Section 1 Introduction
Section 2 Constitutional and Legal History
Section 3 Common Law in Singapore
Section 4 The Constitution
Section 5 The Legislature
Section 6 The Executive
Section 7 The Judiciary
Section 8 Legal Education and Legal Profession
Section 9 Alternative Dispute Resolution
Section 10 Promotion of Singapore Law
Section 11 Conclusion
1.1.2 The legal system will inevitably undergo tension as socio-economic and politico-legal changes unfold with increased globalisation and regionalisation. Thus,
1.1.3 In this regard,
1.2.1 From its founding by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles of the British East India Company in 1819 to its independence in 1965,
1.2.2 With independence, there has been a gradual – and increasing – movement towards developing an autochthonous legal system. The guiding principle is that the adoption of any legal practice or norm must be compatible with
Arrival of the British –
1.2.3 Early 19th century:
1.2.4 29 January 1819: Founding of modern
1.2.5 30 January 1819: Raffles concluded a preliminary treaty with Temenggong Abdu'r Rahman, the Johor Sultan’s representative in Johor and
1.2.6 6 February 1819: A treaty was concluded with Sultan Hussein of Johor and the Temenggong, the de jure and de facto rulers of
1.2.7 1819 -1823: For the proper administration of the island, Raffles promulgated a code of law known as the ‘Singapore Regulations’ and put in place a basic but functional legal system with a uniform law that was applicable to all inhabitants.
1.2.8 March 1824:
The Fledgling Legal System – A Fitful & Chaotic Start
1.2.9 27 November 1826: The Second Charter of Justice was granted by the British Parliament on the petition of the East India Company. It provided for the establishment of the Court of Judicature of Prince of Wales’ Island (Penang),
1.2.10 1833: With the re-organisation of the East India Company’s possessions by the British Parliament in 1833, the Governor-General of India was empowered to legislate for the Straits Settlements. During this period, there was much dissatisfaction with the legal system. The local business community was unhappy with the inadequate judicial framework which meted out justice infrequently and poorly.
1.2.11 1855: On the petition of the East India Company, the Third Charter of Justice was granted to help ease the increasing legal workload. However, the Third Charter did not improve the state of affairs. With the abolition of the East India Company in 1858, the
1.2.12 1 April 1867: The Straits Settlements became a Crown Colony under the direct jurisdiction of the Colonial Office in
1.2.13 1868: The Supreme Court of the
1.2.14 1934: The Court of Criminal Appeal was added to the Supreme Court structure.
From the British to the Japanese to the British (1942 – 1945)
1.2.15 February 1942 - September 1945: The Japanese Occupation of
1.2.16 1946: The Straits Settlements were disbanded.
The Path to Self-Government (1948 – 1959)
1.2.17 1948-1960: The Emergency period. The authorities in
1.2.18 1953: A Constitutional Commission, headed by the Sir George Rendel (the ‘Rendel Commission’), was formed to review the Colony’s constitution and to enlarge the public participation in self-governance. The government accepted most of the Commission’s report including the transformation of the Legislative Council into a chamber comprising mainly of directly elected members. However, the real power continued to be vested in the Governor and the Official Members of the Council of Ministers rather than the elected Assembly members. By this time, the Progressive Party was the leading political party in
1.2.19 1955: In the first Legislative Assembly elections, the Labour Front – led by David Saul Marshall – displaced the Progressive Party as the leading party, winning 10 of the available 25 seats. The People’s Action Party (hereafter the ‘PAP’), founded in the same year, won 3 seats.
