article seeks to examine some of the recent developments from England and other parts of the Commonwealth, assess the current state of our law in Singapore, and discuss whether these developments ought to be followed locally.

THE law of provocation has been the subject of much development both locally and in other Commonwealth jurisdictions in recent years. This article will evaluate some of these developments with regard to the relevance of the characteristics of the offender and the proportionality requirement in the troublesome objective test of the defence.

Part I of this article considers whether certain triggering conditions must be met before an offender's characteristics may be considered for the purposes of assessing the sting of the provocative conduct or insult, and the proper approach of a court faced with such alleged characteristics. Part II analyses the recent interpretation of Camplin by the English House of Lords and whether our local courts should follow suit. Finally, in Part III, the recent local developments in the proportionality requirement in the defence of provocation will be reviewed.

It will be seen that in many instances the Singapore courts have been able to keep pace with the developments in these two aspects of the provocation defence at common law and that only limited improvement is needed in these two areas.

Suggested Citation

Chan, Wing Cheong, The Present and Future of Provocation as a Defence to Murder in Singapore. Singapore Journal of Legal Studies, pp. 453-474, 2001, Available at SSRN:

Wing Cheong Chan (Contact Author)

Singapore Management University - School of Law ( email )

55 Armenian Street
Singapore, 179943

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics