More thoughts on the ‘Not a procession’ judgement

The judge acquitted the five defendants on one ground out of five defence arguments. Among those he rejected was the argument that the law and by-laws governing police permits for public assemblies and processions were unconstitutional, because the police never issue licences. He told the defendants: You should have applied for judicial review if you were dissatisfied by the police denying you a licence. Not as simple as it looks. Full essay.

3 Responses to “More thoughts on the ‘Not a procession’ judgement”


  1. 1 Chris 8 October 2009 at 20:02

    It is unfortunate that the police or other authorities can avoid scrutiny by refusing to make a decision until the last minute. In judicial review the remedy you want is to set aside the decision and have it made according to law. Could you apply for 3 similar events, being held on different dates, all at once? That would keep the issue live.

    Can you seek a review for a failure to make a timely decision? I mean if you lodge an application 6 weeks before your event and they haven’t decided by week 4 can’t you take them to task for unreasonable delay? If you are booking equipment or hiring staff you need to know in advance so that you can make the arrangements.

    Not sure what the state of the common law or statute law is in Singapore but where I live they have a judicial review act which sets out all the grounds for review including failure to make a decision.

  2. 2 KAM 13 October 2009 at 21:00

    Thanks Au, this was educational for me.

  3. 3 Colin 11 February 2012 at 12:12

    It seems to me that in the light of such police policies you set your procession at say 11am on a weekday. If then you get your “no” at 7pm on the previous day and you have already prepared your case, you are then ready to ask for an “urgent” hearing on a matter of judicial importance at the court opening time the following morning, being before the intended start of the procession. Play them at their own game!


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