“Intimations of Proportionality? The Singapore Constitution and Rights Protection. Wham Kwok Han Jolovan and Public Prosecutor”Alec Stone Sweet
Singapore Journal of Legal Studies
Published in 2021
Abstract: Wham Kwok Han Jolovan v Public Prosecutor is potentially the most important constitutional decision ever rendered by the Singapore Court of Appeal, insofar as it heralds a new and more intrusive approach to the judicial review of rights claims in Singapore. The ruling expressly overturned deference postures associated with the "presumption of constitutionality," at least with respect to Article 14 of the Constitution; it consolidated dicta announcing the reconfiguration of separation of powers doctrines; and it developed and deployed a rudimentary, if yet incomplete, form of proportionality review to assess the legality of legislation adopted under Article 14's limitation clause. The note analyses these changes from a comparative perspective, in light of the difficulties foreign apex courts have had in fully transitioning to a more balancing-friendly approach to rights adjudication.