Sedition and its New Clothes in Singapore
Yock Lin Tan
National University of Singapore (NUS) - Faculty of Law
July 31, 2011
Singapore Journal of Legal Studies, pp. 212-236, July 2011
In all the important common law jurisdictions surveyed here, seditious libel means defiance or censure of constituted authority leading to foreseeable harm to public order. In sharp contrast, the Sedition Act in Singapore, it was recently decided, makes allegations of censure of constituted authority and foreseeable harm to public order unnecessary, with the result that the offense, created by s. 3(1)(e) read with s. 4 of the Sedition Act, is transformed into a hybrid offense of blasphemous libel wider than the offense of blasphemous libel against a group of persons created by s. 153A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and the common law offense of blasphemous libel. This article argues that the decision cannot be defended and that furthermore, where the constitutional freedom of expression of a citizen is implicated, the Singapore Constitution would require the Sedition Act to be modified in order to differentiate between class divisive publications that threaten public order and those that do not.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 25Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: November 29, 2011
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