The High Court hearing, which began in April, is expected to continue this week before Justice Commissioner Lionel Yee. The court should clarify the law on the return of ownership documents. If, in the credit example above, the seller has submitted a contract on December 15 in which the products will be delivered from February 1. Suppose the Debitor signs the contract on January 15, but the seller asks Debitor to send it back to December 30, so that the seller achieves higher sales for the calendar year and receives a greater bonus. This retrodedation would be intended to be misled and would not be appropriate. An “after” date is not the only way for parties to reveal that they are re-having a document. In a treaty or resolution, recitals  can tell the story, including retrodaation. Consider the following example: Backdating violin tags were not unusual, and this was not illegal. However, the re-assatation of legal documents is another matter. The return of legal documents is often permitted. But in other circumstances, it can be fraudulent or illegal.
Despite the general conviction, the return of documents is not necessarily illegal. In fact, it is allowed for so long that there is a Latin expression, nunc pro tunc, which describes the backdated documents. Some treaties make it clearer than others. Many contracts define the date “ab” as “validity date” (not to be confused with the execution date). Others will even have an “as of” clause that will clarify the possibility of a retrodedation by stating that the High Court found that the option was valid and binding on the applicant and that the respondent gave a decision on a defined benefit. The High Court held that there was no legal illegality, since there was no explicit or implied legislative intent that the retrodaation of the option would render it unenforceable. The Tribunal also found that the option was not applicable to common law illegality and was not applicable because the illegal manner in which respondents seeking funding were too far removed from the contract and the respondent did not have to rely on the backdation to argue its claim against the applicant. The applicant granted the respondent an option signed by the applicant on October 13, 2012 (the option) to acquire real estate.
The option was dated October 4, 2012, in response to a communication from the Singapore Monetary Authority of October 5, 2012 (the October 5 communication) that would have reduced the credit-to-value ratio (“LTV”) of the loan proposed by respondents from 80% to 60%.