Special Feature on Symposium on Contemporary Issues in Public Law: Standing Up for Your Rights: A Review of the Law of Standing in Judicial Review in Singapore
35 Pages Posted: 24 Dec 2019
Date Written: 2019
There are two types of rules on standing to apply for judicial review of legislation or executive action on constitutional grounds. 'Interest-based' rules grant standing to a person who can demonstrate a 'sufficient interest' in the subject matter of the application. 'Rights-based' rules require the applicant to identify a specific constitutional right vested in him that has allegedly been violated. Singapore's standing rules are now rights-based. Rights-based standing rules are distinctively advantageous as they provide a forum for the courts to develop the content of constitutional rights as part of the standing inquiry; such development is not always possible at later stages of the litigation process. Unfortunately, this benefit of rights-based standing rules is obscured because Singapore's standing rules are overly complicated and not doctrinally consistent. This paper argues for a simplification of the present standing rules to fully realise the benefit of rights-based standing rules. While the paper focuses on judicial review on constitutional grounds, it concludes with observations on how standing rules may be similarly clarified in the field of administrative law and without abandoning the rights-based framework.
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