Constitutional Law 2
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Constitutional Law 2

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The Legislature

The Legislature

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Constitutional Law 2 Presentation Transcript

  • 1.
    • The English Parliament
    • Norman kings - Great Council or Magnum Concilium (land-owning barons)
    • Curia Regis or King’s Council
    • Parlement (‘Talking shop’)
    • 14th century - 2 houses - House of Lords & House of Commons – consequence of history
  • 2.
    • Conflict between Parliament and the Crown
    • Civil War & Glorious Revolution 1688 led to growth of 2-party system: Whigs & Tories
    • Erosion of powers of House of Lords 1909-1911
  • 3.
    • 1819-1867: No legislative powers - governed from India. Laws made by Governor-in-Council
    • 1867 - Straits Settlements - Crown Colony - own Legislative Council (Legco)
    • 1955 - Elections under Rendel Constitution - Governor retaining veto powers
    • 1958 - State Constitution - fully elected 51-member Parliament
  • 4.
    • Symbol of Democracy - majoritarian rule
    • Prime Body for making laws
    • One of three component bodies making up the Government under separation of powers doctrine
  • 5.
    • Single House as opposed to Dual House
    • Rendel Commission’s recommendations
      • Too small
      • Parochial interests - divisive
      • Practicality
  • 6.
    • Wee Chong Jin Commission
    • ‘… perpetuate racial and other differences but would also entail setting up of separate electoral rolls and require and involve the complicated task of defining the various minority groups
  • 7.
    • Wee Chong Jin Commission
    • Recommended establishment of Council of State made up of ‘mature and respected citizens who shall have either rendered distinguished public service or have attained eminence in their respective walks of life’
  • 8.
    • Requisites for representative government:
    • Truly representative assembly
    • Ability to discuss issues freely and frankly
    • Binding nature of legislature’s decisions
  • 9.
    • General Elections once every 5 years
    • As many members of Parliament as there are constituencies
    • Simple plurality system of voting
    • Qualifications:
      • Singapore citizen above age of 21
      • Name appears on voting register
      • Not under death sentence
  • 10.
    • Compulsory voting
    • Secret Ballot
    • Eligibility of Candidates
      • Singapore Citizen above age of 21
      • Resident in Singapore at time of nomination
      • Able to take active part in debate
      • Sound mind
      • No undischarged bankrupt
  • 11.
    • Single-seat MPs
    • GRC MPs 1988
    • Non-constituency MPs 1984
    • Nominated MPs 1990
  • 12.
    • Speaker of Parliament
    • Deputy Speaker
    • Clerk of Parliament
    • The Whip
    • Leader of the House
    • Parliamentary Committees
  • 13.
    • Committee of the Whole House
    • Sessional Committees
      • Selection
      • Public Accounts
      • Estimates
      • Standing Orders
      • House
      • Public Petitions
      • Privileges
  • 14.
    • Committee of the Whole House
    • Select Committees
    • Government Parliamentary Committees
  • 15.
    • Rule formation
    • Introduction of Bills - First Reading
    • Second Reading
    • Committee Stage
      • Select Committee
      • Committee of Whole House
    • Third Reading
  • 16.  
  • 17.
    • Presidential Council for Minority Rights
      • Exemptions - Money Bills, Bills on Certificate of Urgency & Bills affecting defence, security, public safety, peace or good order of Singapore
    • Differentiating Measure
  • 18.
      • ‘… likely in its practical application to be, disadvantageous to persons of any religious community and not equally disadvantageous to person of other such communities, either directly by prejudicing persons of that community or indirectly by giving advantage to persons of another community.’
  • 19.
    • Subsidiary Legislation
    • Ultra vires doctrine
    • Scrutiny of the Presidential Council for Minority Rights
  • 20.
    • NCMPs [1984] – Need to ‘ensure the representation in Parliament of a minimum number of Members from a political party or parties not forming the government.’
    • GRCs [1988] – Arose from ‘voting trend which showed young voters preferring candidates who were best suited to their own needs without being sufficiently aware of the need to return a racially balanced slate of candidates.’
    • Town Councils
    • CDCs & Mayors
    • Nominated MPs – Need for alternative views not espoused by parties in Parliament that tended to be partisan and sometimes oppositional for the sake of opposition.
  • 21.
    • Role of the PCMR? Still useful?
    • Have we settled the problem of representation? Are GRCs the way to go? What about the conflation of functions with Town Councils? What about NMPs?
    • GRCs & the Right to vote.
    • Elections and Electoral Boundaries
    • What next?