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The Singapore Law Gazette

Message from Guest Editor of Public Law Theme Issue

Last year when the idea of a special issue on public law was mooted at the Publications Committee meeting, I was delighted to be tasked with assembling a veritable list of academic and practitioners to contribute articles to this edition. Over the last few years, the Singapore Court of Appeal has handed down a number of very important decisions that clarify the ambit of legislative and executive powers, the scope of constitutional rights and the applicability of foreign decisions.

Associate Professor Jaclyn Neo (NUS Law) presents an insightful analysis of the judicial articulation of unwritten constitutional norms in Singapore, in which she discusses three normative principles and examine how they have influenced judicial doctrine: the principle of legality, the idea of a constitutional identity, and the separation of powers. Well-known public lawyer Mr Remy Choo Zheng Xi (Peter Low & Choo LLC) takes a critical look at the evidential burden on applicants seeking to challenge pre-Constitutional legislation, comparing the Singapore Court of Appeal’s approach in Lim Meng Suang v Attorney-General with the recent Indian Supreme Court’s decision of Navtej Singh Johar v Union of India.

The subject of judicial review of administrative decisions is becoming increasingly significant in Singapore. Assistant Professor Swati Jhaveri (NUS Law) surveys major developments from 2018 and also considers future trajectories for this field. She considers the impact of ouster clauses in legislation on access to and the scope of judicial review, and the stringency of the threshold requirement for leave in judicial review proceedings. Mr Marcus Teo (Eugene Thuraisingam LLP) advances the proposition that the courts appear to have developed a divergent special standard of judicial review, which applies only to exercises of the prosecutorial power. Specifically, he argues, the courts appear to have in recent years considered the prosecutorial power to be immune from rationality review.

I hope you will enjoy reading these articles!

Vice Dean (Academic Affairs)
National University of Singapore, Faculty of Law
Advisor, Publications Committee
The Law Society of Singapore