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Unpublished Paper
Insulating the Constitution: Yong Vui Kong v. Public Prosecutor [2010] SGCA 20
CRIDHO Working Paper Series, 2010/01 (2010)
  • Aravind Ganesh, Université Catholique de Louvain
In May 2010, the Singapore Court of Appeal upheld the constitutionality of the mandatory death penalty in Yong Vui Kong v PP. This article does not deal with the propriety of mandatory death penalty laws, or of the death penalty broadly, but instead focuses on two novel pronouncements by the Court of Appeal. First, that customary international law not only has no legal validity in the domestic Singaporean legal sphere, but that it is also not to be treated as automatically incorporated into Singapore common law. Instead, a rule of customary international law can become part of Singapore law only if it has been “translated” by statute or judicial decision. Second, that the Singapore Constitution does not provide for a right against inhuman treatment or cruel punishment. The judgement thus effectively insulates the Singaporean legal sphere from developments occurring outside – by which is meant customary international law as well as Singapore's colonial past.
  • Singapore law,
  • Commonwealth Constitutional law,
  • Public International Law
Publication Date
Citation Information
Aravind Ganesh. "Insulating the Constitution: Yong Vui Kong v. Public Prosecutor [2010] SGCA 20" CRIDHO Working Paper Series, 2010/01 (2010)
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