Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

1995

Abstract

The fundamental liberties in our Constitution involve a study of tensions: between an individual's rights and the community's interests, between the role of the judiciary on the one hand and the executive and legislature on the other. How we should interpret them depends on where we think equilibrium should be established. This depends on two main factors. The first is the proper function of the judiciary as laid down by our Constitution, which is discussed in Part I of this article. The second is the nature of our fundamental liberties, for they are worded with varying degrees of generality. ... Part II looks at two general approaches to constitutional interpretation and explains why one of them - moderate textualism - should be adopted by the courts. Finally, Part III illustrates moderate textualism in action by proposing a reinterpretation of Art 9(1) of the Constitution. This is the thrust of the article: our judges, charged by the supreme law of the land with responsibility to interpret our fundamental liberties freely where such freedom is due, must rediscover their proper constitutional role.

Keywords

Constitutional law, role of judges in constitutional interpretation, moderate textualism, bill of rights, civil liberties, fundamental liberties, human rights

Discipline

Asian Studies | Constitutional Law

Research Areas

Law, Society and Governance

Publication

Singapore Law Review

Volume

16

First Page

157

Last Page

211

ISSN

0080-9691

Publisher

National University of Singapore Faculty of Law

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Additional URL

http://ssrn.com/abstract=643404

Share

COinS