1.2.20 1956: Marshall resigned on 6 June as Chief Minister after the breakdown of constitutional talks over whether the British High Commissioner in Singapore should have the casting vote on the proposed Defence Council. Lim Yew Hock,
1.2.21 8 May 1958: The Constitutional Agreement was signed in
1.2.22 May 1959: The PAP won 43 seats, garnering 53.4 per cent of the total votes, in the elections to choose 51 representatives to the first fully elected Legislative Assembly. On 3 June, the new State Constitution was brought into force by the proclamation of the Governor, Sir William Goode, who became the first Yang di-Pertuan Negara (Head of State). Lee Kuan Yew became
1.2.23 27 May 1961: The Malayan Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, proposed closer political and economic co-operation between the Federation of Malaya, Singapore, Sarawak, North Borneo and
1.2.24 1 September 1962: A referendum on the terms of the merger was conducted and approved the PAP's merger plan. The main terms of the merger provided for the federal government in
1.2.25 16 September 1963:
1.2.26 1965: Within two years of merger, the union was failing for a variety of reasons ranging from the racial politics of
1.2.27 December 1965: Yusof bin Ishak was appointed as the Republic's first President on 22 December 1965. The Singapore Parliament completed the constitutional and legal procedures and formalities to accord with
The Development of an Autochthonous Legal System
1.2.29 In the 1970s and 1980s, there was an implicit casual comfort with the inherited traditions, practices and laws of
1.2.30 Constitutional provisions were made (in 1979) for the creation of Judicial Commissioners to facilitate the disposal of business in the Supreme Court for limited renewable periods of between 6 months and 3 years. Judicial Commissioners may also be appointed to hear and determine a specified case only. Except for the fact that there is no security of tenure, Judicial Commissioners exercise the same powers, perform the same functions, and enjoy the same immunities as a High Court Judge. Earlier, in 1971, the Constitution was amended to allow for the appointment of supernumerary judges, which enables High Court Judges who have reached the mandatory retirement age of 65 years to remain on the Bench for further periods on a contract basis.
1.2.31 1993: Abolition of all appeals to the Privy Council (by 1989, appeals to the Privy Council were severely restricted). A permanent Court of Appeal, presided by the Chief Justice and two Justices of Appeal (JAs), was designated
1.2.32 11 July 1994: The landmark Practice Statement on Judicial Precedent declared that the Privy Council,
Reception of English Law
1.2.33 Prior to the enactment of the Application of the English Law Act (Cap 7A, 1994 Rev Ed), the Second Charter of Justice provided the legal basis for the general reception of the principles and rules of English common law and equity and pre-1826 English statutes (only those of general application) into
1.2.34 This problem presented itself manifestly with the specific reception of English law under the former section 5 (now repealed) of the Civil Law Act (Cap 43, 1988 Rev Ed) which provided that if a question or issue on specific categories of law or in general mercantile law arose in Singapore, the law to be administered shall be the same as that administered in England at the corresponding period, unless other provision is made by any law having force in Singapore. Until its repeal in 1993, this was the most significant reception provision in
1.2.35 The Application of the English Law Act states that the common law of
Common Law roots
1.3.1 The Common Law is one important strand of the
The Doctrine of Judicial Precedent
1.3.2 In essence, the common law system of
1.3.3 The lower court is able, in some cases, to avoid having to apply the ratio decidendi in a prior higher court’s decision if (a) it can materially distinguish the facts of the case before the lower court from those in the prior higher court’s decision; or (b) the higher court’s decision was made per incuriam (that is, without abiding by the doctrine of stare decisis) in the first place.
Influences of and Departures from English Common Law
1.3.4 The heavy influence of the English common law on the development of
1.3.5 However, the erstwhile tendency of
1.3.6 Two recent examples shall suffice at this juncture as a manifestation of
Brief Comparisons: Common Law and Civil Law Systems
1.3.7 The common law system in Singapore bears material differences from some Asian countries which have imbibed the civil law tradition (the People’s Republic of China, Vietnam and Thailand) or those with a mixture of civil and common law traditions (the Philippines).
1.3.8 Firstly, the civil law systems place relatively less weight on prior judicial decisions and do not abide by the doctrine of stare decisis, unlike the common law system as described in Section 1.3.2 and 1.3.3 above. The common law courts in
1.3.9 However, the divergence between the common law and civil law systems is now less marked than in the past. Common law jurisdictions have, for instance, embarked upon legislative programmes to fill the perceived gaps of the common law. In this regard, Singapore has recently enacted various statutes to govern many specific areas of law (such as the Contract (Rights of Third Parties) Act 2001 (Cap 53B, 2002 Rev Ed), the Competition Act 2004 (No 46 of 2004) and Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act) (Cap 52A, 2004 Rev Ed).
Common Law and Equity
1.3.10 Historically, in
1.3.11 According to the Singapore Civil Law Act (Cap 43, 1999 Rev Ed), the
Publication of Law Reports and Legal Scholarship
1.3.12 Without the regular publication of judicial precedents accessible to the judges and lawyers, the common law in
1.3.13 Local law books and journal articles on important areas have also contributed to the burgeoning common law in
1.3.14 The Chief Justice has urged the Singapore Bar to cite local court decisions in support of their arguments especially when the relevant points of law have been considered by the courts. He has also urged local law academics to write on Singapore law to help develop Singapore's jurisprudence. The courts have been receptive to and have adopted academic writings in their judgements.
