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Breach of common law and statutory duty of care
35 Pages • Topic Notes • Year Uploaded: 2023
Overview The key purpose of this Study Unit is to examine the courts’ role in creating common law rules as to the standard of care. Particularly, it focuses on how Singapore courts have developed common law rules to determine how a breach of this standard (of care) applies to professionals, especially doctors. The discussion below suggests that the courts have developed the common law rules in an organic, cautious, and incremental manner over a period of time. In this area of law-making, the courts have performed a reactive role. They respond to social changes by refining its case law, in accordance with precedents. This reactive approach creates some legal uncertainty in the common law. In the area of medical negligence, the precise content of standard of care (as it applies to doctors) became unclear. It is against this context that prompted the Court of Appeal to clarify the Singapore position in the landmark case of Hii Chii Kok v Ooi Peng Jin London Lucien and another.2 We return to this case below.
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