The Theoretical Foundations of Judicial Review in Singapore

Posted: 8 Feb 2019 Last revised: 3 Sep 2019

See all articles by Kenny Chng

Kenny Chng

Singapore Management University

Date Written: January 26, 2019


The theoretical foundation of judicial review of administrative action has been the subject of fierce debate among English scholars: the source jurisdiction of much of public law in Singapore. In contrast, there is comparatively little attention paid to the question of the particular theoretical foundations of judicial review in Singapore. Indeed, there is an inclination in Singapore case law and academia towards importing English theories of judicial review. Accordingly, this paper aims to contribute to the formulation of a proper theoretical foundation for judicial review in Singapore. It argues that with a proper understanding of the competing English theories of judicial review, it will be apparent that they are not readily transplantable to Singapore. As such, a unique theory of judicial review stands to be formulated in Singapore. A proper articulation of judicial review theory can have significant consequences for judicial review doctrine: this paper uses case law relating to ouster clauses to exemplify this point.

Suggested Citation

Chng, Kenny, The Theoretical Foundations of Judicial Review in Singapore (January 26, 2019). Singapore Journal of Legal Studies, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN:

Kenny Chng (Contact Author)

Singapore Management University ( email )

Li Ka Shing Library
70 Stamford Road
Singapore 178901, 178899

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