Morning and welcome to the Law Guide Nuggets Show, giving you bite sized information about the law that’s easy to consume and easy to use. My name is Jon, I’m a lawyer in private practice in Singapore and I’ve been working for the past 13 years. I’d like to talk to you and give you some information over the next three minutes.
Today we’re talking about mitigation pleas and specifically one aspect of the mitigation plea relating to your personal background. These are the facts and the factors relating to your personal profile and your family circumstances. These are things that are important to know:
Number one, tell the judge who you are, in terms of your family, your parents, or whether you support them financially, your children, your dependents, your siblings. Give the judge an idea of what your family is like, because that may help to explain a lot of things about why you acted a certain way or why you’ve been acting a certain way in the past.
The next thing to know is that you should tell the judge also about your education – how much education did you receive? Are you highly educated? Are you average or are you below average? Tell the judge. Again very important for the judge to know so that everyone can understand your actions.
It’s also important for the judge and for the court to know your activities outside the school. What are you involved in, in terms of voluntary work, community work? Is there any particular co-curricular activity that you’re very involved in, that you spent a lot of effort and energy doing? Tell the judge because that would describe and help the judge to understand what type of person you are even if you’re not very good at school.
The next thing that the court can benefit from knowing, is information about your employment. Have you been a hard worker? Have been working non-stop or continually in the same company or have you been a job hopper or have you struggled all your life to hold down a job?
Tell the judge, give the explanation why. Tell the story because very often that can help to explain. Again, why you found yourself in this situation that you’re in? The next thing to know is, if you’ve served national service it’s also helpful for the judge to know what your national service record is like. Perhaps, if you’ve served with distinction, you served and you performed very well, this will be containing your service record. So, tell the judge because again it helps everyone understand what type of person you are.
And why is it important for the judge and for the court, and for everyone to know what type of person you are? Because it helps to explain not only why you’ve acted in a certain way, which is why you found yourself committing a criminal offense. But also, how likely are you to do it again? Are you going to change? Can you change? Are you committed to changing? These are effects and information that the judge would like to know and would help them. But they will help them determine what is the most appropriate type and amount of punishment to impose for you. And that’s it for today. I hope this information has been useful to you. Will talk more again soon.