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Yong Vui Kong v. Public Prosecutor (Sing. Ct. App.)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

Yvonne Mcdermott
Affiliation:
Bangor Centre for International Law, Bangor University, U.K.

Extract

On March 4, 2015, Singapore’s Court of Appeal issued its judgment in Yong Vui Kong v. Public Prosecutor, upholding the punishment of caning imposed on the defendant as constitutional. The decision is significant because it discusses the impact of the prohibition of torture, a peremptory norm of international law, on domestic legislation. The Court of Appeal determined that, even if caning were to be considered a form of torture, the customary international law prohibition on torture did not invalidate its domestic law permitting caning as a form of punishment.

Type
International Legal Materials
Copyright
Copyright © American Society of International Law 2016

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References

* This text was reproduced and reformatted from the text available at the the Singapore Academy of Law website (visited March 15, 2016), http://www.singaporelaw.sg/sglaw/laws-of-singapore/case-law/free-law/court-of-appeal-judgments/15932-yong-vui-kong-vpublic-prosecutor-2015-sgca-11.

1 Yong Vui Kong v. Public Prosecutor [2010] SGCA 20 (Sing.).

2 Id. ¶ 72.

3 Id. ¶ 120. For further analysis, see Yvonne McDermott, Yong Vui Kong v. Public Prosecutor and the Mandatory Death Penalty for Drug Offences in Singapore: A Dead End for Constitutional Challenge?, 1 Int’l J. H.R. and Drug Policy 35 (2010); Aravind Ganesh, Insulating the Constitution: Yong Vui Kong v. Public Prosecutor [2010] SGCA 20, 10 Oxford Univ. Commonwealth Law J. 273 (2010).

4 Yong Vui Kong v. Public Prosecutor [2015] SGCA 11, ¶ 29 (Sing.).

5 Id. ¶¶ 35–36.

6 Id. ¶ 38.

7 Id. ¶ 50.

8 Id. ¶ 58.

9 Id. ¶ 59 (citing A and others v. Secretary of State for the Home Department (No. 2) [2005] UKHL 71).

10 Id. ¶ 76.

11 Id. ¶ 83 (citing Yong Vui Kong v. Public Prosecutor [2010] SGCA 20, ¶ 72 (Sing.)).

12 Id. ¶ 86 (citing Tyrer v. The United Kingdom [1978] ECHR 2).

13 Id. ¶¶ 87–90 (citing Caesar v. Trinidad and Tobago, Judgment, Inter-Am. Ct. H.R. (Ser. C) No. 123 (Mar. 11, 2005)).

14 Id. ¶ 99.

15 Curtis Francis Doebbler v. Sudan, Communication 236/00, Afr. Comm’n H.P.R. (May 4, 2003).

16 Id. ¶ 99.

17 Id. ¶ 100.

18 Id. ¶ 101.

19 Id. ¶¶ 108–110, 114–16.

20 Id. ¶ 111.

21 Id. ¶ 119.

22 Prosecutor v. Furundžija, Case No. IT-95-17/1-T, Judgment, ¶ 155 (Int’l Crim. Trib. for the Former Yugoslavia Dec. 10, 1998).

23 Id.

24 See the examples cited in Erika de Wet, The Prohibition of Torture as an International Norm of jus cogens and Its Implications for National and Customary Law, 15 Eur. J. Int’l Law 97 (2004).

25 A and others v. Secretary of State for the Home Department (No. 2), [2005] UKHL 71, ¶ 32.

26 Id. ¶ 97.

27 Yong Vui Kong v. Attorney-General [2015] SGHC 178 (Sing.).

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