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Magna Carta Then and Now: A Symbol of Freedom and Equal Rights for All
Today (2015)
  • Eugene K B Tan, Singapore Management University
  • Jack Tsen-Ta Lee
Magna Carta became applicable to Singapore in 1826 when a court system administering English law was established in the Straits Settlements. This remained the case through Singapore’s evolution from Crown colony to independent republic. The Great Charter only ceased to apply in 1993, when Parliament enacted the Application of English Law Act to clarify which colonial laws were still part of Singapore law. Nonetheless, Magna Carta’s legacy in Singapore continues in a number of ways. Principles such as due process of law and the supremacy of law are cornerstones of the rule of law, vital to the success, stability and well-being of Singapore and Singaporeans. The story of Singapore constitutionalism is also one of legacy, adaptation and innovation.
  • Constitution of Singapore,
  • due process,
  • Magna Carta,
  • rule of law
Publication Date
November 19, 2015
Publisher Statement
This article was published in Today (19 November 2015) at 16–17, and is available online at (archived here). It may also be obtained from the Social Sciences Research Network at
Citation Information
Eugene K B Tan and Jack Tsen-Ta Lee. "Magna Carta Then and Now: A Symbol of Freedom and Equal Rights for All" Today November 19, 2015: 16-17. Available at: