There appears to be a marked increase in interest recently in local sentencing cases among the public in Singapore. As sentencing scholars Julian Roberts and Jan de Keijser, from the University of Oxford and Leiden University respectively, have pointed out, sentencing is a process where a court imposes a legal punishment on behalf of the community in which the crime is committed. Therefore, in my view, it can be a positive and encouraging development when members of a community become more interested in the sentencing system. To this end, it might be useful to take this opportunity to elaborate on three broad aspects of sentencing.
The first is that sentencing is a very fact-sensitive exercise. Courts around the world have observed that in sentencing, no two cases are ever exactly alike.