Muslim Law (in Personal Legal Matters)
1.3.15 Apart from the Common Law and Equity, the Syariah Court also administers Muslim law in specific personal legal matters governing marriages, divorces, the nullity of marriages and judicial separations under the Administration of Muslim Law Act (AMLA) (Cap 3, 1999 Rev Ed) in respect of Muslims or parties married under Muslim law (though the High Court has concurrent jurisdiction with the Syariah Court on specific matters relating to maintenance, custody and division of property). Significantly, with respect to issues of inheritance and succession, the AMLA expressly accepts particular Islamic texts as proof of Muslim law.
1.4.1 The Constitution (1999 Reprint) is the supreme law of the land. It is mandated that any legislation contrary to the Constitution shall be void.
1.4.2 The provisions of the Constitution may only be amended by the votes of two-thirds of the total number of elected Members of Parliament. In respect of specific constitutional amendments seeking to amend the discretionary powers of the Elected President and the provisions on fundamental liberties, however, at least two-thirds of the total number of votes cast by the electorate in a national referendum is also required.
1.4.3 Part IV of the Constitution entrenches certain fundamental rights, such as the freedom of religion, freedom of speech and equal rights. These individual rights are not absolute but qualified by public interests such as the maintenance of public order, morality and national security. Apart from the general protection of racial and religious minorities, the special position of Malays, as the indigenous people of
Powers and Functions of Organs of State
1.4.4 The Constitution contains express provisions delineating the powers and functions of the various organs of state, including the Legislature (Section 5 below), the Executive (Section 6 below) and the Judiciary (Section 7 below).
1.5.1 The main function of the Singapore Parliament is the enactment of laws governing the State.
The Law-Making Process
1.5.2 The law-making process begins with a Bill, normally drafted by the Government legal officers. Private members’ Bills are rare in
1.5.3 The Presidential Council for Minority Rights (PCMR) established under the Singapore Constitution is tasked, except for certain exempted Bills, to scrutinise Bills for any measures which may be disadvantageous to persons of any racial and religious communities without being equally disadvantageous to persons of other such communities, either by directly prejudicing persons of that community or indirectly by giving advantage to persons of another community. If the report of the PCMR is favourable or a two-thirds majority in Parliament has been obtained to override any adverse report of the PCMR, the Bill proceeds, as a matter of course, for the President’s assent. It is at this juncture that the Bill is formally enacted as ‘law’.
1.5.4 In terms of composition, the Singapore Parliament consists of both elected and non-elected Members of Parliament (MPs).
1.5.5 The elected MPs are drawn from candidates who have emerged victorious in general elections held every 4 to 5 years. They are drawn from a combination of single-member constituencies as well as Group Representation Constituencies (GRCs). Established in 1988, each GRC consists of 4 to 6 members, at least one of whom must be of a designated minority race. The underlying aim for the GRC is to entrench multiracialism in
1.5.6 The non-elected MPs, on the other hand, do not enjoy voting rights on constitutional amendments, money Bills and votes of no-confidence in the Government. They consist of two different categories: the Non-Constituency Members of Parliament (NCMPs) and the Nominated Members of Parliament (NMPs).
1.5.7 To offer an alternative political voice in Parliament, NCMPs are appointed from the candidates who have polled the highest percentage of votes amongst the ‘losers’ in the general election. The NMPs, in contrast, are non-politicians who have distinguished themselves in public life and have been nominated to provide a greater variety of non-partisan views in Parliament.
Eligibility, Functions and Powers of the Elected President
1.6.1 The head of the Executive is the Elected President. The qualifications for presidential office are stringent. Apart from integrity, good character and other requirements, the presidential candidate must have held high office for not less than three years in a designated constitutional position, statutory board, large company or a similar or comparable position in an organisation or department of equivalent size or complexity (whether in the public or private sector) which has given him or her the requisite experience and ability to handle the responsibilities of the job. The Presidential Elections Committee has been set up to ensure the requirements are adhered to.
