1997 Sing. J. Legal Stud. 240 (1997)
Trends in Constitutional Interpretation: Oppugning Ong, Awakening Arumugam

handle is hein.journals/sjls1997 and id is 246 raw text is: Singapore Journal of Legal Studies
[1997] 240 - 290
TRENDS IN CONSTITUTIONAL INTERPRETATION:
OPPUGNING ONG, AWAKENING ARUMUGAM?
This article evaluates recent trends in the development of constitutional jurisprudence
in relation to constitutionally safeguarded fundamental liberties. Particular attention is
directed towards the methodology employed in constitutional interpretation in the 1995
Court of Appeal decision of Jabar v PP.
It is unlikely that anyone buta government official would regard the confirmation
of government power as the purpose of law.'
I. INTRODUCTION
This article examines how Part IV of the Constitution has been interpreted
since Parliament's overruling of the seminal case of Chng Suan Tze v Minister
of Home Affairs2 in 1989.3 It examines the methodology adopted by the
Court in the post-Chng era and assesses its impact on the constitutional
review of constitutional liberties in general.
First, it considers how the Court of Appeal decision of Chng was legislatively
overruled and notes the legislative resort to ouster clauses in what the
executive deems to be politically sensitive matters. The jurisprudential basis
and function of a Bill of Rights, the influence of naturalism and the methods
of constitutional interpretation will then be examined. This article will then
contextualise judicial review in the bigger context of the judiciary's role
as a counter-majoritarian check in a government based on the separation
of powers. Some difficulties inherent in the task of constitutional inter-
I P Allot, State Responsibility and the Unmaking of International Law, [1988] 29 Harv
JIL 1 at 2.
2  [1989] 1 MLJ 69.
3 Constitution of the Republic of Singapore (Amendment) Act 1989 (No 1 of 1989) which
came into effect on 27 January 1989. For an overview of the developments under Internal
Security Act law, see Yee, Ho & Seng, Judicial Review of Preventive Detention under
the ISA (1989) 10 Sing LR 66. For the reasons behind the amendment, see Singapore
Parliamentary Debates, 25 January 1989, Second Reading, Internal Security (Amendment
Bill) cols 531-533; 463-474.

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