A and restrictions designed to protect the privileges

A constitution is a set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed. These rules together make up a constitute, what the entity is. In Singapore, Article 4 of the Constitution “This Constitution is the supreme law of the Republic of Singapore and any law enacted by the Legislature after the commencement of this Constitution which is inconsistent with this Constitution shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void.””Article 14 of the constitution explains the fundamental rights of singapore citizens,14.— (1) Subject to clauses (2) and (3) —(a) every citizen of Singapore has the right to freedom of speech and expression;(b) all citizens of Singapore have the right to assemble peaceably and without arms; and(c) all citizens of Singapore have the right to form associations.(2) Parliament may by law impose —(a) on the rights conferred by clause (1)(a), such restrictions as it considers necessary or expedient in the interest of the security of Singapore or any part thereof, friendly relations with other countries, public order or morality and restrictions designed to protect the privileges of Parliament or to provide against contempt of court, defamation or incitement to any offence;(b) on the right conferred by clause (1)(b), such restrictions as it considers necessary or expedient in the interest of the security of Singapore or any part thereof or public order; and(c) on the right conferred by clause (1)(c), such restrictions as it considers necessary or expedient in the interest of the security of Singapore or any part thereof, public order or morality.(3) Restrictions on the right to form associations conferred by clause (1)(c) may also be imposed by any law relating to labour or education.”Being put under arrest is an extremely stressful experience for a person. This is especially when a person does not know his legal rights. Criminal investigations in Singapore are conducted by the police and and various other law enforcement agencies eg, Central Narcotics Bureau, Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau.When you are arrested,the police have the right to ask you for your name, home address and NRIC number. The police have the rights to search you and your belongings, any place the police believe may contain evidence for example, your property, vehicle, computer, handphone etc. The police have the right to question any person in relation to the investigation. You are required by law to provide information relating to the investigation by the police. This is under Section 22(2) of the Criminal Procedure Code which states that any person being questioned by the police. However, you are not required to say anything that might expose you to a criminal charge, penalty or forfeiture.Woman may only be search by another woman and with strict regard to decency.If the police decide to search places such as your home or workplace, they may seize any items found as evidence. At the conclusion of the case, the court will decide what to do with the seized items, whether to return the items to you.If you are going to be charged, you will be asked to give a “cautioned statement” pursuant to Section 23 to the police. This statement will generally be recorded in the English Language. If you are unable to understand English, you should inform the Police immediately and they will arrange for someone to interview you in a language that you are familiar with.Pursuant to Section 23 of the Criminal Procedure Code, you have the right to remain silent and not provide any statement. However, the Court’s may draw an adverse inference from this.If you have any defence, or you want to state your innocence, you should state it to the Police at the point of making the statement. Any facts that you intend to raise in your defence should be stated at this point. Facts that you raise later in court will not be as persuasive and may be deemed an “afterthought”.After you give your statement, you will be allowed to read it again. If there are any discrepancies you should highlight it to the Police officer. The Police cannot force you to sign the statement. You should only sign it once you are satisfied with what has been recorded. This statement may be used against you in Court. A copy of this statement will be provided to you.You must be very careful while making your statement, as this will be heavily relied upon when you go to Court. You must ensure that the statement is truthful and lays out your version of the events. You should also pay attention to the specific words that you use as this can also affect you when you go to Court.The Police are not allowed to question you forcefully or continue questioning you when you are unwell. You are allowed to tell the Police officer that you cannot continue with the questioning and need to see a doctor. They must accede to this request.You can also request for toilet breaks and to be given food and water.That being said, you should not abuse these rights. If you purposely stop investigations by feigning illness or you refuse to talk to the Police at all, these considerations will be taken into account when you are charged in Court.You should also ask for all your requests to be recorded.According to article 9(4) of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore, a person who has been arrested and has not been released must be brought before a Magistrate without unreasonable delay, and in any case within 48 hours.For arrests without a warrant, an accused person cannot be held for more than 48 hours from the time of arrest. The police either have to bring the accused person to court within 48 hours or release him. However, the prosecutor may apply to detain the accused person for more than 48 hours in Court. The accused person is allowed to object to this. The Court will weigh the arguments by the Prosecutor as well as the accused person’s objection and make a decision on the matter. If the accused person has not been allowed to see a lawyer or family members, he can also raise this to the court.The accused person may also use this opportunity to inform the court if he feels that he has been mistreated during the investigation process or to see a doctor. The accused person should also raise any promises/deals that the Police may have made/offered in relation to the charges during his audience before the Judge. If the accused person disagrees with the statement that he has made to the Police he should also inform the Judge immediately.Separation of powers is founded on the concept of constitutionalism, which is primarily based upon distrust of power and desirability of limited government. The state needs laws in order for it to function, and this results in the creation of three distinct powers: one to create laws (the legislature), one to execute the laws (executive), and one to ensure that the rules are being followed (judiciary). Each branch of government has its own set of functions and hence the power that is available for each branch to wield is different as well. Simply put, there must be a separation of powers, where each branch is able to wield its own power to perform its functions independent of undue influence but yet be restrained from an abuse of its power through checking mechanisms. A system of checks and balances