Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Judicial Independence in Dominant Party States: Singapore's Possibilities for China

  • Lance ANG (a1) and Jiangyu WANG (a2)

Abstract

Courts in China are often criticized for lacking ‘independence’ from the Chinese party-state. Entrenched perceptions of interference in the judiciary by the political branches of government have continued to fuel public resentment in recent years, risking the legitimacy of the party-state. Such criticisms, however, often fail to appreciate the complex political reality in China and the evolving role of Chinese courts following China's incremental legal reforms since the reform era. What does ‘judicial independence’ mean in the context of a socialist rule of law state such as China? More importantly, can we identify the touchstone of ‘independence’ that should be intrinsic in any judicial institution? In recognition of the resilience of the Chinese party-state in the foreseeable future, the authors contend that widening the scope of judicial independence, as conceptualized herein, in line with China's ongoing judicial reforms provides a better tool for promoting economic development and good governance and enhancing the state's legitimacy in a dominant party state. In this regard, insights are drawn from Singapore, which presents two broad lessons for China: first, a rule of law framework can be established in which the state in a non-Western liberal democracy respects the autonomy of the courts and the judiciary strictly enforces the law enacted by the state within its institutional limits; second, judicial pragmatism in the exercise of judicial power enables the courts to ensure that governmental power is exercised in accordance with the principle of legality, which ensures good governance in a polity governed by a strong state. Contrary to claims that such reforms may serve as an apology for power in China, it is hoped that such reforms may lay the foundation for normative constitutionalism in the future.

Copyright

Footnotes

Hide All
*

Research Associate, Centre for Asian Legal Studies, Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore.

Director, Asian Law Institute and Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore.

Prior versions of this article were presented at the workshop on ‘Political Parties, Partisanship, and the Constitution’ at the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights, University of Oxford in 2019, the conference on ‘Judicial Cooperation and Judicial Reform in China’ at the City University of Hong Kong in 2019, and the conference on ‘Judicial Reform and Political Development in China’ at the National University of Singapore (NUS) in 2013. The authors wish to thank the anonymous reviewers, fellow academic colleagues, Dr Ewan Smith, Professor Arun Thiruvengadam, as well as the participants in the said workshops for their helpful comments, and the Centre for Asian Legal Studies at the NUS Faculty of Law for its support and funding.

Footnotes

References

Hide All

1. In 1978, former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew told Deng: ‘Whatever we have done, you can do better because we are the descendants of the landless peasants of south China. You have the scholars, you have the scientists, you have the specialists. Whatever we do, you will do better’: Sun Xi, ‘New era of mutual learning for China and Singapore’ (Global-is-Asian, 1 Aug 2018) <https://lkyspp.nus.edu.sg/gia/article/new-era-of-mutual-learning-for-china-and-singapore> accessed 3 Sep 2019.

2. Vogel, Ezra F, Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China (Harvard University Press 2011) 287291; Lim, Kean Fan & Horesh, Niv, ‘The “Singapore Fever” in China: Policy Mobility and Mutation’ (2016) 228 The China Quarterly 992, 1001; Thompson, Mark R, ‘From Japan's “Prussian Path” to China's “Singapore Model”: Learning Authoritarian Developmentalism’, in Carroll, Toby & Jarvis, Darryl SL (eds), Asia after the Developmental State: Disembedding Autonomy (Cambridge University Press 2017) 163; Kai, Yang & Ortmann, Stephan, ‘From Sweden to Singapore: The Relevance of Foreign Models for China's Rise’ (2018) 236 The China Quarterly 946, 947; Liu, Hong & Wang, Ting-Yan, ‘China and the “Singapore Model”: Perspectives from Mid-level Cadres and Implications for Transnational Knowledge Transfer’ (2018) 236 The China Quarterly 988, 988. Whilst these and other works cited in this article have provided broad characterizations of Singapore and China (and these countries’ institutions) for their respective purposes, these characterizations do not necessarily reflect the views of the authors for the purpose of this article.

3. Opening Address by Singapore Senior Minister of State for Law and Health Edwin Tong at the China-Singapore International Commercial Dispute Resolution Conference (Beijing, China, 24 Jan 2019) <www.gov.sg/~/sgpcmedia/media_releases/minlaw/speech/S-20190124-1/attachment/SMS%20Speech%20China%20Singapore%20International%20Commercial%20Dispute%20Resolution%20Conference%20240119%20.pdf> accessed 3 Sep 2019; Ministry of Social and Family Development, ‘3rd Singapore-China Social Governance Forum On “Governance In A Diverse Society”’ (Press release, Ministry of Social and Family Development, 17 May 2016) <www.msf.gov.sg/media-room/Pages/3rd-Singapore-China-Social-Governance-Forum-on-'Governance-in-a-Diverse-Society'.aspx> accessed 3 Sep 2019.

4. Ormann, Stephan & Thompson, Mark R, ‘Introduction: The “Singapore Model” and China's Neo-Authoritarian Dream’ (2018) 236 The China Quarterly 930, 934.

5. Liu & Wang (n 2) 1003.

6. Opening Address by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean at the Fifth Singapore-China Forum on Leadership’ (China Executive Leadership Academy Jinggangshan, Jiangxi, 10 Apr 2015) para 4 <www.psd.gov.sg/press-room/speeches/opening-address-by-deputy-prime-minister-teo-chee-hean-at-the-fifth-singapore-china-forum-on-leadership> accessed 3 Sep 2019.

7. Liu & Wang (n 2) 1002–1003.

8. Cheng-Han, Tan, Puchniak, Dan W & Varottil, Umakanth, ‘State-Owned Enterprises in Singapore: Historical Insights into a Potential Model for Reform’ (2015) 28 Columbia Journal of Asian Law 61, 6263.

9. Pei Minxin, ‘The Real Singapore Model’ Straits Times (31 Mar 2015) <www.straitstimes.com/opinion/the-real-singapore-model> accessed 3 Sep 2019; Thompson, Mark R & Ortmann, Stephan, ‘Mis-modelling Singapore: China's Challenges in Learning from the City-state’ (2018) 236 The China Quarterly 1014, 1022.

10. Peerenboom, Randall, China's Long March toward Rule of Law (Cambridge University Press 2002) 1.

11. State Council Information Office, ‘New Progress in the Legal Protection of Human Rights in China’ (White Paper, 15 Dec 2017) <http://english.scio.gov.cn/2017-12/15/content_50111031_0.htm> accessed 3 Sep 2019.

12. See generally Peerenboom, Randall, ‘Judicial Independence in China: Common Myths and Unfounded Assumptions’, in Peerenboom, Randall (ed), Judicial Independence in China: Lessons for Global Rule of Law Promotion (Cambridge University Press 2010); Li, Ling, ‘Corruption in China's Courts’, in Peerenboom, Randall (ed), Judicial Independence in China: Lessons for Global Rule of Law Promotion (Cambridge University Press 2010).

13. Michael Forsythe, ‘China's Chief Justice Rejects an Independent Judiciary, and Reformers Wince’ New York Times (18 Jan 2017) <www.nytimes.com/2017/01/18/world/asia/china-chief-justice-courts-zhou-qiang.html> accessed 3 Sep 2019.