1.6.2 The Elected President is tasked to safeguard the nation’s foreign reserves and retains the power of veto over the appointment of key civil servants. In discharging its constitutional functions, the President is required to consult the Council of Presidential Advisers, a body set up under the Singapore Constitution.
1.6.3 The Cabinet, under the helm of the Prime Minister, is collectively responsible to the Parliament. The Prime Minister is someone appointed by the Elected President who, in the latter’s judgment, is likely to command the confidence of the majority of the Members of Parliament.
1.6.4 There is no complete separation of powers between the Executive and Legislature. In terms of composition, members of the Cabinet are drawn from the MPs. Parliamentary Secretaries are further appointed from amongst the MPs to assist the Ministers. Moreover, the Ministers and the relevant government agencies are responsible for enacting subsidiary legislation to supplement the parent legislation passed by the Parliament.
Government’s Legal Advisers
1.6.5 On the legal front, the Government is advised and represented by the Attorney General and the Solicitor-General in both civil and criminal matters. There are also special divisions within the Attorney General’s Chambers dealing with the drafting of legislation, law reform and international affairs.
1.7.1 The great efficiency and strength of the Singapore Judiciary has won her several accolades and a strong international reputation (see the rankings of the world’s legal systems by Political and Economic Risk Consultancy (PERC) and the Institute for Management Development (IMD)). Strict case management and Alternative Dispute Resolution methods (see Section 9 below) have reduced drastically the backlog of cases which had plagued both the Supreme Court and Subordinate Courts in the 1980s. The Honourable Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong, since his appointment with effect from 11 April 2006, has focused on implementing initiatives to enhance access of justice and the development of substantive jurisprudence in
Function and Powers
1.7.2 The judge is the arbiter of both law and fact in
The Court of Appeal
1.7.3 The highest court of the land is the permanent Court of Appeal which hears both civil and criminal appeals emanating from the High Court and the Subordinate Courts. As a significant watermark of
The High Court
1.7.4 The High Court Judges enjoy security of tenure whilst the Judicial Commissioners are appointed on a short-term contract basis. Both, however, enjoy the same judicial powers and immunities. Their judicial powers comprise both original and appellate jurisdiction over both civil and criminal matters. The recent appointment of some High Court judges to specialise in arbitration matters at the High Court adds to the two existing specialist courts: the Admiralty and the
The Constitutional Tribunal
1.7.5 A special Constitutional Tribunal was also established, within the Supreme Court, to hear questions referred to by the Elected President on the effect of constitutional provisions.
The Subordinate Courts
1.7.6 The Subordinate Courts (consisting of the District Courts, Magistrates’ Courts, Juvenile Courts, Coroners Courts as well as the Small Claims Tribunals) have also been set up within the
The District and Magistrates’ Courts
1.7.7 The District Courts and the Magistrates’ Courts share the same powers over specific matters such as in contractual or tortious claims for a debt, demand or damage and in actions for the recovery of monies. However, the jurisdictional monetary limits in civil matters for the Magistrates’ Courts and District Courts are $60,000 and $250,000 respectively. The courts also differ in terms of criminal sentencing powers. Imprisonment terms imposed by the Magistrates’ Courts are limited to two years and for the District Courts, seven years.
The Small Claims Tribunals
1.7.8 The Small Claims Tribunals, on the other hand, afford a speedier, less costly and more informal process for the disposition of small claims with a monetary limit of only $20,000 (provided the disputing parties consent in writing).
1.7.9 Apart from the above courts, the Family Courts deal with divorces, maintenance, custody and adoptions.
The Courts and Information Technology
1.7.10 The Judiciary has also taken major strides in utilising information technology in the courts which has, in part at least, enhanced its efficiency. The Technology Courts were, for instance, set up to enable the sharing of information by lawyers and judges and the giving of evidence by witnesses via video conferencing. Legal actions involving a company or an individual may be monitored using a facility known as Casewatch. The Electronic Filing System (EFS), a joint project by the Judiciary, Singapore Network Services and the Singapore Academy of Law to enable the filing, extraction and service of court documents as well as the tracking of case information by electronic means, has recently undergone further refinements to upgrade services to end-users. It has been reconstituted as the Electronic Litigations Systems (ELS) in order to further integrate technology into the litigation processes. Various information technology innovations have also been utilised to facilitate and streamline various criminal processes, namely the registration and management of criminal cases (SCRIMS), the processing of traffic charges between the police and the courts (TICKS 2000) and the payment of fines for minor traffic offences (ATOMS).
