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Law in Singapore: Legislation, Codes & Treaties

Introduction

The 2 main sources of legislation in Singapore today are:

1. The Statutes of the Republic of Singapore
    Call no.: K7399 ... (year of Revised Edition)

Revised editions of Singapore Acts are located behind the Loans Desk in the Law Library. Request for individual Acts by title (2020 Rev Ed) or chapter number (older revised editions).

2. Subsidiary Legislation of the Republic of Singapore
    Call no.: K7449 1990

The most updated set in the Law Library is located in the Singapore/Malaysia Collection.

The main database for current Singapore legislation is Singapore Statutes Online (SSO).

For historical sources of legislation, refer to the LibGuide: Historical Sources of Singapore Law.

Research Librarian

Profile Photo
Su-Lin Lee
Contact:
C J Koh Law Library
+65 6601 7105
llbleesl@nus.edu.sg
Subjects: Law

Getting Legislation (including Bills, Hansard, Treaties, Codes)

Singapore Statutes Online
SSO is  the main database for Singapore legislation. It is maintained by the Legislation Division of the Attorney-General's Chambers of Singapore.

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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.

eGazette
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)

Straits and Straits Settlements government gazette
Index to selected government gazettes from 1859 to 1940 published on National Library Online. List compiled by C J Koh Law Library.

*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

Full texts of treaties to which Singapore is a party are available via the following databases and websites:

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership
The CPTPP is a free trade agreement between 11 countries: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. It was concluded on 23 January 2018 in Tokyo, Japan and signed on 8 March 2018 in Santiago, Chile. Singapore ratified the CPTPP on 19 July 2018. Great Britain has recently joined the trade bloc.

eGazette
Selection of bilateral treaties in the Treaties Supplement of the Government Gazette from 1998. 

International Humanitarian Law Databases: Singapore
Treaties relating to humanitarian law to which Singapore is a party. Database maintained by the International Committee of the Red Cross.

International Investment Agreements (IIAs)
Details on Singapore's IIAs which are in force. Published by the Ministry of Trade and Industry. See also IIA Navigator published by UNCTAD.

International Tax
International tax agreements, including Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreements, concluded between Singapore and other countries. These are made available by the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore.

Singapore Convention on Mediation
In February 2020, Parliament passed the Singapore Convention on Mediation Act 2020 which gives effect to the Convention.

Singapore FTAs
FTAs to which Singapore is a party. Published by Enterprise Singapore. 

Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks
Treaty adopted by Singapore on Mar 27 2006 and ratified on Mar 26 2007. The full text is made available by WIPO.

Table of ASEAN Treaties/Agreements and Ratification
Listing of treaties signed and ratified by the ASEAN nations, including Singapore (as of October 2012). Full texts of the treaties may be found in the CIL Document Database.

United Nations Treaties Series Online
To obtain a listing of UN treaties to which Singapore is a party, select Singapore as a participant from the menu and click Search.

Listing of quasi-legislation that is applicable in Singapore:

Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority: Practice Directions
ACRA Practice Directions from 2002.

Singapore Financial Reporting Standards (International)
Singapore Financial Reporting Standards (International) and SFRS(I) Interpretations issued by the Accounting Standards Council.

Association of Banks in Singapore: Industry Guidelines
Codes of practice and guidelines relating to the banking industry, including consumer banking, investment banking and private banking.

Bankruptcy: Practice Circulars for Individual Insolvency
Practice circulars published by the Insolvency Office, Ministry of Law.

Building and Construction Authority: Codes, Acts and Regulations
Full texts of the Code on Accessibility in the Built Environment, Code of Practice on Buildable Design, and various guidebooks.

Code of Corporate Governance
The 2018 Code and accompanying practice guidance. Published by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct for In-House Counsel
Also known as the Singapore Corporate Counsel Association Limited Code of Ethics. 

Code of Governance for Charities and Institutions of a Public Character
Code issued by the Commissioner of Charities that will serve as a benchmark in governance standards for the charity sector. 

Competition Act and Guidelines
The guidelines outline how the Competition & Consumer Commission (CCCS) will administer and enforce the provisions under the Competition Act.

Family Justice Courts: Practice Directions
Practice directions issued by the Registrar of the Family Justice Courts governing the conduct of proceedings. See also Registrar's Circulars (select Family Justice Courts in left column)

Infocomm Media Development Authority: Codes of Practice
The IMDA has developed a series of guidelines and codes of practices for the infocomm and media sectors.

Intellectual Property Office of Singapore
Access to guidelines, circulars and practice directions relating to patent, trade mark, design, geographical indication and plant varieties protection.

Law Society of Singapore's Conditions of Sale 2020
Standard terms and conditions which buyers and sellers may incorporate by reference into contracts for sale and purchase of immovable properties.

Maritime and Port Authority: Circulars and Notices
Includes circulars and notices relating to port marine, shipping and maritime security.

Monetary Authority of Singapore: Regulation
MAS circulars, guidelines and notices relating to the various sectors of the Singapore finance industry.