14. See generally Peerenboom (n 12).

15. Supreme People's Court, ‘Court Reform in China’ (White Paper, 14 Mar 2017) <http://english.court.gov.cn/2017-03/14/content_28552928.htm> accessed 3 Sep 2019.

16. Benjamin Kang Lim, ‘Tiananmen 30 years on: A China that's averse to political reforms – for now’, Straits Times (4 Jun 2019) <https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/a-china-thats-averse-to-political-reforms-for-now> accessed 3 Sep 2019.

17. See eg Feng, Lin, ‘The Future of Judicial Independence in China’, in Lee, HP & Pittard, Marilyn (eds), Asia-Pacific Judiciaries: Independence, Impartiality and Integrity (Cambridge University Press 2017).

18. A ‘liberal’ state may be broadly described as a polity which prioritizes individual autonomy and a neutral government, which does not construct its own conception of the public good that is commonly associated with the West. For the purposes of this article, a ‘non-Western liberal’ state is one which may be distinguished from a ‘liberal’ state when viewed with reference to the latter. See Thio, Li-ann, ‘Constitutionalism in Illiberal Polities’, in Rosenfeld, Michel & Sajó, András (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Constitutional Law (Oxford University Press 2012) 134.

19. Singapore Parliament, Parliamentary Elections, 27 Aug 2008, Singapore Parliament Reports, vol 84, col 3406 (Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong); Speech by K Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law at the inaugural forum ‘A Free Press for a Global Society’ (Columbia University, 4 Nov 2010) <www.mlaw.gov.sg/news/speeches/speech-by-minister-for-home-affairs-and-minister-for-law-k-shanmugam-at-the-inaugural-forum-a.html> accessed 3 Sep 2019; Fu, Hualing, ‘Building Judicial Integrity in China’ (2016) 39 Hastings International and Comparative Law Review 167, 172; Thio Li-ann, ‘Between Apology and Apogee, Autochthony: The “Rule of Law” Beyond the Rules of Law in Singapore’ (2012) Singapore Journal of Legal Studies 269, 272. Some have termed this the ‘East Asian Model’ of development: Peerenboom, Randall, China Modernizes: Threat to the West or Model for the Rest? (Oxford University Press 2008) 61.

20. See eg Tushnet, Mark, ‘Authoritarian Constitutionalism’ (2015) 100 Cornell Law Review 391, 414; Lin, Chien-Chih, ‘Autocracy, Democracy, and Juristocracy: The Wax and Wane of Judicial Power in the Four Asian Tigers’ (2017) 48 Georgetown Journal of International Law 1063, 1139.

21. See Tushnet, Mark, ‘Preserving Judicial Independence in Dominant Party States’ (2015) 60 New York Law School Law Review 107, 109111.

22. Clarke, Donald C, ‘Puzzling Observations in Chinese Law: When Is a Riddle Just a Mistake?’, in Hsu, C Stephen (ed), Understanding China's Legal System: Essays in Honor of Jerome A. Cohen (New York University Press 2003).

23. Prado, Mariana & Trebilcock, Michael, ‘Path Dependence, Development, and the Dynamics of Institutional Reform’ (2009) 59 University of Toronto Law Journal 341.

24. See generally Republic of Singapore, ‘Report of the Constitutional Commission 1966’ (Singapore Government Printer 1966); Chen, Weitseng, ‘Twins of Opposites: Why China Will Not Follow Taiwan's Model of Rule of Law Transition Toward Democracy’ (2018) 66 American Journal of Comparative Law 481, 517.

25. Graber, Mark A, Levinson, Sanford & Tushnet, Mark, ‘Constitutional Democracy in Crisis?: Introduction’, in Graber, Mark A, Levinson, Sanford & Tushnet, Mark (eds), Constitutional Democracy in Crisis? (Oxford University Press 2018).

26. 习近平(Xi Jinping),‘决胜全面建成小康社会,夺取新时代中国特色社会主义伟大胜利 [Secure a Decisive Victory in Building a Moderately Prosperous Society in All Respects and Strive for the Great Success of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era]’ 人民日报 People's Daily (28 Oct 2017) 2.

27. See generally Graber, Levinson & Tushnet (n 25).

28. See eg Tushnet (n 20); Perry, John Curtis, Singapore: Unlikely Power (Oxford University Press 2017) 237 (drawing comparisons between the Chinese and Singapore models of governance).

29. Vanberg, Georg, ‘Establishing and Maintaining Judicial Independence’, in Whittington, Keith E, Kelemen, R Daniel & Caldeira, Gregory A (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Law and Politics (Oxford University Press 2008) 101.

30. Raz, Joseph, The Authority of Law: Essays on Law and Morality (Clarendon 1979) 215218.

31. Joseph Raz, ‘The Law's Own Virtue’ (2019) 39 Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 1, 1, 5, 8.

32. International Association of Judicial Independence and World Peace, ‘Mount Scopus International Standards of Judicial Independence’ (International Project of Judicial Independence 2018) <https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/a1a798_21e6dfdcb80a44d388ed136999ddf63d.pdf> accessed 3 Sep 2019.

33. See eg Helmke, Gretchen & Rosenbluth, Frances, ‘Regimes and the Rule of Law: Judicial Independence in Comparative Perspective’ (2009) 12 Annual Review of Political Science 345; Melton, James & Ginsburg, Tom, ‘Does De Jure Judicial Independence Really Matter? A Reevaluation of Explanations for Judicial Independence’ (2014) 2 Journal of Law and Courts 187.

34. See eg the Mt Scopus Standards which sets out the broad framework for judicial independence drawn from a variety of international instruments: International Association of Judicial Independence and World Peace (n 32).

35. Vanberg (n 29).

36. Bingham, Tom, The Rule of Law (Penguin 2011) 92.

37. Sundaresh Menon (Chief Justice of Singapore), ‘Taming the Unruly Horse: The Treatment of Public Policy Arguments in the Courts’ (Address at the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, 19 Feb 2019) para 33 <https://www.supremecourt.gov.sg/Data/Editor/Documents/Public%20Policy%20Lecture%20-%2019Feb2019.pdf> accessed 3 Sep 2019.

38. Huddart Parker Pty Ltd v Moorehead (1909) 8 CLR 330.

39. Smilov, Daniel, ‘The Judiciary: The Least Dangerous Branch?’, in Rosenfeld, Michel & Sajó, András (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Constitutional Law (Oxford University Press 2012) 860.

40. Hirschl, Ran, ‘The Judicialization of Politics’, in Whittington, Keith E, Keleman, R Daniel & Caldeira, Gregory A (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Law and Politics (Oxford University Press 2008) 120.

41. See eg Ferejohn, John, Rosenbluth, Frances & Shipan, Charles R, ‘Comparative Judicial Politics’, in Boix, Carles & Stokes, Susan C (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Politics (Oxford University Press 2009) 745746.

42. R (Pro-LifeAlliance) v British Broadcasting Corp [2003] UKHL 23, [2004] 1 AC 185 [76].

43. Vanberg (n 29) 101–102.

44. Planned Parenthood v Casey (1992) 505 US 833.

45. Balme, Stéphanie & Dowdle, Michael W, ‘Introduction: Exploring for Constitutionalism in 21st Century China’, in Balme, Stéphanie & Dowdle, Michael W (eds), Building Constitutionalism in China (Palgrave Macmillan 2009) 4.

