Special Feature on Symposium on Contemporary Issues in Public Law: Revisiting Taxonomies and Truisms in Administrative Law in Singapore

26 Pages Posted: 24 Dec 2019

See all articles by Swati Jhaveri

Swati Jhaveri

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Faculty of Law

Date Written: 2019

Abstract

This paper confronts the continued viability of two entrenched features of administrative law in Singapore. First, it argues that the taxonomy for organising the grounds of judicial review (illegality, irrationality and procedural fairness) is likely to be incrementally tested in Singapore through the development of newer grounds of judicial review. This paper looks at three particular grounds of review to exemplify this: review for errors of law; review for errors of fact and the doctrine of substantive legitimate expectations. Secondly, and related to the first, the paper interrogates the continued utility of the 'truism' that courts should only review the 'legality' and not the 'merits' of executive decision-making. It argues that this may no longer be an optimal way of balancing the various competing constitutional imperatives at play when determining the appropriate scope of judicial review by courts. Following this critique, the paper provides preliminary thoughts on two modest proposals for how administrative law can move forward to account for the developments that are testing these features of the law. It proposes: (a) a gradual and incremental move away from a taxonomy or categorisation of grounds of review to an approach organised around varying the nature and intensity of review to demarcate the scope and boundaries of judicial review; and (b) a more intentional and careful consideration of the way in which remedies are pleaded by applicants and framed by the courts in their rulings.

Suggested Citation

Jhaveri, Swati, Special Feature on Symposium on Contemporary Issues in Public Law: Revisiting Taxonomies and Truisms in Administrative Law in Singapore (2019). Singapore Journal of Legal Studies, Sept. 2019, pp 351-376, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3508486

Swati Jhaveri (Contact Author)

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

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

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