Functions of Lawyers in
1.8.1 The legal profession in
Admission to the Singapore Bar
1.8.2 A sound legal education is instrumental to the ‘birth’ and subsequent development of the
1.8.3 There have been several recent changes to the criteria for admission to the Singapore Bar. The one-year Diploma of Singapore Law currently offered by NUS for law graduates from the approved foreign universities will be abolished. Instead, these law graduates from the approved foreign universities who are graduating in 2009 will be required to pass Part A of the Bar Examination (after an optional and shorter conversion course offered by NUS). Overseas graduates with Lower Second Class honours from approved universities will henceforth be allowed to take the Bar Examination. On the other hand, the law graduates from NUS and SMU are not required to pass Part A of the Bar Examination. The law graduates from both the local and approved foreign universities would have to complete the Postgraduate Law Course (PLC) which is expected to be revamped, and pass Part B of the Bar Examination at the end of PLC. This is likely to take place from 2010. Finally, the law graduate is required to complete a training contract with a Singapore Law practice as well as specified dining requirements. Upon fulfillment of the above requirements, he or she is admitted to the Singapore Bar.
1.8.4 There are other avenues for admission to the Singapore Bar, albeit more limited, for Queen’s Counsel and Malaysian practitioners.
1.8.5 With the increased internationalisation of legal services, legal education in
1.8.6 For the lawyer who chooses to set up a legal practice, one prominent feature of the legal landscape in recent times has been the proliferation of vehicles for the setting up of legal practices and cooperative alliances amongst the law firms. Apart from the erstwhile sole proprietorships and partnerships, the legal profession has also seen the creation of the law corporation with the associated benefits of limited liability. More recently, the introduction of limited liability partnerships in Singapore offers yet another vehicle for legal practice. A recent amendment to the Legal Profession Act provided that the Singapore law firms are entitled to employ appropriately qualified foreign lawyers to practise law subject to certain criteria, including appropriate qualifications, expertise and experience and the areas of legal practice of the lawyer and the law firm. The foreign lawyer may also own equity shares in the Singapore law firm subject to a cap of 25% and other conditions.
1.8.7 There also exists the avenue of forming Joint Law Ventures and Formal Law Alliances between foreign and local law firms (subject to the approval of the Attorney General) with the attendant advantages of marketing the venture or alliance as a single service provider and centralised billing for clients. Foreign lawyers who are employed by, or who are partners or directors of, the Joint Law Ventures may practise Singapore law, subject to certain requirements such as qualifications, expertise and experience and the restrictions on the areas of legal practice. Recently, Qualifying Foreign Law Practice (QFLP) licences have been granted to selected foreign law firms in December 2008 to allow them to practise
1.8.8 In recent years, there is a concern that a sizeable proportion of the
Discipline of the Legal Profession and Professional Ethics
1.8.9 To maintain discipline within the legal profession, the Supreme Court wields considerable power over both practising and non-practising Advocates and Solicitors. Sanctions include striking the lawyer off the Roll, suspension for a specified period and censure. The precise sanction administered depends on the severity of the lawyer’s misconduct, defect of character and other acts and omissions.
1.8.10 In order to bolster the public's confidence in the law and the legal profession, Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong and the Judiciary have been emphasizing the imperative of ethical and socially responsible conduct of lawyers. They are mindful that the errant behaviour of a few members of the bar, if left unchecked, can have a detrimental effect on professional values and ethics as well as the public confidence in the legal profession.
Lawyers’ Fees and Legal Aid
1.8.11 Whilst lawyers' fees in
1.8.12 In recognition of the legal profession's social responsibility in making legal services accessible to the public, the Law Society's Pro Bono Services Office, established on 1 August 2007, coordinates and administers all of its pro bono initiatives such as the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme (CLAS - for needy accused persons), Project Law Help, Community Legal Clinics at the Community Development Councils as well as initiatives to raise public awareness of the law.