46. Vanberg (n 29) 105–106.

47. Elkins, Zachary & Melton, James, ‘The Content of Authoritarian Constitutions’, in Ginsburg, Tom & Simpser, Alberto (eds), Constitutions in Authoritarian Regimes (Cambridge University Press 2014) 156157.

48. 中华人民共和国宪法 [Constitution of the People's Republic of China] (adopted 4 Dec 1982) (PRC Constitution), arts 128, 131.

49. Zhang, Qianfan, The Constitution of China: A Contextual Analysis (Hart 2012) 178179.

50. Li, Ling, ‘The Chinese Communist Party and People's Courts: Judicial Dependence in China’ (2016) 64 American Journal of Comparative Law 37, 49.

51. PRC Constitution, art 128.

52. ibid, art 1.

53. Fu (n 19) 168–169.

54. 中华人民共和国宪法修正案 (2018) [Amendments to the Constitution of the People's Republic of China (2018)], adopted on 11 Mar 2018 at the First Session of the 13th National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China, Amendment 36.

55. Lin, Delia, ‘The CCP's Exploitation of Confucianism and Legalism’, in Lam, Willy Wo-Lap (ed), Routledge Handbook of the Chinese Communist Party (Routledge 2017) 47.

56. Trevaskes, Susan, ‘Weaponising the Rule of Law in China’, in Sapio, Flora et al. (eds), Justice: The China Experience (Cambridge University Press 2017) 113114.

57. Li (n 50) 49–51.

58. Minzner, Carl, End of an Era: How China's Authoritarian Revival is Undermining its Rise (Oxford University Press 2018) 104.

59. Schmitt, Carl, Political Theology: Four Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty (University of Chicago Press 2005) 1.

60. Carl F Minzner, ‘China's Turn Against Law’ (2011) 59 American Journal of Comparative Law 935.

61. 中共中央关于全面推进依法治国若干重大问题的决定 [Decision of the Central Committee of the CCP on Some Major Issues Concerning Comprehensively Promoting the Rule of Law] (Fourth Plenum Decision), issued 23 Oct 2014 by the Fourth Plenary Session of the 18th Politburo of the Communist Party of China <http://cpc.people.com.cn/n/2014/1029/c64387-25927606.html> accessed 3 Sep 2019. This was the first time in the CCP's history that an entire Plenum was devoted to discussions on the rule of law.

62. Taisu Zhang & Tom Ginsburg, ‘Legality in Contemporary Chinese Politics’ (17 Sep 2018, forthcoming in Virginia Journal of International Law) 3–5 <ssrn.com/abstract=3250948> accessed 3 Sep 2019. See also Fu (n 19) 179. From 2014 to 2017, a ‘leading group’ chaired by Xi Jinping adopted 31 programmes on judicial reform. See 周强 (Zhou Qiang) (President of the Supreme People's Court of China), ‘最高人民法院关于人民法院全面深化司法改革情况的报告 [Report of the Supreme People's Court on Comprehensively Deepening Judicial Reform in the People's Courts]’ (delivered at the 30th Meeting of the 12th National People Congress Standing Committee, 1 Nov 2017) <www.court.gov.cn/zixun-xiangqing-66802.html> accessed 3 Sep 2019.

63. Supreme People's Court (n 15) Preface.

64. ibid, Parts V, IX.

65. ibid, Part II.

66. Fourth Plenum Decision (n 61), quoted from Biddulph, Sarah et al. , ‘Criminal Justice Reform in the Xi Jinping Era’ (2017) 2 China Law and Society Review 63, 77.

67. Minzner (n 58) 105. See also Zhang, Qianfan, ‘Judicial Reform in China; An Overview’, in Garrick, John & Bennett, Yan Chang (eds), in China's Socialist Rule of Law Reforms Under Xi Jinping (Routledge 2016) 29.

68. In contrast to the Legalist school, the Confucians advocated a system of rule by morality instead of law: Fukuyama, Francis, Political Order and Political Decay (Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2014) 354359, 375.

69. North, Douglass C, Institutions, Institutional Change and Economic Performance (Cambridge University Press 1990) 16.

70. Whiting, Susan H, ‘Authoritarian “Rule of Law” and Regime Legitimacy’ (2017) 50 Comparative Political Studies 1907, 19121915.

71. Moustafa, Tamir & Ginsburg, Tom, ‘Introduction: The Functions of Courts in Authoritarian Politics’, in Ginsburg, Tom & Moustafa, Tamir (eds), Rule by Law: The Politics of Courts in Authoritarian Regimes (Cambridge University Press 2008) 410.

72. Whiting (n 70) 1909.

73. Huntington, Samuel P, Political Order in Changing Societies (Yale University Press 1968) 20, 8586.

74. ‘The rule of law in Hong Kong’, The Economist (13 June 2019) <https://www.economist.com/leaders/2019/06/13/the-rule-of-law-in-hong-kong> accessed 3 Sep 2019.

75. Zhang & Ginsburg (n 62) 6, 54–58, fns 295–300.

76. 徐昕 (Xu Xin), ‘化解中国司法公信力危机 [Addressing the Public Confidence Crisis in China's Judiciary]’ (腾讯评论, 30 Jun 2013) < http://view.news.qq.com/a/20130630/001015_all.htm> accessed 3 Sep 2019; 蒋艳玲 (Jiang Yanling), ‘从法官角度浅谈当前我国司法公信力 [A Note on the Public Credibility of China's Judiciary from the Perspective of a Judge]’ (中国法院网 [China Court Network], 21 May 2013) <https://www.chinacourt.org/article/detail/2013/05/id/960702.shtml> accessed 3 Sep 2019; 徐昕 (Xu Xin) et al, ‘中国司法改革年度报告 (2010) [Annual Report on China's Judicial Reform (2010)]’ (Institute For Advanced Judicial Studies 2011) <www.yadian.cc/files/reform2010.pdf> accessed 3 Sep 2019.

77. ibid.

78. Jiang (n 76). See the SPC's response to the crisis in 最高人民法院关于切实践行司法为民大力加强公正司法不断提高司法公信力的若干意见 [Several Opinions of the Supreme People's Court on Effectively Implementing the Principle of Judicial Work Serving the People, Energetically Strengthening Judicial Impartiality, and Constantly Improving Judicial Credibility], 法发〔2013〕9号 (issued by the Supreme People's Court, effective from 6 Sep 2013), English translation available at <http://en.pkulaw.cn/display.aspx?cgid=58c58e1b0ffad168bdfb&lib=law> accessed 3 Sep 2019.

79. Keong, Chan Sek, ‘Securing and Maintaining the Independence of the Court in Judicial Proceedings’ (2010) 22 Singapore Academy of Law Journal 229, 229230.

80. World Bank, ‘Governance and the Law’ (The World Bank 2017) 54 <www.worldbank.org/en/publication/wdr2017> accessed 3 Sep 2019.

81. North, Douglass C & Weingast, Barry R, ‘Constitutions and Commitment: The Evolution of Institutions Governing Public Choice in Seventeenth-Century England’ (1989) 49 Journal of Economic History 803, 808.

