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Reasonable Suspicion or Real Likelihood: A Question of Semantics?

Singapore Journal of Legal Studies
Issue Dec 2008 (Dec 2008)

Abstract: The law on apparent bias has been mired in some controversy following the High Court decision of Re Shankar Alan s/o Anant Kulkarni, where Sundaresh Menon J.C. seemingly departed from the tentative views of Andrew Phang J.C. (as he then was) in Tang Kin Hwa v. Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners Board on the issue of whether there were any material differences between the "reasonable suspicion of bias" test and the "real likelihood of bias" test, the two formulations of the test for apparent bias that have been variously adopted by different jurisdictions in the common law world. In Tang Kin Hwa, Phang J.C. expressed his tentative view that there are no practical or conceptual differences between the two tests, warning against the dangers of "semantic hairsplitting". Sundaresh Menon J.C., on the other hand, took a different view in Re Shankar, holding that "there are indeed some important differences between [the two tests]",5 and that the "reasonable suspicion of bias" test was the applicable law in Singapore "for good reason".

To cite this article: Leo, Lionel and Chen, Siyuan. Reasonable Suspicion or Real Likelihood: A Question of Semantics? [online]. Singapore Journal of Legal Studies, Dec 2008: 446-454. Availability: <http://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=595112190038681;res=IELHSS> ISSN: 0218-2173. [cited 27 Jun 16].

Personal Author: Leo, Lionel; Chen, Siyuan; Source: Singapore Journal of Legal Studies, Dec 2008: 446-454 Document Type: Journal Article ISSN: 0218-2173 Subject: Administrative law; Bias (Law); Semantics (Law); Identifier: Re Shankar Alan s/o Anant Kulkarni (case); Tang Kin Hwa v Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners Board (case) Peer Reviewed: Yes Affiliation: (1) Supreme Court of Singapore

Database: Humanities & Social Sciences Collection