Assistant Professor of Law
School of Law, SMU
THE SINGAPORE COURTS have been taking an approach that is very deferential to the political branches of the government – the executive and the legislature. This doesn’t mean that they are deliberately biased in favour of these branches, for example because they have been induced to do so. It means that there is a judicial attitude of giving the political branches much leeway, assuming that action taken by the executive or legislation passed by Parliament is constitutional unless such acts are completely absurd or arbitrary.
This extremely high standard stems from the courts’ view of their role in the constitutional system. I would like to suggest that this view means that the courts have limited their role of upholding the Constitution unnecessarily. Continue reading