serves to ensure that each power will not be subject to abuse by the controlling body. While the checking mechanisms exercised by each body should be sufficient to prevent abuse of power, they should also not overstep their boundaries and encroach upon the powers that the other branches wield lawfully. The separation of powers brings its merits in just governance. However, where each branch wields more power than it legitimately should, there is room for abuse, leaving the rest of the society open to the potential of being ruled by tyranny of the majority. Hence it is important that a system of checks and balances is in place to ensure that power will not be abused to the detriment of the people. The Singapore Constitution lays down the fundamental principles and basic framework for the three organs of state, namely, the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary. The separation of governmental powers among the three branches of government creates a system of checks and balances between them.The executive – Comprises the Cabinet and the President. The cabinet is made up of the Prime Minister and other ministers.The Legislature – Is made up of Parliament and the President. The Legislature is the law-making body of the government.The Judiciary – Interprets the law in order to decide disputes between two or more individuals, as well as between individuals and the government. For the Executive, the Judiciary ensures that it acts within the powers conferred to it by law and by Parliament. This means that if, for example, an officer from a Ministry acts beyond the powers given to him by a particular law, the Judiciary can hold him accountable. For the Legislature, the Judiciary ensures that the laws passed by it are consistent with the Singapore Constitution. Remember, Singapore functions on the basis of constitutional supremacy. Everyone, including Parliament when passing laws, has to act consistently with its provisions. Hence, the Judiciary can strike down laws which it deems inconsistent with the Constitution. The Judiciary’s other main function is to decide the outcome of disputes between individuals, and disputes between individuals and the Government.Security of tenure — an existing high court judge cannot be removed from ofce unless strict specifc criteria (such as mental or physical disability) are met. This prevents the removal of a judge by members of the Executive or Legislature because he/she may have made a decision against their favour.Remuneration — a judge’s pay cannot be adjusted to his/her disadvantage after being appointed. This is to prevent the other branches from cutting or increasing a judge’s pay depending on how they decide cases.Immunity from civil suits — a judge is immune from personal civil law suits in respect of any act that he does in his capacity as a judge. This protection does not extend to acts done outside his/her capacity as a judge. Nonetheless, it gives the judge peace of mind to decide cases without fear of being sued.Constitutional and Legislative measures protecting respect and support — in particular, the conduct of a judge cannot be discussed in Parliament by the Legislature unless specifc conditions are met.Contempt of court — the court has the power to punish individuals for contempt. What is contempt? This includes acts suggesting that a judge is biased, or making direct unsubstantiated accusations about the judiciary. The ofence of contempt of court is there to maintain public confdence in the judiciary and the administration of justice.  According to article 9(1), No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty save in accordance with law. In the case of Yong Vui Kong v Public Prosecutor 2015 SGCA 11, the meaning of “life or personal liberty” is debated as such, Before we consider the construction of these words “life or personal liberty”, it is helpful to note two key features of Art 9(1) which are apparent on a plain reading. First, it prohibits the State from unlawfully deprivingan individual of his life or personal liberty, but does not impose any duty on the State to take affirmative measures to facilitate or promote a person’s enjoyment of his life and personal liberty. Second, Art 9(1) contemplates that the State may deprive an individual of, or intrude upon, rights that are within the ambit of “life and liberty” but only in accordance with law. Thus, the provision seeks to ensure that any such deprivations or intrusions are authorised by and comply with “law”. The word “law” includes legislative enactments: Art 2(1) of the Constitution. Therefore, even assuming that a particular right falls within the ambit of the words “life and personal liberty”, that does not preclude Parliament from depriving a person of that right by way of a validly enacted law. In order to challenge such an enactment, a litigant must not only show that it deprives or threatens to deprive him of his right to life and personal liberty; he must go further and establish that the enactment is void and/or inconsistent with another law that takes precedence over it.15     In sum, the object and purpose of Art 9(1) is to ensure that the Government acts in accordance with valid laws when depriving a person of his life or personal liberty. In these circumstances, it might be thought surprising if Art 9(1) protected a person only from unlawful execution, incarceration or detention. Such a parsimonious reading would mean that there is no constitutional safeguard against other forms of criminal punishment that entail improper interference with a person’s bodily integrity or personal liberty.According to article 9(3) of the Constitution when a person is arrested,he shall be informed as soon as may be of the grounds of his arrestshall be allowed to consult and be defended by a legal practitioner of his choiceAlthough the right to seek legal counsel exists, this right is not an unqualified right. An accused person is allowed to consult legal counsel within a reasonable time. This “reasonable time” has been widely interpreted by the courts.As stated in James Raj s/o Arokiasamy v Public Prosecutor 2014 SGHC 10,The main issue in this application concerned the question when an arrested person’s right to counsel under the Constitution arises. Article 9(3) of the Constitution states: “Where a person is arrested, he … shall be allowed to consult and be defended by a legal practitioner of his choice”. This provision does not stipulate the point in time at which the person arrested is entitled to consult counsel. But the Court of Appeal made it clear in Jasbir Singh and another v Public Prosecutor 1994 1 SLR(R) 782 (“Jasbir Singh”) that the arrested person’s constitutional right to counsel did not mean that he was entitled to consult counsel immediately after his arrest. Instead, he was entitled to consult counsel only a “reasonable time” after arrest. In the case of Jasbir Singh and another v Public Prosecutor 1994 1 SLR(R) 782, the accused party was only given access to legal counsel after two weeks. Whereas in James Raj s/0 Arokiasamy v Public Prosecutor 2014 SGHC 10, ‘reasonable time’ was to allow police investigations to take place without unreasonable interference.Referenceshttps://www.singaporecriminallawyer.com/your-rights-when-arrested/http://probono.lawsociety.org.sg/Documents/KnowYourRights_English.pdf