New Approaches to the Constitutional Guarantee of Equality Before the Law
(2016) 28 Singapore Academy of Law Journal 320
27 Pages Posted: 15 Oct 2020
Date Written: March 16, 2016
In a recent series of challenges to Section 377A of the Penal Code, the courts have developed the jurisprudence on review of legislation under Art 12(1) of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore (1985 Rev Ed, 1999 Reprint) (“the Constitution”). Both the High Court and the Court of Appeal set a very high (but not insurmountable) threshold, but each did so in a different manner due to differing conceptions of equality. A critical examination of both approaches shows that the courts’ conclusions are ultimately defensible more as a means of disposing of the instant case than as a watertight doctrinal foundation for Art 12(1) adjudication. The judgments also bring up other miscellaneous areas for further development.
Keywords: Singapore, 377A, constitutional review, equality before the law, equal protection, sexual orientation
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