Introduction to Singapore Law

by | Jan 3, 2020 | Resources

Singapore Legal, Justice & Court System

Singapore has a famously effective, sensible and transparent law and legal system which has helped the country’s strong growth in spite of its small geographical and population size.

It is regarded as a secure and comfortable jurisdiction to live, work and do business in and one of the cleanest governments and lowest crime rates in the world.

As a former British colony and a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, Singapore’s legal system in Singapore is based on English common law and is founded on four foundations – Constitution, Legislation, Subsidiary legislation and Legal decisions made by judges.

The Constitution safeguards the key privileges of the person. It covers the key standards and fundamental structure for the three organs of state – the Executive (comprises of the President, Prime Minister and different pastors liable for government undertakings and responsible to the Parliament), the Legislature (comprises of the President and Parliament with its administrative power liable for establishing enactment) and the Judiciary (the different official courtrooms which work free of the Executive and Legislature).

Legislation or statutory laws are composed of laws sanctioned by the Singapore Parliament or different bodies that had the capacity to pass such laws in the past in Singapore. Backup legislation or subordinate legislation alludes to composed law made by pastors, government offices or statutory sheets. Subsidiary legislation is made under the parent resolution. Judge-made law is court decisions that are viewed as a wellspring of law. For example, property law, contract law and trust law are to a great extent judge-made.

The Chief Justice, who is designated by the President, is the leader of the Judiciary. The Judiciary is comprised of the Supreme Court and the Subordinate Courts. The Supreme Court hears both common and criminal issues and is isolated into the Court of Appeal and the High Court. The Subordinate Courts comprise of District Courts, Magistrates’ Courts, Juvenile Courts, Coroners’ Court and Small Claims Tribunals. A Senior District Judge ignores the Subordinate Courts. It is significant that you realize which Court to move toward when you are suing somebody or are being sued.

As its name proposes, the Court of Appeal hears bids from the choices of the High Court in both common and criminal issues. It is the Chief Justice and Judges of Appeal who sit in the Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal is normally comprised of three judges (the Chief Justice and two Judges of Appeal). Be that as it may, on specific events there might be not exactly or multiple judges.

It is the Chief Justice and Judges of the High Court (which can in specific examples incorporate a Judge of Appeal or topic specialists to give help with specific cases) who contain the High Court. Typically, all procedures are heard under the steady gaze of a solitary judge.

The High Court hears both criminal litigation and civil litigation cases, just as bids from the choices of District Courts and Magistrates’ Courts. Likewise, it hears procedures concerning the office of the chief naval officer matters, organization wrapping up, chapter 11 and applications for the confirmation of promoters and specialists. The High Court has general supervisory and revisionary locale over every single subordinate court in any affable or criminal issue. When all is said in done, the High Court manages matters where the estimation of the topic of the case surpasses $250,000. It has locale to attempt all offences submitted in Singapore and in specific cases, attempt offences submitted outside Singapore too. The High Court attempts criminal cases whose discipline includes capital punishment or over 10 years of detainment.

The Subordinate Courts comprise the District Courts, Magistrates’ Courts, Juvenile Courts, Coroners’ Courts and Small Claims Tribunals. The Senior District Judge has in general obligation regarding the organization of the Subordinate Courts. As of late, different courts, for example, the Family Court, Night Court, Community Court, Syariah Court and Traffic Court have likewise been added to the Subordinate Courts.

Civil litigation cases including cases of more than $60,000 however not surpassing $250,000 are heard under the watchful eye of the District Court. This court can likewise attempt offences where the most extreme detainment term is 10 years or beneath or that are culpable with just a fine. It can condemn an individual to (an) a most extreme jail sentence of 7 years, (b) force a greatest fine of up to 10,000 SGD, (c) a caning of up to 12 strokes, (d) go to reformative preparing or (e) a mix of the abovementioned.

Civil litigation cases including claims not surpassing $60,000 are managed by the Magistrate Court. This court likewise attempts offences with a most extreme detainment of 3 years or underneath or offences deserving of just a fine. It can either sentence an individual for a limit of 2 years or force a most extreme fine of $2,000 or issue a limit of 6 strokes of the cane.

About the author

About the author

Jonathan Wong

Jonathan is the Founder and Managing Director of Tembusu Law. He is also the founder of LawGuide Singapore, a prominent legaltech startup which successfully created and launched Singapore’s first legal chatbot in 2017.