Category Archives: Singapore

Book Review: Business-school reforms for Singapore’s judiciary

Singapore’s judiciary regularly ranks amongst the best in the world, at least for commercial disputes. The World Bank’s¬†Judiciary-Led Reforms in Singapore: Framework, Strategies, and Lessons¬†explains how this happened, with an emphasis on Singapore’s judicial reforms during the 1990s. It’s short, easy to read, and has an excellent executive summary. However, at times author Waleed Malik seems to go into “business-school” mode, focusing on organizational reform theory. For such a short study, I would have preferred more discussion of the behind-the-scenes politics of the reform, such as the roles and interests of Lee Kuan Yew and other stakeholders. I think this book will be useful for scholars and practitioners in the rule of law field, although it doesn’t address the key question of interest to this blog, namely overcoming political resistance to reform.

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Don’t insult the hangman

As I’ve mentioned before, libel is a serious crime in Singapore. According to BBC, U.K. author Alan Shadrake was recently convicted of defaming the judiciary and sentenced to 6 weeks and S$20,000. In particular, Shadrake accused judges of not being impartial in death penalty cases. It’s too bad Singapore has adopted such heavy handed tactics – its judiciary otherwise ranks amongst the best in Asia, if not the world.

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Filed under death penalty, libel, Singapore