The Singapore Court Structure consists of State Courts and Supreme Courts. The State Courts are made up of Small Claims Tribunal, Magistrate’s Court and District Court. The Supreme court, on the other hand, consists of the Court of Appeal and High Court.Jurisdiction is the limit of the court’s power to deal with different types of cases. The Small Claims Tribunal Court conducts cases where the sale of goods, provision of services, hire-purchase agreements, leases of residential premises which do not exceed 2 years.
Claims must not exceed $20,000. Can be further increased to $30,000 if both parties agree in writing. It is to be brought within 2 years from the date the plaintiff is entitled to claim.The Magistrates Court can hear both civilian and criminal matters, limited to civil claims not exceeding $60,000.The District Court can hear both civilian and criminal matters, limited to civil claims not exceeding $60,000The District Court can hear both civilian and criminal matters, limited to civil claims not exceeding $250,000 or up to $500,000 for road traffic accident claims or claims for personal injuries from industrial accidents.
The high court has unlimited jurisdiction for both civil and criminal matters.This case is heard in the Small Claims Tribunal Court because this court conducts cases where there is a breach of contract which does not exceed 2 years and the claims not exceeding $20,000. It is also to be brought in within 2 years from the date the plaintiff is entitled to claim. Statement of FactsMs Samantha Goh has a passion for marketing and graduated on 25 April 2014 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing and Communications.
She was actively looking for jobs related to marketing where she can use her skills to the fullest.King Kong Pte Ltd started its business on 20 February 2009, located at 773 Tampines Street 4, Singapore S889812. The company specializes in fruits packaging E.g. fruits hamper. It is known as one of the best fruit packaging companies in Singapore.Ms Samantha Goh joined King Kong Pte Ltd on 10 March 2015 as a Marketing Executive. Hence, her job scope requires her to market different fruits products and hampers in the company.Two years have passed and on 10 March 2017, King Kong Pte Ltd decides to do a retrenchment exercise in efforts to lessen its manpower.On 10 December 2017, King Kong Pte Ltd decides that Ms Samantha Goh is getting retrenched and that her last day of work is on 28 February 2018. Due to the notice term in the contract, the company has to give a 3-month notice to the employee before the retrenchment date. However, King Kong Pte Ltd did not.On 1 February 2018, King Kong Pte Ltd finally told her about her retrenchment. She was given a notice of 1 month. The company breached the contract by giving her a 1-month notice instead of 3.On 28 February 2018, Ms Samantha Goh had her last day of work. When she approached the human resource department asking for her payslip, she realised on her pay slip that only a 3 months compensation fee is given to her instead of a 6-month fee which was stated in the contract. The company found her a new job instead of paying her the remaining 3 month.On 25 March 2018, Ms Samantha Goh sued King Kong Pte Ltd over the breach of contract and the unpaid 3 months compensation. Laws Relating to the Case The law states that for a contract to be legally binding, there must be an offer and acceptance. It also has to be supported by consideration and intentions to create legal relations.Consideration means that a person will not be required to fulfil the promise he/she has made to another party unless he/she has obtained or has been promised something in return. This requirement of giving something for something is called consideration. The law also states that the execution of an existing obligation cannot be used as consideration for a further promise. If the other party is already required to do something under a contract, they cannot use that as consideration for any more promises.This can be seen from the case of Hartley V Ponsonby (1857) where the court held that the sailors were still entitled to the money that the captain promised to them since they have been already bounded by the contract, even though they have already been dismissed from their existing contract for working above their normal duties and were free to enter a new contract.This can also be seen from the case of Re McArdle where the court held that the child was not required to pay up the promise of Ј488 after the wife of the child decorated the house. However, since the promise was made after the decoration was completed, the promise was unenforceable.Express terms are terms in the contract that parties communicate with each otherMostly communicated orally, in writing or a combination of bothThis can be seen from the case of L’Estrange V E. Graucob Ltd  where the claimant, L’Estrange, was unaware of the express clause as she did not read the agreement properly. However, the contract is still deemed as effective and binding as it was clearly stated in the contract which was signed and acknowledged by the claimant. Application of the Law to the FactsApplying the law, King Kong Pte Ltd is required to give 3 months notice to Ms Samantha Goh before her retrenchment, however, she only received a 1-month notice on 1 February 2018. Ms Samantha Goh is supposed to receive a 6-month compensation from King Kong Pte Ltd, however, she only received a 3-month compensation. The notice and compensation were stated in the contract, however, King Kong Pte Ltd did not follow through, breaching the contract. The company wanted to provide a job for Ms Samantha Goh instead of paying the additional 3 month and that cannot be used as consideration. Accordingly, King Kong Pte Ltd has not provided any consideration for Ms Samantha Goh’s 6 month compensation and has to pay up the remaining 3-month compensation.
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