1.8.13 Apart from the law schools, law firms and corporations as well as the Board of Legal Education, two other important statutory bodies serve the legal community in
1.9.1 Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is growing rapidly in importance in
1.9.2 In tandem with Singapore’s quest to be a total business centre, great efforts have been expended towards making Singapore a major centre for dispute resolution (similar to London, New York and Paris). The Singapore Government is a strong proponent of ADR and has put in place substantive institutional and infrastructural framework to support this endeavour. The Judiciary is also firmly behind the ADR initiatives in settling disputes and its Rules of Court (Cap 322, Rule 5, 1999 Rev Ed) provide ample opportunity for ADR even within a litigation setting. Various modes of ADR could still be relied upon even if litigation proceedings have begun. For instance, litigants or their legal representatives may either apply to the court for the matter to be referred to mediation, or directly to the Singapore Mediation Centre itself.
1.9.3 In 1986,
1.9.4 In 1991, the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) was established. This was followed by the establishment of the Singapore Mediation Centre (SMC) in 1997. In 1994, mediation of civil disputes was first introduced in the Subordinate Courts through the Court Mediation Centre. Since then, mediation is routinely conducted in the Small Claims Tribunals, the Family Court, the Juvenile Courts, and the Ministry of Community, Youth and Sports’ Maintenance of Parents Tribunal (Cap 167B). In "e@dr" (http://app.subcourts.gov.sg/e-adr/index.aspx), electronic technology has been harnessed for parties in e-commerce transactions to resolve their disputes through the internet. Further, the Law Society Arbitration Scheme (LSAS), launched on 1 August 2007, is a scheme that is designed to provide a simple and cost-effective process to resolve disputes via arbitration. The LSAS has its own set of arbitration rules, panel of arbitrators as well as a prescribed scale for arbitrators' fees.
1.9.5 Taking advantage of its efficient and effective legal system and ADR framework, Singapore has sought to capitalise on these attributes to secure foreign partners to Singapore. For instance, the American Arbitration Association has entered into a joint venture agreement with SIAC to set up an arbitral institution in Singapore. In September 2007, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) established its first Asian centre in Singapore to cater to the growing demand and importance of arbitration in resolving international disputes in which at least one party is a state, state-entity, or inter-governmental organisation.
1.9.6 Singapore is developing an integrated arbitration complex with state-of-the-art facilities available round the clock to meet the needs of high-end arbitration work. This complex in the heart of the Central Business District is expected to be ready by late 2009. To further enhance Singapore's attractiveness for high-end arbitration work, the government grants 50 per cent tax exemption on a (local and foreign) law firm's incremental qualifying income on international arbitration activity for cases which result in hearings in Singapore. Since 2004, foreign lawyers can represent parties in arbitration proceedings governed by the Arbitration Act or the International Arbitration Act.
1.9.7 As part of the national effort to foster a mediation culture, the Community Mediation Centres Act (Cap 49A, 1998 Rev Ed) was enacted in 1997 to spearhead the community mediation endeavour, which is seen as an effective means of settling relational disputes on the ground, especially in multi-racial, multi-religious
1.9.8 In May 2008, the
1.10.1 To promote the Singapore legal industry, the SingaporeLaw initiative, supported by the Singapore Academy of Law and the Ministry of Law, was launched in 2006. This initiative seeks to increase the international profile and use of Singapore law and to promote Singapore as a centre for dispute resolution as well as an international provider of legal services. In particular, recent efforts are directed at attracting Indian and Chinese parties in their disputes with foreign parties to use Singapore as a neutral seat of arbitration.
1.10.2 The thrust of these efforts is to ensure that Singapore remains and enhances its cachet as an international centre for the provision of (inward and outbound) legal services. In particular, the emphasis is on encouraging foreign parties to choose Singapore as a partner for ‘legal solutions in Asia’ with the following significant platforms promoted: (1) Singapore law as the law of choice governing contracts involving Asian parties; (2) Singapore as the ‘natural choice’ venue for dispute resolution, especially mediation and arbitration.
1.10.3 In tandem with the promotion of
1.11.1 The drive towards legal autochthony continues and the legal innovations will continue in the never-ending quest for the legal system to be both effective and efficient while according justice on the basis of fairness, equity and impartiality. For the
1.11.2 The Government recognises the importance of law in maintaining political and social order as well as engendering conducive conditions for economic activity. Indeed, law is regarded as a fundamental economic value, which must be carefully nurtured and harnessed to enhance
Updated as at 13 April 2009
By: Eugene Tan and Gary Chan
School of Law
Singapore Management University
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