82. World Bank (n 80) 104.

83. Upham, Frank K, ‘Lessons from Chinese Growth: Rethinking the Role of Property Rights in Development’, in Chen, Weitseng (ed), The Beijing Consensus? How China has Changed Western Ideas of Law and Economic Development (Cambridge University Press 2017) 119; Trebilcock, Michael & Leng, Jing, ‘The Role of Formal Contract Law and Enforcement in Economic Development’ (2006) 92 Virginia Law Review 1517, 15561560.

84. Acemoglu, Daron & Robinson, James A, Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty (Crown Publishers 2012) ch 15.

85. World Bank & Development Research Center of the State Council, the People's Republic of China, China 2030: Building a Modern, Harmonious and Creative Society (World Bank 2013) 20. See also Peerenboom, Randall, ‘Law and Development in Middle-Income Countries: Conclusion’, in Peerenboom, Randall & Ginsburg, Tom (eds), Law and Development of Middle-Income Countries: Avoiding the Middle-Income Trap (Cambridge University Press 2014) 335, 344, 350.

86. See Zhang & Ginsburg (n 62) 48–49.

87. Wang, Jiangyu, ‘The Political Logic of Securities Regulation in China’, in Yu, Guanghua (ed), The Development of the Chinese Legal System: Change and Challenges (Routledge 2011) 230.

88. ‘A new kind of cold war – China v America’, The Economist (16 May 2019) <www.economist.com/leaders/2019/05/16/a-new-kind-of-cold-war> accessed 3 Sep 2019.

89. World Bank (n 80) 3.

90. Lin (n 55) 47.

91. See Menon, Sundaresh, ‘The Rule of Law: The Path to Exceptionalism’ (2016) 28 Singapore Academy of Law Journal 413, 421, 425426.

92. See generally Li, Ling, ‘Politics of Anticorruption in China: Paradigm Change of the Party's Disciplinary Regime 2012–2017’ (2019) 28 Journal of Contemporary China 47.

93. Fu (n 19) 170–171; Zhang & Ginsburg (n 62) 22.

94. PRC Constitution, ch 3, s 7; 中华人民共和国监察法 [Supervision Law of the People's Republic of China], adopted by the National People's Congress Standing Committee on 20 Mar 2018.

95. Peerenboom, Randall, ‘The Battle Over Legal Reforms in China: Has There Been a Turn Against Law?’ (2014) 2 Chinese Journal of Comparative Law 188, 199; Jamie P Horsley, ‘What's so controversial about China's new anti-corruption body? Digging into the National Supervision Commission’ (Brookings, 30 May 2018) <www.brookings.edu/opinions/whats-so-controversial-about-chinas-new-anti-corruption-body/> accessed 3 Sep 2019.

96. See World Bank (n 80) 197.

97. Olson, Mancur, ‘Dictatorship, Democracy, and Development’ (1993) 87 American Political Science Review 567, 571. See also Albertus, Michael & Menaldo, Victor, ‘The Political Economy of Autocratic Constitutions’, in Ginsburg, Tom & Simpser, Alberto (eds), Constitutions in Authoritarian Regimes (Cambridge University Press 2014) 53. Similarly, Myerson argues that ‘as a minimal constitutional structure, a strong leader needs a court or council where his active supporters can collectively judge his treatment of them’ or otherwise forfeit their trust; a purely absolutist leader who is not subject to any third-party judgment ‘would have very limited ability to make credible promises’ to supporters and would lose support: Myerson, Roger B, ‘The Autocrat's Credibility Problem and Foundations of the Constitutional State’ (2008) 102 American Political Science Review 125, 125, 135.

98. See World Bank (n 80) 196, 205.

99. ibid; Epperly, Brad, ‘Political Competition and De Facto Judicial Independence in Non-Democracies’ (2017) 56 European Journal of Political Research 279, 289290.

100. World Bank (n 80) 196–197.

101. Kenneth Lieberthal, Governing China: From Revolution Through Reform (WW Norton & Co 2004) 125.

102. 邓小平 (Deng Xiaoping) (Paramount Leader, People's Republic of China), ‘解放思想,实事求是,团结一致向前看 [Emancipate the Mind, Seek Truth from Facts and Unite as One in Looking to the Future]’ (Speech delivered at the closing session of the Central Working Conference on 13 Dec 1978) <http://www.people.com.cn/GB/channel1/10/20000529/80792.html> accessed 3 Sep 2019.

103. Michael Wines, ‘In Rise and Fall of China's Bo Xilai, an Arc of Ruthlessness’ New York Times (6 May 2012) <www.nytimes.com/2012/05/07/world/asia/in-rise-and-fall-of-chinas-bo-xilai-a-ruthless-arc.html> accessed 19 Aug 2019.

104. Edward Wong, ‘Ex-Official's Drive in China Leads to Torture Inquiry’ New York Times (10 May 2012) <www.nytimes.com/2012/05/11/world/asia/torture-inquiry-in-anticrime-drive-of-deposed-chinese-leader.html> accessed 3 Sep 2019. For a detailed account of the illegal methods used by Bo in his ‘da hei’ campaign, see 童志伟(Tong Zhiwei), ‘重庆打黑型社会管理方式研究报告 [A Research Report on the Social Management Methods in the Form of Strike Black in Chongqing]’ (洪范法律与经济研究网 [Hongfan Legal and Economic Studies Net], 12 Feb 2012)<http://hf.hongfan.org.cn/file/upload/2012/02/20/1330590858.pdf> accessed 3 Sep 2019.

105. ‘薄熙来受贿、贪污、滥用职权案庭审记录汇总 [Transcripts of the Bo Xilai trial in the Jinan Intermediate People's Court]’, 人民日报 People's Daily (26 Aug 2013) <http://politics.people.com.cn/n/2013/0823/c1001-22678622-34.html> accessed 3 Sep 2019. Interestingly, the presiding judge of the collegiate panel that heard the case responded to Bo Xilai by saying that ‘what you said reflects both the provisions of our country's law and the reality today’.

106. Zhang & Ginsburg (n 62) 7–9.

107. Menon, Sundaresh, ‘The Rule of Law: The Path to Exceptionalism’ (2016) 28 Singapore Academy of Law Journal 413, 413. It is noted that other scholars have used the term ‘authoritarian’ and variants thereof to describe Singapore (eg Tushnet (n 20); cf Silverstein, Gordon, ‘Singapore's Constitutionalism: A Model, But of What Sort?’ (2015) 100 Cornell Law Review 1, 2223). In this article, however, the authors suggest that the term ‘non-Western liberal’ would be more apt, not least because Singapore is a constitutional democracy with an independent judiciary, which abides by the rule of law. See (n 18) for a description of a ‘non-Western liberal’ state.

108. Thio (n 19) 272.

109. Li-ann, Thio, A Treatise on Singapore Constitutional Law (Academy Publishing 2012) 101126. Under Singapore's Westminster system of parliamentary democracy, the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore (‘Singapore Constitution’), as the supreme law in Singapore, may be amended by a two-thirds parliamentary majority in a dominant party state: Singapore Constitution, art 5.

110. Hualing, Fu & Buhi, Jason, ‘Diverging Trends in the Socialist Constitutionalism of the People's Republic of China and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam’, in Hualing, Fu et al. (eds), Socialist Law in Socialist East Asia (Cambridge University Press 2018) 141.

