Full Powers and the Constitutional Doctrine of Implied Amendments

33 Pages Posted: 29 Dec 2019

See all articles by Benjamin Low

Benjamin Low

National University of Singapore (NUS), Faculty of Law, Students

Date Written: 2019

Abstract

This article makes the case for the applicability of the doctrine of implied amendments to the Constitution of Singapore. The first part of this article tracks the origins and judicial development of the doctrine of implied amendments across the common law jurisdictions of Australia, Sri Lanka and Jamaica. The second part analyses whether the doctrine of implied amendments is applicable within the constitutional paradigm of Singapore based on a plain, textualist approach towards the Singapore Constitution. It also evaluates and analyses the historical academic and judicial treatment of the doctrine in Singapore, if any. The final part explores the normative justifications for adopting the doctrine of implied amendments, namely that it upholds the 'flexible constitutionalism' that characterises Singapore's constitutional system, and best weds the legal nature of the Westminster system of parliamentary democracy and sovereignty to the concept of a legal system predicated on constitutional supremacy.

Suggested Citation

Low, Benjamin, Full Powers and the Constitutional Doctrine of Implied Amendments (2019). Singapore Journal of Legal Studies, September 2019, pp 390-422. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3508489

Benjamin Low (Contact Author)

National University of Singapore (NUS), Faculty of Law, Students ( email )

Singapore

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