Statutory Interpretation in Singapore: 15 Years on from Legislative Reform
More than 15 years ago, the Singapore Parliament passed legislation in 1993 directing the courts to prefer an interpretation that would promote the purpose or object underlying any written law. That same legislation also contained guidance on when extrinsic materials may be referred to in ascertaining the meaning of a statutory provision, as well as the type of materials which may be considered in such circumstances. This article provides an update on the 15th anniversary of the aforementioned legislative reform on statutory interpretation in Singapore, shedding light on the remarkable transformation in the approach taken by the Singapore courts towards statutory interpretation: indeed, from an initially cautious approach, the Singapore courts have now adopted an extremely expansive view of the effects of the 1993 reform. This article outlines some problems for the future, along with the attendant suggested solutions, for further consideration. It is hoped that the account provided in this article will be of interest to the particular issue of the local approach in statutory interpretation and, more broadly, to the universal and enduring problem of the proper approach towards statutory interpretation.
Asian Studies | Legislation
Law, Society and Governance
Singapore Academy of Law Journal
Singapore Academy of Law
Statutory Interpretation in Singapore: 15 Years on from Legislative Reform. (2009). Singapore Academy of Law Journal. 21, (1), 97-134. Research Collection School Of Law.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/sol_research/1406