111. See generally Dowdle, Michael W & Tan, Kevin YL, ‘Is Singapore's Constitution Best Considered a Legal Constitution or a Political Constitution?’, in Neo, Jaclyn L (ed), Constitutional Interpretation in Singapore: Theory and Practice (Routledge 2016). In contrast, legal constitutionalism does so principally through the law and courts: Tomkins, Adam, Public Law (Oxford University Press 2003) 1819.

112. Keong, Chan Sek, ‘Judicial Review – From Angst to Empathy’ (2010) 22 Singapore Academy of Law Journal 469, 480.

113. PRC Constitution, art 67, which refers more specifically to the NPC Standing Committee.

114. Lin (n 55) 47.

115. Shared Values White Paper (Cmd 1 of 1991) (Singapore National Printers 1991) para 41.

116. Liu & Wang (n 2) 1006.

117. Tan, David, ‘Walking the Tightrope Between Legality and Legitimacy: Taking Rights Balancing Seriously’ (2017) 29 Singapore Academy of Law Journal 743, 767768.

118. Tan, Kevin YL, The Constitution of Singapore: A Contextual Analysis (Hart 2015) 36.

119. Ginsburg, Tom, ‘Judicial Independence in East Asia’, in Peerenboom, Randall (ed), Judicial Independence in China: Lessons for Global Rule of Law Promotion (Cambridge University Press 2009) 250; Bell, Daniel A, ‘Introduction’, in Bell, Daniel A & Li, Chenyang (eds), The East Asian Challenge for Democracy: Political Meritocracy in Comparative Perspective (Cambridge University Press 2013) 4 (drawing comparisons between Singapore and China's models of ‘political meritocracy’); Ng, Kwai Hang & He, Xin, Embedded Courts: Judicial Decision-Making in China (Cambridge University Press 2017) 201; Wei, Pan, ‘Toward a Consultative Rule of Law Regime in China’, in Zhao, Suisheng (ed) Debating Political Reform in China: Rule of Law vs. Democratization (ME Sharpe 2006) 40.

120. Ginsburg (n 119) 250.

121. Tan, Kevin, ‘State and Institution Building Through the Singapore Constitution 1965–2005’, in Thio, Li-ann & Tan, Kevin YL (eds), Evolution of a Revolution: Forty Years of the Singapore Constitution (Routledge-Cavendish 2009) 52.

122. Republic of Singapore (n 24) para 83. See also Singapore Parliament, Constitutional (Amendment) Bill, 22 Dec 1965, Singapore Parliament Reports, vol 24, cols 448–449 (Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew).

123. Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act 2019 (No 18 of 2019), ss 17, 29, 35, 44.

124. ‘Singapore Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew's Speech to the University of Singapore Law Society Annual Dinner’ (Rosee d'Or, 18 Jan 1962), transcript at <www.nas.gov.sg/archivesonline/data/pdfdoc/lky19620118.pdf> accessed 3 Sep 2019 (emphasis added).

125. Tan, Kevin YL, ‘The Singapore Judiciary, Independence, Impartiality and Integrity’, in Lee, HP & Pittard, Marilyn (eds), Asia-Pacific Judiciaries: Independence, Impartiality and Integrity (Cambridge University Press 2017) 285287.

126. Mohammad Faizal bin Sabtu v Public Prosecutor [2012] SGHC 163, [2012] 4 SLR 947 [17]; Re Singh Kalpanath [1992] SGHC 64, [1992] 1 SLR(R) 595 [86]; Au Wai Pang v Attorney-General [2015] SGCA 61, [2016] 1 SLR 992 [36]–[37].

127. Mohammad Faizal bin Sabtu v Public Prosecutor [2012] SGHC 163, [2012] 4 SLR 947 [17].

128. Singapore Constitution, art 19(2)(f).

129. ibid art 95.

130. Tan, Kevin YL, ‘As Efficient as the Best Businesses: Singapore's Judicial System’, in Yeh, Jiunn-rong & Chang, Wen-Chen (eds), Asian Courts in Context (Cambridge University Press 2014) 228, 234.

131. Singapore Constitution, art 99.

132. Government Proceedings Act (Cap 121, Rev Ed 1985), s 6(3).

133. Singapore Constitution, arts 95(2)–(3), 98(1).

134. Singapore Constitution, art 98(6)–(8). As stated in the Judges’ Remuneration (Annual Pensionable Salary) Order (Cap 147, 1994 Rev Ed Sing) O 1, the annual pensionable salaries of Supreme Court judges are as follows: the Chief Justice ($347,400), a Judge of Appeal ($253,200), and a Supreme Court judge ($234,600).

135. Tan (n 130) 262.

136. Singapore Constitution, art 95(4).

137. ibid art 98(2)–(5).

138. Ministry of Finance, ‘Revenue and Expenditure Estimates’ (19 Feb 2018) 37 <www.singaporebudget.gov.sg/data/budget_2018/download/15%20Judicature%202018.pdf> accessed 3 Sep 2019.

139. Sundaresh Menon (Chief Justice of Singapore), ‘Inspiring Confidence in the Courts through Independence, Integrity and Competence’ (Welcome address delivered at the 5th Roundtable Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Judicial Reform Forum, 31 Oct 2013) para 17 <www.apjrf.com/'Inspiring%20Confidence%20in%20the%20Courts%20through%20Independence,%20Integrity%20and%20Competence'%20-%20Welcome%20Address%20by%20Chief%20Justice%20Menon.pdf> accessed 3 Sep 2019.

140. Tan (n 125) 295.

141. State Courts Act (Cap 321, Rev Ed 2007), ss 9–10.

142. Singapore Constitution, art 111.

143. ‘Structure of the Singapore Legal Service’ (Legal Service Commission) <www.lsc.gov.sg/structure/structure-of-legal-service> accessed 3 Sep 2019.

144. Singapore Parliament, Constitution of the Republic of Singapore (Amendment) Bill, 16 Jul 2007, Singapore Parliament Reports, vol 83, cols 1080–1082 (Professor Jayakumar). When a transfer of a State Court judge 30 years ago was alleged to have been the result of executive interference, a Commission of Inquiry was constituted which revealed that the transfer had been ordered by the Chief Justice on his own accord and not as a result of any instructions from the executive: Report of the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of Executive Interference in the Subordinate Courts (Cmd 12 of 1986, presented to Parliament on 17 Jul 1986) (Singapore National Printers 1986).

145. International Bar Association, ‘Prosperity versus individual rights? Human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Singapore’ (Jul 2008) <https://www.ibanet.org/Human_Rights_Institute/Work_by_regions/Asia_Pacific/Singapore.aspx> accessed 3 Sep 2019. See however Ministry of Law, ‘Response to IBA Human Rights Institute's Report’ (Press release, 9 Jul 2008) <www.mlaw.gov.sg/news/press-releases/response-to-iba-human-rights-institute-s-report.html> accessed 3 Sep 2019.

146. World Justice Project, ‘Rule of Law Index 2019’ (2019) 16 <https://worldjusticeproject.org/sites/default/files/documents/WJP-ROLI-2019-Single%20Page%20View-Reduced.pdf> accessed 3 Sep 2019.

147. World Economic Forum, ‘The Global Competitiveness Report 2018’ (2018) 513 <www3.weforum.org/docs/GCR2018/05FullReport/TheGlobalCompetitivenessReport2018.pdf> accessed 3 Sep 2019.

