In remembrance of a Singapore Patriot – Joshua Benjamin Jeyaretnam (1926 – 2008)

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JBJ on the role of the judiaciary in relation to the executive

Posted by jbjmemorial on October 12, 2008

“Good government, Mr Speaker, Sir, requires that government acts in accordance with the law. Government is not above the law. No one is above the law in a coutnry which observes the rule of law.

In a civilized democratic country, if the government acted above the law or outside the law, then it ceases to be a democractic government subject to the rule of law and it becomes no better than a mafia government.

And any issue, whether the Government has acted under the law, must be determined by the Judiciary, not be the Executive. Otherwise, the Executivve becomes judge and jury, master in its own cause, decides what is the law and whether it has followed the law or not. that is not the case wheter the Rule of Law prevails and in a country which professes to practise Parliamentary democracy.

Parliamentary democracy, by its term, implies that Parliament shall be supreme and the Government shall act under the laws passed by Parliament and shall be accountable to Parliament, not act as a law unto itself. There are absolutely necessary if we are to have any transparency or accountability in our system of Government.”

– JBJ, in a speech to parliament, 1998

 

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