A court is any person or institution with authority to judge as a government institution, with the authority to settle legal disputes between parties and carry out the administration of justice in civil, criminal, and administrative matters in accordance with the rule of law.
The system of courts that interprets and applies the law is collectively known as the judiciary. The place where a court sits is known as a venue and where court proceedings occur is known as a courtroom, and building as a courthouse.
According to Hong Kong based Political and Economic Risk Consultancy (PERC), Singapore is the 2nd least risky country in Asia in the year 2010. Singapore’s efficient, transparent and extremely good legal system has been a key enabler for the country’s enormous growth over the past few years.
The legal system in Singapore is based on English common law which says that- All Singapore citizens are equal in the eyes of law irrespective of their race, religion and creed.
Singapore’s law is founded on four pillars – Constitution, Legislation, Subsidiary legislation and Legal decisions made by judges. These are explained below:
- The Constitution preserves the fundamental rights of the individual. It also comprises the fundamental principles and basic framework for the three organs of state –
- the Executive (consists of the President, Prime Minister and other ministers responsible for government affairs and accountable to the Parliament),
- the Legislature (consists of the President and Parliament with its legislative authority responsible for enacting legislation) and
- the Judiciary (the various courts of law which operate independent of the Executive and Legislature).
- Legislation or statutory laws are written laws approved by the Singapore Parliament or other bodies that had power to pass such laws.
- Subsidiary legislation or subordinate legislation refers to written law made by ministers, government agencies or statutory boards.
- Judge-made law is court judgments which are considered a source of law. For instance, law cases such as-criminal law, property law, contract law and trust law are largely judge-made.