Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Reynolds Privilege In the Singaporean Legal Regime

David Tan, National University of Singapore, has published The Reynolds Privilege in a Neo-Confucianist Communitarian Democracy: Reinvigorating Freedom of Political Communication In Singapore in the Singapore Journal of Legal Studies 456 (December 2011). Here is the abstract.

This article explores how defamation jurisprudence in Singapore has elevated the political public figure to an exalted position, virtually according the reputation of these honorable men, or junzi, heightened protection over the constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech. It takes the position that there are sufficient bases for the Reynolds v. Times Newspapers Ltd. privilege (the Reynolds privilege) to be adopted under Singapore common law, independent of any reliance on art. 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. It further argues that courts in Singapore ought to draw on relevant English and Australian jurisprudence, and consider a broader qualified privilege defense in defamation suits involving political public figures. The author concludes that the common law of qualified privilege in Singapore should be reviewed to take into account a multi-factorial approach when examining whether greater leeway may be accorded to citizen comments on public officials and public policy that are relevant to good government and good governance.

Download the article from SSRN at the link.

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