148. Fairbank, John King, The United States and China, 4 ed (Harvard University Press 1983) 122.

149. See Wang, Jiangyu, ‘China: Legal Reform in an Emerging Socialist Market Economy’, in Black, E Ann & Bell, Gary F (eds), Law and Legal Institutions of Asia: Traditions, Adaptations and Innovations (Cambridge University Press 2011) 31.

150. Liebman, Benjamin L, ‘China's Courts: Restricted Reform’ (2007) 27 Columbia Journal of Asian Law 1, 4.

151. PRC Constitution, art 131.

152. 周强 (Zhou Qiang) (President, Supreme People's Court of China), ‘最高人民法院工作报告 [Supreme People's Court Work Report to the National People's Congress]’ (delivered at the 1st Meeting of the 13th National People's Congress, 9 Mar 2018) <www.court.gov.cn/zixun-xiangqing-87832.html> accessed 3 Sep 2019.

153. Supreme People's Court (n 15) 61–65.

154. See 最高人民法院关于案例指导工作的规定 [Provisions of the Supreme People's Court Concerning Work on Case Guidance], 法发〔2010〕51号 (passed by the Adjudication Committee of the Supreme People's Court on 15 Nov 2010, issued on and effective as of 26 Nov 2010), English translation available at <http://cgc.law.stanford.edu/guidingcases-rules/20101126-english/> accessed 3 Sep 2019; 〈最高人民法院关于案例指导工作的规定〉实施细则 [Detailed Implementing Rules on the ‘Provisions of the Supreme People's Court Concerning Work on Case Guidance’], 法发〔2015〕130号 (passed by the Adjudication Committee of the Supreme People's Court on 27 Apr 2015, issued on and effective as of 13 May 2015), English translation available at <http://cgc.law.stanford.edu/guiding-cases-rules/20150513-english/> accessed 20 Jul 2019; Chinese Common Law: Guiding Cases and Judicial Reform’ (2016) 129 Harvard Law Review 2213. See also ‘最高人民法院发布第18批指导性案例 [The Supreme People's Court Issues the 18th Batch of Guiding Cases]’ (Press release of the Supreme People's Court, 27 Jun 2018) <www.court.gov.cn/zixun-xiangqing-104242.html> accessed 3 Sep 2019.

155. Taisu Zhang, ‘Disaggregating the Court: A Methodological Survey of Research on the Supreme People's Court of China’ (2017) 2 China Law and Society Review 154, 155; 孟高飞(Meng Gaofei), ‘论党对地方法院组织领导的法治化变革 [On the Rule of Law Oriented Reform of Party Leadership in Local Courts]’, (2017) 4 学术交流 [Academic Exchange] 89–95. Xi Jinping has emphasized repeatedly that China's legal system must maintain ‘the Party's absolute leadership’: ‘习近平就政法工作作出重要指示 [Xi Jinping Makes Important Instructions on Political-Legal Work]’ (新华社 [Xinhua News], 22 Jan 2018) <www.gov.cn/xinwen/2018-01/22/content_5259394.htm> accessed 3 Sep 2019.

156. 法官行为规范 [Judicial Code of Conduct], 法发 (2010) 54号 (issued by the Supreme People's Court and effective as of 6 Dec 2010), art 1.

157. 中华人民共和国法官法 [Judges Law of the People's Republic of China], adopted on 28 Feb 1995 by the National People's Congress Standing Committee, as amended on 23 Apr 2019, arts 11 & 14.

158. Li (n 50) 49–51.

159. ibid. See also Meng (n 155).

160. Li (n 50) 37.

161. See generally Peerenboom (n 12).

162. Ng & He (n 119) 3–20. The authors distinguish Chinese courts into ‘work-units’ and ‘firm-units’ depending on each court's immediate institutional environment, with the former prioritizing efficiency and output, and the latter more likely to invoke the law as part of the decision-making process.

163. Fu (n 19) 178–179.

164. Zhang & Ginsburg (n 62) 21

165. Maurits Elen, ‘Interview: Jerome Cohen’ (The Diplomat, 1 Sep 2016) <https://thediplomat.com/2016/09/interview-jerome-cohen/> accessed 3 Sep 2019.

166. Suli, Zhu, ‘The Party and the Courts’, in Peerenboom, Randall (ed), Judicial Independence in China: Lessons for Global Rule of Law Promotion (Cambridge University Press 2010) 53.

167. 王胜俊 (Wang Shengjun) (President, Supreme People's Court of China), ‘最高人民法院工作报告 [Supreme People's Court Work Report to the National People's Congress]’ (delivered at the 1st Meeting of the 12th National People's Congress, 10 Mar 2013) <http://www.court.gov.cn/zixun-xiangqing-82552.html> accessed 3 Sep 2019.

168. deLisle, Jacques, ‘Law in the China Model 2.0: Legality, Developmentalism and Leninism under Xi Jinping’ (2017) 26 Journal of Contemporary China 68, 71, 75.

169. ibid.

170.Weiquan’ lawyers, or ‘rights-protection’ lawyers, refers to the small group of lawyers and legal scholars who assist Chinese citizens in asserting their legal rights, often against the government. See generally Hualing, Fu & Cullen, Richard, ‘Climbing the Weiquan Ladder: A Radicalizing Process for Rights-Protection Lawyers’ (2011) 205 The China Quarterly 40. See also Hualing, Fu, ‘Challenging Authoritarianism through Law: Potentials and Limits’ (2011) 6 National Taiwan University Law Review 339.

171. Liebman, Benjamin, ‘Legal Reform: China's Law-Stability Paradox’ (2014) 143 Daedalus 96, 96, 100; Liebman, Benjamin L, ‘Authoritarian Justice in China: Is There a “Chinese Model”?’, in Weitseng, Chen (ed) The Beijing Consensus? How China has Changed Western Ideas of Law and Economic Development (Cambridge University Press 2017) 234235.

172. Ng & He (n 119) 21–22.

173. Fu (n 170) 353–354.

174. On this concept, see generally Fraenkel, Ernst, The Dual State: A Contribution to the Theory of Dictatorship (Oxford University Press 2017).

175. Fu (n 19) 174, 181.

176. Xi Jinping, The Governance of China (Foreign Language Press 2014) 161.

177. Trevaskes, Susan, ‘Weaponising the Rule of Law in China’, in Sapio, Flora et al. (eds), Justice: The China Experience (Cambridge University Press 2017) 114; Backer, Larry Catá, ‘Between the Judge and the Law: Judicial Independence and Authority with Chinese Characteristics’ (2017) 33 Connecticut Journal of International Law 1, 29.

178. 中华人民共和国行政诉讼法 [Administrative Litigation Law], adopted on 4 Apr 1989 by the National People's Congress; revised on 1 Nov 2014 and 27 June 2017 by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress)(Administrative Litigation Law), art 12. The concept of ‘specific administrative acts’ was removed and replaced with ‘administrative acts’ in the 2014 revision of the Administrative Litigation Law.

179. 全国人民代表大会常务委员会关于修改《中华人民共和国行政诉讼法》的决定 [Decision of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress on Amending the Administrative Litigation Law of the People's Republic of China], adopted by the National People's Congress Standing Committee on 1 Nov 2014 <http://news.sina.com.cn/c/2014-11-01/211731080827.shtml> accessed 3 Sep 2019. The revision was likely intended to address some of China's most imperative socio-political problems.

