The Relationship between International Law and Domestic Law

Siyuan CHEN, Singapore Management University


The Court of Appeal in Yong Vui Kong v PP [2010] 3 SLR 489 recently addressed at length the issue of the constitutionality of the mandatory death penalty. In the main, the appellant had argued that the mandatory death penalty was unconstitutional because it violated Art 9(1) of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore (1999 Rev Ed), which states that: “No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty save in accordance with law.” The court ultimately rejected this argument. This piece focuses on the main international law issue emanating from the said constitutional challenge, viz, the relationship between international law and domestic law.