Title

Streamlining Procedures for Judicial Review: Legislative Amendments to the Singapore Rules of Court to Enhance Access to Justice

Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2014

Abstract

Judicial review cannot serve as an effective check on administrative action unless aggrieved applicants have a real way to access the courts to obtain relief. In an admirable, albeit belated move, significant amendments were made to the Singapore Rules of Court to remove the procedural strictures inherited from the pre-1977 UK system. The amendments allow an applicant to seek a declaration in addition to the traditional prerogative orders and recover damages within the same proceedings if the applicant can prove that he/she would have had a valid claim in a private law action. This article examines the mischief that the amendments sought to cure, which stemmed from overly technical rules that hitherto plagued such applications. It is argued that the changes are underpinned by a desire to allow greater access to justice by facilitating the review process. In a bid to create a litigation-friendly environment, and having learnt from the UK experience, the Singapore rule makers eschewed aspects of the UK reforms. In so doing, the amendments have largely achieved their goals, but there remain areas of uncertainty to be resolved. This article examines possible further refinements to the procedures, bearing in mind the central philosophy of access to justice.

Discipline

Asian Studies | Legislation | State and Local Government Law

Research Areas

Law, Society and Governance

Publication

Statute Law Review

Volume

35

Issue

1

First Page

1

Last Page

18

ISSN

0144-3593

Identifier

10.1093/slr/hmt014

Publisher

Oxford University Press

Additional URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/slr/hmt014