An aggrieved party may make an application for the Court to issue an injunction restraining the other parent from taking the child out of Singapore where there is an agreement or order of court that one parent has custody, care and control of the child.
If there is no existing care and control order, the parent who seeks to restrain the other parent from removing the child from Singapore should file an application under section 5 of the Guardianship of Infants Act (“GIA”) for substantive orders in relation to custody, care and control of the child while simultaneously praying for the relevant injunction orders to restrain the other parent from removing the child from Singapore.
One such case where an injunction was granted was TOG v TOH  SGFC 60. The mother and father were both British citizens, although they lived in Singapore for about 12 years and were married in Singapore. The child, a British citizen, was born in Singapore on 25 January 2011. The father said that the mother had abducted the child on 9 March 2016 and left for the UK, without his permission. The mother said the father had agreed that they would relocate to UK, as their employment passes would expire by the end of the year. The child was on a dependant pass.
The Court considered factors such as the child’s welfare, the degree of connection of the child with Singapore (factors such as his nationality, where he has lived for most of his life, his first language, his race or ethnicity, his religion, his culture, and his education are all relevant), and the length of time the child spent in Singapore or elsewhere in making its decision to grant the injunction.
In the case of TBI v TBJ  SGDC 127, the Court held that considering the matters in their totality, Singapore was not the appropriate forum to determine the issues concerning the children because there were no connecting factors to Singapore. The Court also relied on the general rule regarding jurisdictional challenges involving children is that the jurisdiction is where the children habitually reside.
In ANT v ANU  SGHC 229, the husband held an employment pass for work and the wife and children held dependant passes. The Court dismissed the wife’s application based on the Spilida test that Singapore is not the appropriate forum because, inter alia, none of the parties nor the children were habitually resident in Singapore.
Ultimately, the Courts will consider the degree of connection of the child with Singapore and what is in the best interests of the child.
Foo Soon Yien
Director, Bernard & Rada Law Corporation
Recognition of Foreign Divorces
The Singapore Courts will recognise divorce judgments made by foreign courts of competent jurisdiction in accordance with the rules of private international law of Singapore. Generally, there are three accepted bases for recognition:
Financial Relief Consequential on Foreign Divorce
Where a marriage has been terminated by a foreign decree, the Singapore Courts can rule on post-divorce issues such as division of matrimonial assets or spousal maintenance as though the foreign decree was granted in Singapore in certain circumstances.
In order to obtain such financial relief: (i) one of the parties to the marriage must have been domiciled in Singapore on the date of application or habitually resident in Singapore for a continuous period of one year before the date of application; (ii) the Singapore Courts must grant permission to hear the application for financial relief, which it will do only if it takes the view that there are substantial grounds for making such an application; and (iii) Singapore must be the appropriate forum to grant the financial relief.
The Courts will consider the following:
Where financial relief has already been made by a foreign court, the Singapore Courts will be cautious not to make any order that will allow a party to have another bite of the cherry or offend the fundamental rule of comity as between courts of competent jurisdiction. However, leave may be granted to hear an application for financial relief if the financial relief granted by the foreign court is inadequate.
Enforcement of Foreign Maintenance Orders
Foreign maintenance orders can be enforced in Singapore as Singapore is party to reciprocal legislation – the Maintenance Orders (Facilities for Enforcement) Act (Cap 168) and Maintenance Orders (Reciprocal Enforcement) Act (Cap 169) – which enables persons in Singapore and reciprocating countries to enforce maintenance orders as though those orders were made locally. Parties may also apply to the Singapore Courts to vary or revoke foreign maintenance orders which have been registered by the Singapore Courts.
Where a country is not one included in either of the reciprocal legislations, an applicant cannot apply for enforcement proceedings, in Singapore, of the maintenance order made by the foreign court. In Ng Sui Wah Novina v Chandra Michael Setiawan  2 SLR(R) 111;  2 SLR 839;  SGHC 129, the High Court held that the Plaintiff wife should have instead applied for enforcement proceedings in Indonesia rather than Singapore since it was the Indonesian court which had ordered the ex-husband to pay maintenance and Indonesia was not a reciprocating country. However, the applicant may be able to apply for a maintenance order from the Singapore Courts. See Financial Relief Consequential on Foreign Divorce above.
Foo Soon Yien
Director, Bernard & Rada Law Corporation
A "data intermediary" is defined in the Personal Data Protection Act 2012 ("PDPA") as an organization which processes personal data on behalf of another organization but does not include an employee of that organization. In practice, it generally refers to a third party that executes a function for your organization as though it were part of your organization. An example of this is a web hosting service such as Amazon Web Services ("AWS").
It's clear that organizations have data protection obligations as data controllers because they are responsible, at the very least, for the personal data of their employees. It's also clear that organizations acting as data intermediaries only need to comply with the protection and retention obligations under the PDPA in respect of the personal data they process on behalf of the instructing organization.
But it's also increasingly looking (to me at least) as though a data intermediary may be both a data controller and a data intermediary in respect of the same personal data, depending on what's being done with the personal data. The Personal Data Protection Commission ("Commission") has not addressed this issue yet, but allow me to explain why I think this must be the case.
Going back to AWS as an example, and indeed, the reason I picked it: AWS provides web hosting services. AWS allows organizations to store personal data on cloud-based server, and make that data accessible via the internet, such as through websites. An organization that engages AWS to provide cloud-based web hosting engages AWS in its capacity as a data intermediary - AWS has no control over what personal data is uploaded to its server, nor does it deal with the personal data in any way beyond simply storing it, as is its function. The organization that engages AWS to provide the web hosting services is the data controller in respect of that personal data.
However AWS has physical servers supporting its cloud-based services around the world, including the US, Brazil, Europe, East Asia, Australia and Singapore. To provide its cloud-based services, AWS transfers personal data out of Singapore to whichever country/countries physically store(s) the data. The AWS client has no control over which country the personal data is being transferred to.
Therefore, although AWS, in its capacity as a service provider, acts as a data intermediary in respect of its client's personal data, it acts as a data controller in respect of that same personal data in relation to AWS's own internal business processes.
Service providers who find themselves in similar scenarios should be aware that they may ultimately need to comply with 2 sets of obligations in relation to that one set of personal data.
The first is the complete set of data protection obligations that a data controller must comply with, and this arises in relation to how the service provider treats the personal data internally, vis a vis its own work processes. The second set comprises only the protection and retention obligations that a data intermediary must comply with, and this arises in relation to how the service provider treats the personal data externally, i.e.. in its capacity as a service provider processing the personal data for a client.
Associate Director, Bernard & Rada Law Corporation
The posts found in this Law Blog are not legal advice, nor are they given for the purpose of providing legal advice.
You should contact your lawyer for legal advice if you need legal assistance.