Measuring the Transplantation of English Commercial Law in a Small Jurisdiction: An Empirical Study of Singapore's Insurance Judgments between 1965 and 2012
38 Pages Posted: 21 Sep 2014 Last revised: 3 Dec 2014
Date Written: June 30, 2014
This Article seeks to measure the development of law after transplanting common law and statutes from another country by conducting an empirical study of the citation of precedents and demography of disputes of insurance cases in Singapore. This Article recognizes that there are justifications for Singapore to transplant English insurance law. However, this research shows that the transplantation of English commercial law into a small jurisdiction, even within the common-law family, may cause the law to be in a static state if courts do not have enough cases to maintain the development of law or to consider new developments in England. Copying English statutes completely would not solve most doctrinal problems when a large number of disputes are about contractual construction rather than doctrinal application. Instead of relying on courts to move the law forward, this Article argues that legislative reform is necessary in the future to modernize Singapore’s insurance law. In light of recent developments in England, whether Singapore needs to transplant new English statutes will be an issue that Singapore legislators might consider in the near future.
Keywords: Legal transplantation; Singapore; insurance law; law reform
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