chapter  10
16 Pages

THE CLONABILITY OF THE SINGAPORE MODEL OF LAW AND DEVELOPMENT: THE CASE OF SUZHOU, CHINA

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The roots of Singapore's legal culture are planted firmly in the tradition of the English Common Law. For when Stamford Raffles (later 'Sir') alighted there in 1819, he transported with him, as his birthright, all the laws of England. This custom, entrenched in the Common Law (e.g. Cooper v Stuart (1889) 14 A C 286), was further supported by colonial legislation, a sophisticated English court system and administration, which ensured formal reception (Bartholomew, 1985:3-24). However, the English law which took root in Singapore was not necessarily Lord Ellenborough's 'law of liberty,' of respect for the dignity ofthe individual, her entitlement to life, liberty, and property. Arguably what had taken root was a particular species of English law designed primarily to facilitate the smooth running of a profitable colonial regime. Law became a set of rules and practices that underpinned the predominantly economic goals of the colonial state.