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Sources of Singapore law

Sources of law in Singapore / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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There are three general sources of Singapore law: legislation, judicial precedents (case law), and custom.[1]

The Statutes of the Republic of Singapore, a series that consists of all Acts of the Singapore Parliament and English statutes that are currently in force in Singapore

Legislation is divided into statutes and subsidiary legislation. Statutes are written laws enacted by the Singapore Parliament, as well as by other bodies that had power to pass laws for Singapore in the past. Statutes enacted by these other bodies may still be in force if they have not been repealed. One particularly important statute is the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore, which is the supreme law of Singapore. Any law the Legislature enacts after the commencement of the Constitution that is inconsistent with it is, to the extent of the inconsistency, void. Subsidiary legislation, also known as "delegated legislation" or "subordinate legislation", is written law made by ministers or other administrative agencies such as government departments and statutory boards under the authority of a statute (often called its "parent Act") or other lawful authority, and not directly by Parliament.

As Singapore is a common law jurisdiction, judgments handed down by the courts are considered a source of law. Judgments may interpret statutes or subsidiary legislation, or develop principles of common law and equity laid down, not by the legislature, but by previous generations of judges. Major portions of Singapore law, particularly contract law, equity and trust law, property law and tort law, are largely judge-made, though certain aspects have now been modified to some extent by statutes.

A custom is an established practice or course of behaviour that is regarded by the persons engaged in the practice as law. Customs do not have the force of law unless they are recognized in a case. "Legal" or "trade" customs are not given recognition as law unless they are certain and not unreasonable or illegal. In Singapore, custom is a minor source of law as not many customs have been given judicial recognition.

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