Equal Protection and the Reasonable Classification Test in Singapore: After Lim Meng Suang v AG
Singapore J. of Legal Studies 95-117 (2016)
Available at: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2762132
The realisation of the almost universally accepted ideal of equality as a legal doctrine is complicated by the fact that differentiation is an inherent part of regulation in the modern state. In Singapore, the courts have regarded the Constitution’s injunction for the equal protection of the law to be a relative, rather than an absolute, concept. Differentiating laws therefore only has to satisfy a reasonable classification test in order to pass constitutional muster. This article argues that despite recent judgments elaborating upon the scope and meaning of the equality clause, there remains at least three areas in need of further judicial elucidation. It further argues that the reasonable classification test as it now stands is sufficiently capacious for the courts to read substantive content into the equality provision should a suitable case arise in the future.