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Historical Sources of Singapore Law: Databases

Databases for Historical Singapore Legal Materials

Bills introduced
Bills as introduced at their first reading, beginning with Bill no. 01/2006. Published by the Parliament of Singapore.

*British Military Administration, Malaya. Gazette. Singapore Division: CO 932/1
Contains proclamations, orders, rules and regulations promulgated by the BMA.

The electronic version of the Government Gazette contains the Bills Supplement, Acts Supplement, Subsidiary Legislation Supplement and Treaties Supplement from 1998. Revised editions of statutes and subsidiary legislation are also available through this database.  Click on Archives on the top menu bar for older publications.

*LawNet (access: NUS Law) (access: Other NUS staff & students)
Contains current versions and selected revised editions of Singapore statutes and subsidiary legislation. 

The Laws of the Straits Settlements 1835-1919
NUS Libraries has digitised this 5-volume set which contains laws that are an important part of Singapore's legal history. It is commonly referred to as the Bradell Edition.

Official reports: parliamentary debates (Hansard)
Searchable database of Singapore Parliamentary Debates from 1955 onwards. Published by the Singapore Parliament.

Papers presented to Parliament
Part of the Archives Online database. Papers are classified into one of six categories: Command Paper, Parliamentary Paper, Statutory Paper, Subsidiary Legislation Paper, Presidential Council Paper and Miscellaneous Paper. These include reports of Select Committees of Parliament, legislation and Government White Papers. All Papers from 2011 onwards will be uploaded on the Government Records Database as and when the National Archives receives them from Parliament.

Select committee reports
Select Committee Reports from 1955 onwards are available on the Singapore Parliament website.

*Sessional papers of the Colonial Government of Singapore, 1946-1960 : CO 940
Public sessions of the Colony of Singapore Advisory Council (1947-48) and proceedings of the Singapore Legislative Council (1948-55)

Singapore Statutes Online
Official Singapore Government website for online publication of legislation by the Attorney General's Chambers. Content includes selected earlier revised editions of Acts and Subsidiary Legislation, Bill Supplements and Act Supplements.

Straits Settlements government gazette
Index to government gazettes from 1959 to 1940 published on BookSG. Some volumes are missing.

*Straits Settlements government gazette, 1867-1942 : CO 276
Straits Settlements Ordinances as well as Bills laid before the Legislative Council of Singapore. Also includes government notifications, proclamations and advertisements.

*Straits Settlements sessional papers, 1855-1940 : CO 275
Reports on the proceedings of the Legislative and Executive Councils of the Straits Settlements from 1867 to 1940.

* indicates subscription database


Archives Online
Online access to government records, government speeches and press releases, and Straits Settlements records. Developed by the National Archives of Singapore.

* Federation of Malaya Constitutional Commission, 1956 : CO 889
Also known as the Reid Commission Report.

* indicates subscription database

*LawNet (access: NUS Law staff & students) (access: Other NUS staff & students)
Access to historical law reports including Kyshe's Reports, the Federated Malay States Law Reports, Straits Settlements Law Reports, etc.

*Lexis Advance Singapore
Search the Malayan Law Journal for Singapore cases from 1931 to 1965.

Newspapers are a good source of case information, particularly unreported judgements. This digital archive, maintained by the National Library Board, contains historical Singapore and Malaya newspapers from 1831 to 2017.

Singapore War Crimes Trials
Web Portal co-founded by Dr Cheah Wui Ling and Ng Pei Yi. Features comprehensive case summaries of trials for WWII crimes committed in Singapore and other locations in Asia.

*War Crimes Case Files, Second World War: WO 235
This series contains the trials of Japanese war criminals by the Military Court in Singapore for crimes committed in Southeast Asia during the Second World War.

* indicates subscription database

Digital archive of Singapore and Malaya newspapers from 1831 to 2017. Provides a good source of information on law, including unreported cases. To see the list of titles in the digitised newspaper collection, refer to the FAQ (Q.7).

Research Librarian

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Su-Lin Lee
C J Koh Law Library
469D Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 259773
Phone: +65 6601 7105
Subjects: Law

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