How Does The Constitution Guarantee Equality Under The Law

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An animated exhibit at the National Museum of Singapore showing part of the Singapore National Pledge. When reading it, Singaporeans pledge to “build a democratic society based on justice and equality”.

How Does The Constitution Guarantee Equality Under The Law

How Does The Constitution Guarantee Equality Under The Law

Article 12 of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore guarantees all persons equality before the law and equal protection of the law. The letter also identified four prohibited classifications – religion, race, origin and place of birth – against which Singaporeans cannot be discriminated against for any reason. For example, discrimination against such classifications is prohibited in appointment to any office or employment under public authority or in the administration of any law relating to the establishment or carrying on of any trade, business, profession, occupation or occupation.

Does The Constitution Explicitly Guarantee Equality Or Non Discrimination Across Socioeconomic Status?

People who cannot show that one of the prohibited classifications applies to them can try to argue that they are members of a group defined by law in a way that violates the general guarantee of equality and equal protection. To succeed, the classification used in the statute must be established as failing the logical nexus test, a three-step test developed by the Court. The first stage of the test is to check whether the rules differ between individual classes. At the second level, the court considers whether the difference is based on an intelligible difference or a distinctive feature. Finally, the basis of the distinction must bear a reasonable relation to the purpose of the statute. However, the test is not straightforward as the classification may pass the test if the legal object itself is invalid. The logical nexus test, as used in the Singapore brief, also tolerates more inclusive classifications. It remains to be seen whether local courts will consider other approaches to the question, such as the three-level test used in the US, the proportionality analysis used with other areas of UK human rights law, or reasonable ones. Access is not by some judges in India and Malaysia.

The rational nexus test does not apply where the statute treats everyone equally, but the authority is alleged to have applied the statute in a discriminatory manner. Instead, a modified rational connection test is used, which requires the court to consider whether there is a reasonable connection between the state’s action and the purpose of the law. No such connection arises if the action involves intentional and arbitrary discrimination or intentional systematic discrimination. It is not enough if this happens on a very large scale and any inequality is caused by carelessness or inefficiency. Additionally, inequities arising from reasonable administrative policy or mere errors of judgment are not sufficient to constitute a violation of Article 12(1).

Article 12(3) of the Constitution does not abrogate or prohibit any provision governing private law; or any provision or practice which restricts posts or jobs related to the affairs of any religion or institutions managed by groups adhering to any religion to persons adhering to that religion.

A copy of the 1215 Magna Carta in the British Library collection. In a 1998 decision, the Singapore Court of Appeal traced the concept of equality contained in Article 12(1) of the Constitution to Article 40 of this document.

The 14th Amendment To The U.s. Constitution

12.- (1) All persons are equal before the law and are entitled to equal protection of the law. (2) Except as expressly permitted by this Constitution, there shall be no discrimination against citizens of Singapore solely on the basis of religion, race, descent or place of birth. or in the administration of any law relating to the acquisition, holding or disposal of property or the establishment or carrying on of any trade, business, profession, occupation or occupation. (3) This section does not repeal or prohibit— (a) any provision regulating private law; or (b) any provision or practice which restricts posts or occupations connected with the affairs of any religion or institutions managed by groups of believers to persons of that religion.

The Court of Appeal saw the concept of equity as part of the broader principle of the rule of law, tracing its origins to Article 40 of the 1215 Magna Carta: “To whom we shall not sell, to whom? Don’t sell. dy, we will not delay anyone’s right or justice.”

Article 12(1) of the Constitution has strong parallels with the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution, which prohibits any state from denying “to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws”, and Article 14 of the Indian Constitution provides that ” It prohibits the government from denying to any person equality before the law or equal protection of the laws within the territory of India. Section 8 (1) is equivalent to Section 12 (1) of the Malaysian Constitution adopted after Singapore’s independence from Malaysia in 1965.

How Does The Constitution Guarantee Equality Under The Law

The Supreme Court stated that the concept of equality before the law is derived from the common law that all classes of people are equally subject to the law, and that the concept of equal protection of the law arises from the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution and guarantees. Procedural and substantive equality.

Right To Equality: Article 16, 17 & 18 Of The Constitution

Equality before law and equal protection of law would be different aspects of the same doctrine – equal justice. The first enunciates the immutable principle of equal subjection of all men to the law, and the second is the positive aspect of the so-called principle which extends to the abolition of unequal laws and discriminatory administrative or executive actions. Unconstitutional and invalid. . Discriminatory Classification[edit] Prohibited Classification[edit]

Article 12(2) of the Constitution prohibits discrimination against Singapore citizens (unlike Article 12(1) which applies to “all persons”) “on the basis of religion, race, descent or place of birth” in the following cases:

The wording only raises the possibility of permitting discrimination based on one of the prohibited grounds combined with other factors such as age or health conditions.

Article 12(2) is subject to express authorization contrary to the Constitution. Section 39A empowers the legislature to ensure that members of the Malay, Indian and other minority communities are represented in Parliament by enacting legislation to establish a Group Representation Constitution (GRC). Each voter in a GRC casts his vote for a group of candidates, at least one of whom must be from a minority community.

Moving The Equal Rights Amendment Out Of The 1970s And Into The Constitution

Article 39A(3) exempts any provision made by Parliament pursuant to Article 39A from being invalid on the ground of inconsistency with Article 12.

Another provision saved from nullity by Article 12(2) is the statutory mandate for the Government to exercise its functions to recognize the special status of the Malays, the indigenous people of Singapore. The government has the responsibility to “protect, protect, support, nurture and promote the Malay language as well as their political, educational, religious, economic, social and cultural interests”.

The legislature shall act as a law to regulate Islamic religious affairs and the constitution also mandates the formation of a council to advise the president on matters related to Islam.

How Does The Constitution Guarantee Equality Under The Law

Aggrieved persons who cannot avail themselves of the protection afforded by Article 12(2) may try to argue that they are members of a group defined by law in a way that violates Article 12(1). The rational nexus test, also known as the fair classification doctrine, is a three-step test developed by courts to determine whether a law’s method of classifying a group of persons is discriminatory. The equality guaranteed by the provision is a relative and not an absolute concept; It is not necessary to treat all people equally, rather all people in the same situation should be treated equally.

Constitutionalizing Equality: The Equal Rights Amendment As A Catalyst For Change

Consequently, laws which differentiate between classes of persons are valid and constitutional if there is any difference in circumstances, and the factors adopted by the legislature as creating inequality in circumstances are not merely arbitrary but bear a reasonable relation to the object of the legislation. Laws.

In the absence of such nexus, the difference is discriminatory and the impugned legislation is unconstitutional and invalid.

In 1909, the United States Supreme Court proposed a test for determining the reasonableness of a classification, stating that the classification “must always depend on some real and substantial difference having a fair and just relation to the matters classified.” .

Based on this principle,

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