Equal Protection and the Reasonable Classification Test in Singapore: After Lim Meng Suang v. Attorney-General

Singapore Journal of Legal Studies, p.95, Mar 2016

23 Pages Posted: 11 Apr 2016

See all articles by Jaclyn L. Neo

Jaclyn L. Neo

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Faculty of Law; National University of Singapore (NUS) - Centre for Asian Legal Studies (CALS); National University of Singapore (NUS) - Centre for International Law

Date Written: March 1, 2016

Abstract

The realisation of the almost universally accepted ideal of equality as a legal doctrine is complicated by the fact that differentiation is an inherent part of regulation in the modern state. In Singapore, the courts have regarded the Constitution’s injunction for the equal protection of the law to be a relative, rather than an absolute, concept. Differentiating laws therefore only has to satisfy a reasonable classification test in order to pass constitutional muster. This article argues that despite recent judgments elaborating upon the scope and meaning of the equality clause, there remains at least three areas in need of further judicial elucidation. It further argues that the reasonable classification test as it now stands is sufficiently capacious for the courts to read substantive content into the equality provision should a suitable case arise in the future.

Suggested Citation

Neo, Jaclyn L, Equal Protection and the Reasonable Classification Test in Singapore: After Lim Meng Suang v. Attorney-General (March 1, 2016). Singapore Journal of Legal Studies, p.95, Mar 2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2762132

Jaclyn L Neo (Contact Author)

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

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

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Centre for Asian Legal Studies (CALS) ( email )

469G Bukit Timah Road
Singapore

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Centre for International Law ( email )

Block B, #02-01
469 Bukit Timah Road
Singapore, 259776
Singapore

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