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Non-Insane Automatism and the Singapore Penal Code: Public Prosecutor v Ong Jun Yong [2022] SGMC 37

Chan Wing Cheong

(2023) 35 SAcLJ 395

Decisions from the lowest tier of the judicial hierarchy are normally ignored because they do not have precedential value. However, the case of Public Prosecutor v Ong Jun Yong [2022] SGMC 37 should be studied closely as this is the first time that the concept of automatism (ie, involuntariness) in general, and non-insane automatism in particular, have been analysed by the Singapore Judiciary in a criminal case. This comment argues that there is a need for intervention by the Legislature to clarify if non-insane automatism is in fact recognised in Singapore’s criminal law and if so, what its precise parameters are.