Judicial Precedent in Emerging Constitutional Jurisdictions: Formulating a Doctrine of Constitutional Stare Decisis for Singapore

(2020) 7(1) Journal of International and Comparative Law 127

Posted: 12 Aug 2020

See all articles by Kenny Chng

Kenny Chng

Singapore Management University

Date Written: November 24, 2017

Abstract

The binding effect of judicial precedents in constitutional law — constitutional stare decisis — raises unique considerations. Being authoritative pronouncements on the proper interpretation of the Constitution, judicial precedents are essential for the effective working of constitutional governance as components of constitutional law: but they are merely judicial precedents and as such susceptible to being overturned. These considerations have been the subject of significant attention in mature constitutional jurisdictions. For instance, in the US Supreme Court, there is a well-established doctrinal framework within which stare decisis operates. However, there does not appear to be in younger constitutional democracies the same serious consideration of how the doctrine of stare decisis should operate in the area of constitutional law. This paper aims to investigate how younger constitutional jurisdictions, such as Singapore, can draw upon the experience of other jurisdictions in this regard, and will seek to propose a principled constitutional stare decisis framework that builds upon such experience and is normatively justifiable in the Singapore context.

Suggested Citation

Chng, Kenny, Judicial Precedent in Emerging Constitutional Jurisdictions: Formulating a Doctrine of Constitutional Stare Decisis for Singapore (November 24, 2017). (2020) 7(1) Journal of International and Comparative Law 127, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3077069

Kenny Chng (Contact Author)

Singapore Management University ( email )

Li Ka Shing Library
70 Stamford Road
Singapore 178901, 178899
Singapore

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