'Don't Ever Take a Fence Down Until You Know the Reason it Was Put Up' - Singapore Communitarianism and the Case for Conserving 377A

48 Pages Posted: 16 Feb 2009

See all articles by Yvonne C.L. Lee

Yvonne C.L. Lee

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Faculty of Law

Date Written: December 31, 2008

Abstract

A rare parliamentary petition which sought the repeal of section 377A of the Penal Code that criminalises acts of gross indecency between male adults, was presented and debated in Parliament in October 2007. This article critically examines the constitutional law dimension and issues in relation to the 377A debate in Singapore. It highlights the primary jurisprudential thrust of the competing arguments and assumptions. It advances and defends the communitarian case for preserving 377A which the author argues is both normatively desirable and empirically reflective of existing Singapore law and policy. With particular regard to the Singapore context, it reflects on howdemocratic societies should address questions of law and profound moral disagreement, the importance of civil debate, and whether the legislative or judicial forum is most appropriate for making decisions on morally controversial questions.

Suggested Citation

Lee, Yvonne C.L., 'Don't Ever Take a Fence Down Until You Know the Reason it Was Put Up' - Singapore Communitarianism and the Case for Conserving 377A (December 31, 2008). Singapore Journal of Legal Studies, Vol. pp. 347-394, December 2008, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1344159

Yvonne C.L. Lee (Contact Author)

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Faculty of Law ( email )

469G Bukit Timah Road
Eu Tong Sen Building
Singapore, 259776
Singapore

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