post-colonial Asia

  • The Principle of Judicial Discretion and the Death Penalty in Singapore-Constitutional Approach

    Author: Anna Michalak
    Institution: University of Lodz
    Year of publication: 2017
    Source: Show
    Pages: 101-114
    DOI Address:
    PDF: ppk/40/ppk4006.pdf

    Any discussion of human rights in post-colonial countries of Asia conducted from the perspective of Western civilization faces many obstacles, particularly related to existing differences, or even cultural barriers and different traditions. Postcolonial states, despite the remaining remnants of the colonial era-visible in their legal systems, that still contain normative acts adopted before obtaining sovereignty – very firmly resist to the adoption of the universal catalog of human rights set out in the UN Covenants, as well as the use of standards in their observance that are compatible with those made within the United Nations. Both – the so-called ideology of Asian values, as well as the concept of the ASEAN community is not conducive to the creation of international binding legal framework and does not allow (or even leading in the future) to create a universal system of human rights protection. On the contrary – it leads to the deepening ideological differences or even philosophical, in the further development of democracy among Western countries and Asia. From the perspective of European constitutional law, it may be interesting to see the arguments of post-colonial Asia judges on the issue of the division of power in the context of judicial activism and the protection of constitutional values. The purpose of this publication is to present the views of Singapore’s judiciary in connection with the reforms introduced in 2013 that abolish the mandatory death penalty for certain crimes together with the possibility of replacing it by a court decision with life imprisonment and flogging.

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