180. He, Xin, ‘The Party's Leadership as a Living Constitution in China’, in Ginsburg, Tom & Simpser, Alberto (eds), Constitutions in Authoritarian Regimes (Cambridge University Press 2014) 156.

181. Normative documents refer to the regulatory or policy documents issued by governments that are not formal rules or regulations of general binding force, but still impose binding obligations on citizens.

182. Administrative Litigation Law (n 178), art 64.

183. 最高人民法院关于适用《中华人民共和国行政诉讼法》的解释 [Judicial Interpretations of the Supreme People's Court of China on the Application of the Administrative Litigation Law of the People's Republic of China], 法释(2008)1号,adopted on 13 Nov 2017 and effective as of 8 Feb 2018 <http://www.court.gov.cn/zixun-xiangqing-80342.html> accessed 3 Sep 2019.

184. ibid, arts 148, 149.

185. Wei Cui, Jie Cheng & Dominika Wiesner, ‘Judicial Review of Government Actions in China’ (SSRN, 31 May 2018) 19 <https://ssrn.com/abstract=3228175> accessed 3 Sep 2019.

186. 习近平(Xi Jinping), ‘决胜全面建成小康社会夺取新时代中国特色社会主义伟大胜利 [Secure a Decisive Victory in Building a Moderately Prosperous Society in All Respects and Strive for the Great Success of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era]’, report delivered at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, 18 Oct 2017, Part VI: 4, <www.chinadaily.com.cn/interface/flipboard/1142846/2017-11-06/cd_34188086.html> accessed 3 Sep 2019.

187. ibid. See also ‘全国人大常委会已开始对合宪性审查进行研究部署 [The National People's Congress Standing Committee Has Already Started Work on How to Implement Constitutionality Review]’ (法制日报 [Legal Daily], 16 Jan 2018) <http://www.xinhuanet.com/legal/2018-01/16/c_1122263379.htm> accessed 3 Sep 2019. While it is not the first time that constitutional review has entered into the legal discourse in China, this was the first time this issue was discussed in the CCP's ‘highest-level’ document.

188. ‘推进合宪性审查 完善宪法监督制度 [Promoting Constitutionality Review, Perfecting the System of Constitutional Compliance]’ (中国青年报 [China Youth Daily], 24 Oct 2017) <http://cpc.people.com.cn/19th/n1/2017/1024/c414305-29605827.html> accessed 3 Sep 2019.

189. K Shanmugam, ‘The Rule of Law in Singapore’ [2012] Singapore Journal of Legal Studies 357; Menon (n 107) 417–420.

190. Shanmugam (n 189) 358–360.

191. ibid 363.

192. World Bank, ‘GDP per capita (current US$)’ <https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.PCAP.CD?end=2017&locations=MY-SG-Z4&start=1960> accessed 3 Sep 2019.

193. Tan (n 130) 228, 262.

194. ibid 258–259.

195. Malik, Waleed Haider, Judiciary Led Reforms in Singapore: Framework, Strategies and Lessons (World Bank 2007) xxi–xxii.

196. World Economic Forum (n 147) 513.

197. World Bank, ‘Doing Business 2018: Reforming to Create Jobs’ (2018) 191 <www.doingbusiness.org/content/dam/doingBusiness/media/Annual-Reports/English/DB2018-Full-Report.pdf> accessed 3 Sep 2019.

198. Shanmugam (n 189) 358.

199. See Sundaresh Menon (Chief Justice of Singapore), ‘Executive Power: Rethinking the Modalities of Control’ (Annual Bernstein Lecture in Comparative Law, Duke University School of Law, 1 Nov 2018) para 62 <www.supremecourt.gov.sg/docs/default-source/default-document-library/(bernstein-lecture-2018)-lecture-(final)-(amended-16-november-2018).pdf> accessed 3 Sep 2019.

200. See eg Nagaenthran a/l K Dharmalingam v Public Prosecutor [2019] SGCA 37 [46].

201. Chan (n 79) 242–243.

202. ibid 243–244.

203. ibid.

204. Menon (n 199) para 65.

205. Chng Suan Tze v Minister for Home Affairs [1988] SGCA 16, [1988] 2 SLR(R) 525.

206. Tan Seet Eng v Attorney-General [2015] SGCA 59, [2016] 1 SLR 779.

207. Internal Security Act (Cap 143, 1985 Rev Ed), s 8.

208. Chng Suan Tze (n 205) [86].

209. ibid [139]. The Court noted that under the ‘objective’ test, ‘it has to be shown to the court that considerations of national security were involved’, but ‘[t]hose responsible for national security are the sole judges of what action is necessary in the interests of national security’: [88]–[89].

210. Po Yap, Jen, Courts and Democracies in Asia (Cambridge University Press 2017) 75. See Teo Soh Lung v Minister for Home Affairs [1990] SGCA, [1990] 1 SLR(R) 347.

211. ibid; Singapore Constitution, art 149; Internal Security Act, ss 8A–8C.

212. Singapore Parliament, Constitution of the Republic of Singapore (Amendment) Bill, 25 Jan 1989, Singapore Parliament Reports, vol 52, cols 465–473 (Minister for Law (Prof S Jayakumar)).

213. Teo Soh Lung (n 210) [20]–[21], [35], [43]–[44].

214. Criminal Law (Temporary Provisions) Act (Cap 67, Rev Ed 2000).

215. Tan Seet Eng (n 206) [137], [147]–[148].

216. Ministry of Home Affairs, ‘MHA Statement on Detention of Dan Tan Seet Eng’ (5 Dec 2015) <https://www.mha.gov.sg/newsroom/press-release/news/mha-statement-on-detention-of-dan-tan-seet-eng> accessed 3 Sep 2019.

217. Ministry of Home Affairs, ‘MHA Statement on Three Members of Match-fixing Syndicate Released from Detention and Placed on Police Supervision Orders’ (18 Jan 2016) <https://www.mha.gov.sg/newsroom/press-release/news/mha-statement-on-three-members-of-match-fixing-syndicate-released-from-detention-and-placed-on-police-supervision-orders> accessed 3 Sep 2019.

218. Ministry of Home Affairs, ‘Second Reading of the Criminal Law (Temporary Provisions) (Amendment) Bill - Speech by Mr K Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law’ (6 Feb 2018) <https://www.mha.gov.sg/NewsRoom/in-parliament/parliamentary-speeches/news/second-reading-of-the-criminal-law-(temporary-provisions)-(amendment)-bill---speech-by-mr-k-shanmugam-minister-for-home-affairs-and-minister-for-law> accessed 3 Sep 2019.

219. Chan (n 112) 471–472, 479–480.

220. Menon (n 107) 421.

221. Ramalingam Ravinthran v Attorney-General [2012] SGCA 2, [2012] 2 SLR 49.

222. Yong Vui Kong v Attorney-General [2011] SGCA 9, [2011] 2 SLR 1189.

223. Vellama d/o Marie Muthu v Attorney-General [2013] SGCA 39, [2013] 4 SLR 1.

224. Chan Sek Keong, ‘The Courts and the Rule of Law in Singapore’ [2012] Singapore Journal of Legal Studies 209, 216.

225. In one instance when the High Court struck down a provision of the Prevention of Corruption Act (Cap 241, Rev Ed 1993), it was overturned on appeal: Public Prosecutor v Taw Cheng Kong [1998] SGCA 37, [1998] 2 SLR(R) 489.

