Title

Activism on arbitrary detention, the suspension of law

Publication Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date

1-2017

Abstract

Article 9 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) asserts that “[n]o one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile“.I Despite this, Singapore has a protracted history of arbitrary detention- originating from the Emergency Regulations, introduced under British imperialism in 1948 (NLB n.d.), before the Preservation of Public Security Ordinance (PPSO) was legislated under the first Chief Minister David Marshall’s governance in 1955 (Poh 2015a). The current incarnation — the Internal Security Act (ISA) — was adopted during the 1963 Singapore—Malaya merger and amended in 1989 following a landmark lawsuit.This chapter defines arbitrary detention according to the three criteria established by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, Resolution No.1997/50.2 First, what constitutes as ‘arbitrary’ includes the lack of legal basis to justify detention, thereby keeping an individual in detention as opposed to charging him or her in court. Second, arbitrary detention entails “deprivation of liberty”.“ Third, detention is arbitrary when detainees are unable to exercise “the right to a fair trial”.4 Arbitrary detention in Singapore, therefore, is not confined to the ISA. Under the Criminal Law (Temporary Provisions) Act (CIII‘I’A), the Minister of Home Affairs may direct a “person [to] be detained for any period not exceeding one year” in the “interests of public safety, peace and good order”.5 The Misuse of Drugs Act (MoDA) specifies that a person can be detained if he or she is “reasonably suspected] to be a drug addict”,° and further provides for “presumption” of liability until proven the contrary"

Discipline

Dispute Resolution and Arbitration

Publication

A History of Human Rights Society in Singapore: 1965-2015

Editor

Jiyoung Song

First Page

70

Last Page

95

ISBN

9781315527406

Identifier

10.4324/9781315527413

Publisher

Routledge

City or Country

London

Additional URL

http://doi.org./10.4324/9781315527413

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