226. Thio Li-ann, ‘Principled Pragmatism and the “Third Wave” of Communitarian Judicial Review in Singapore’, in Jaclyn L Neo (ed), Constitutional Interpretation in Singapore: Theory and Practice (Routledge 2017) 49.

227. Lim Meng Suang v Attorney-General [2014] SGCA 53, [2015] 1 SLR 26 [7] (emphasis in original).

228. Menon (n 199).

229. Tan Seet Eng (n 206) [90].

230. Lim Meng Suang (n 227) [7]–[8].

231. Yap (n 210) 1–2.

232. Taw Cheng Kong (n 225); Yong Vui Kong (n 222).

233. Tan Seet Eng (n 206) [102]–[106].

234. Yong Vui Kong v Public Prosecutor [2010] SGCA 20, [2010] 3 SLR 489; Rajeevan Edakalavan v Public Prosecutor [1998] SGHC 2, [1998] 1 SLR(R) 10.

235. Thio, Li-ann, ‘Protecting Rights’, in Thio, Li-ann & Tan, Kevin YL (eds), Evolution of a Revolution (Routledge-Cavendish 2010). See Public Prosecutor v Mazlan bin Maidun [1992] SGCA 90, [1992] 3 SLR(R) 968; Colin Chan v Public Prosecutor [1994] SGHC 207, [1994] 3 SLR(R) 209.

236. Review Publishing Co Ltd v Lee Hsien Loong [2009] SGCA 46, [2010] 1 SLR 52 [270]–[285].

237. Chee Siok Chin v Minister for Home Affairs [2005] SGHC 216, [2006] 1 SLR(R) 582.

238. Lim Meng Suang (n 227); Jeyaretnam Kenneth Andrew v Attorney-General [2013] SGCA 56, [2014] 1 SLR 345.

239. Tan Seet Eng (n 206) [90].

240. Singapore Parliament, Independence and Integrity of Singapore's Judiciary, 2 Nov 1995, Singapore Parliament Reports, vol 65, col 236 (Senior Minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew) (emphasis added).

241. Chan (n 112) 471.

242. Shetreet, Shimon, ‘Judicial Independence and Judicial Review of Government Action: Necessary Institutional Characteristics and the Appropriate Scope of the Judicial Function’, in Forsyth, Christopher et al. (eds), Effective Judicial Review: A Cornerstone of Good Governance (Oxford University Press 2010) 199.

243. Arguably, the separation of powers in the Madisonian tradition has historically been somewhat a legal fiction even in polities defined by the principle. See Levinson, Daryl J & Pildes, Richard H, ‘Separation of Parties, Not Powers’ (2006) 119 Harvard Law Review 2311.

244. See generally Backer, Larry Catá, ‘The Party as Polity, The Communist Party, and the Chinese Constitutional State: A Theory of State-Party Constitutionalism’ (2009) 16 Journal of Chinese and Comparative Law 101.

245. See discussion in Part I above.

246. Dicey, Albert V, Introduction to the Study of the Law of the Constitution, 8 ed (Macmillan 1927) 402. See the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, which was passed by the UK Parliament to institutionalize the independence of the judiciary by establishing new lines of demarcation between the executive and the judiciary and creating the Supreme Court which was separate from Parliament. Even at a time when the English judiciary was not fully separate from the Crown, the autonomy of the courts was made clear in one of the earliest cases by the English court in 1607 on the basis of the fundamental distinction between executive and judicial power: Prohibitions del Roy (1607) 12 Co Rep 63; 77 ER 1342.

247. This is the case in Europe: Sweet, Alec Stone, ‘Constitutional Courts’, in Rosenfeld, Michel & Sajó, András (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Constitutional Law (Oxford University Press 2012) 818; Bell, John, Boyron, Sophie & Whittaker, Simon, Principles of French Law (Oxford University Press 2008) 3941; Merryman, John Henry & Pérez-Perdomo, Rogelio, The Civil Law Tradition: An Introduction to the Legal Systems of Europe and Latin America (Stanford University Press 2007) 3447.

248. See generally Backer (n 244).

249. Zhu (n 166) 57.

250. Cf Neo, Jaclyn L, ‘Balancing Act: The Balancing Metaphor as Deference and Dialogue in Constitutional Adjudication’, in Neo, Jaclyn L (ed), Constitutional Interpretation in Singapore: Theory and Practice (Routledge 2017) 9697. See also Menon (n 37) paras 53, 57.

251. Cf Neo (n 250) 96–97.

252. See Chan (n 79) 249.

253. Backer (n 177) 29.

254. Menon (n 107) 420–421.

255. Menon (n 199) para 43.

256. Yulin, Fu & Peerenboom, Randall, ‘A New Analytic Framework for Understanding and Promoting Judicial Independence in China’, in Peerenboom, Randall (ed), Judicial Independence in China: Lessons for Global Rule of Law Promotion (Cambridge University Press 2010) 132133.

257. See Trebilock, Michael J & Prado, Mariana Mota, Advanced Introduction to Law and Development (Edward Elgar Publishing 2014) 62.

258. See MacDonald, Roderick A & Kong, Hoi, ‘Judicial Independence as a Constitutional Virtue’, in Rosenfeld, Michel & Sajó, András (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Constitutional Law (Oxford University Press 2012) 846852.

259. Yap (n 210).

260. Moustafa & Ginsburg (n 71) 4–10; Bernd Hayo & Stefan Voigt, ‘Explaining De Facto Judicial Independence’ (2007) 27 International Review of Law and Economics 269, 271.

261. Madison, James, ‘The Federalist No 51’, in Cook, Jacob E (ed), The Federalist (Wesleyan University Press 1961) 347.

262. Waldron, Jeremy, ‘The Rule of Law and the Importance of Procedure’, in Fleming, James (ed), Getting to the Rule of Law (New York University Press 2011) 56.

263. Sir Laws, John, ‘Concluding Comments: Judicial Review's Constitutional Home’, in Forsyth, Christopher et al. (eds), Effective Judicial Review: A Cornerstone of Good Governance (Oxford University Press 2010) 441443.

264. ibid.

265. Hamilton, Alexander, ‘The Federalist No 78’, in Cook, Jacob E (ed), The Federalist (Wesleyan University Press 1961) 523.

266. ibid 522.

* Research Associate, Centre for Asian Legal Studies, Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore.

Director, Asian Law Institute and Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore.

Prior versions of this article were presented at the workshop on ‘Political Parties, Partisanship, and the Constitution’ at the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights, University of Oxford in 2019, the conference on ‘Judicial Cooperation and Judicial Reform in China’ at the City University of Hong Kong in 2019, and the conference on ‘Judicial Reform and Political Development in China’ at the National University of Singapore (NUS) in 2013. The authors wish to thank the anonymous reviewers, fellow academic colleagues, Dr Ewan Smith, Professor Arun Thiruvengadam, as well as the participants in the said workshops for their helpful comments, and the Centre for Asian Legal Studies at the NUS Faculty of Law for its support and funding.

Judicial Independence in Dominant Party States: Singapore's Possibilities for China

  • Lance ANG (a1) and Jiangyu WANG (a2)

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.