National Environment Agency: Practices and Guidelines
Access to the NEA's guidelines and circulars which regulate the environment.

NUS Statutes and Regulations
Policies and procedures established by the NUS Senate and university administration.

Office of the Public Guardian: Safeguards & Protection : The Code of Practice
The Code serves to elaborate on the Mental Capacity Act, particularly in its practical application.

Personal Data Protection Commission: Guidelines and Consultation
The PDPC has issued advisory guidelines relating to the Personal Data Protection Act, including industry-led and sector-specific guidelines.

SGX Rulebooks
The Singapore Exchange publishes 7 rulebooks governing the listing, clearing, trading and depository services that the industry needs to comply with.

SID Codes
The Directors' Code of Professional Conduct and the complementary Code of Corporate Governance are published by the Singapore Institute of Directors.

Singapore Code of Advertising Practice
The SCAP seeks to promote a high standard of ethics in advertising through industry self-regulation. This website also contains links to the updated chapter and enhanced guidelines. Published by Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore.

Singapore Code on Take-overs and Mergers
Take-overs and mergers in Singapore are subject to non-statutory rules in the Singapore Code on Take-overs and Mergers, which is administered by the Securities Industry Council. The full text of the revised Code is made available by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. See also the Practice Statements issued under the Code.

Singapore Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy Service
Full text of the SDRP Policy, Rules and Supplemental Rules. Published by the Singapore Mediation Centre.

The Singapore Guide to Conduct and Market Practices for the Wholesale Financial Markets
Guide published by the Singapore Foreign Exchange Market Committee.

Singapore International Arbitration Centre: Practice Notes
SIAC promotes best practices in arbitration by applying guidelines contained in its Practice Notes.

Singapore International Commercial Court Practice Directions
The Practice Directions are a self-contained set of procedural guidelines regulating all proceedings in the SICC. The website also includes a set of SICC User Guides which provide guidance on certain unique features of SICC proceedings.

Singapore Medical Council: Guidelines
Access to:

  • SMC Ethical Code and Ethical Guidelines (2002 and 2016 editions) and Handbook on Medical Ethics (2016 edition)
  • Guidelines on Aesthetic Practices for Doctors (2016 Edition)
  • Sentencing Guidelines for Singapore Medical Disciplinary Tribunals.

State Courts Practice Directions 2021
Practice Directions and Registrar's Circulars issued by the State Courts to supplement the Rules of Court.

Strata Titles Boards: Guidelines
Registrar's circulars and guidelines published by the STB.

Supreme Court Practice Directions 2021
The Practice Directions and Registrar's Circulars  supplement the Rules of Court by regulating court practice and procedure. The electronic Practice Directions ("e-PD") launched by the Supreme Court is the the authoritative version.

Syariah Court Practice Directions 2018
Practice Directions that apply to proceedings in the Syariah Court Singapore. These must be read together with the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Rules (R1). Click here to access the Registrar's Circulars.

Urban Redevelpoment Authority: Guidelines
Circulars, guidelines and handbooks of the URA, including Master Plans from 1958.

Note: The 2020 Revised Edition of Acts came into force on 31 December 2021. Refer to the AGC website for more information: https://www.agc.gov.sg/our-roles/drafter-of-laws/legislation-and-revisions.

Singapore law watch: legislation
List of bills introduced and legislation published in the last three months.

Singapore statutes online: new legislation
Scroll down to the New Legislation section for the latest information on laws in force and amended.

This list includes extrinsic materials that can be used in statutory interpretation:

A. Parliament

Parliamentary documents that can be used in statutory interpretation:

B. Law Reform Reports

Attorney-General's Chambers: Law Reform Reports
Reports from 2001 to 2010 published by the then Law Reform and Revision Division, AGC.

Singapore Academy of Law: Law Reform
Discussion papers and reports of the Singapore Academy of Law Reform Committee (1989 - ). These law reform reports are also available via LawNet.

C. Green Papers and other Consultation Papers

Ministry of Law: Public Consultations
Public consultation papers published by the Ministry of Law (2008 - )

Papers Presented to Parliament
6 categories of papers uploaded on the Government Records Database as and when the National Archives receives them from Parliament - Command Paper, Parliamentary Paper, Statutory Paper, Subsidiary Legislation Paper, Presidential Council Paper and Miscellaneous Paper (2011 - ) . You can find Green Papers here including the Green Paper on Deliberate Online Falsehoods.

REACH: Public Consultations
REACH posts public consultations by the various Ministries and government agencies seeking feedback on proposed changes to the law.

Singapore Copyright Review – Enhancing Creators’ Rights and Users’ Access to Copyrighted Work
Report issued on 17 Jan 2019. Legislative amendments to the Copyright Act will be made to implement the conclusions in the report. Published by the Ministry of Law.

D. White Papers
These papers are mostly available in Archives Online (Government Records). A selection of the more current ones are highlighted here:

E. Reports of Committees of Inquiry

‚Äč*indicates subscription database

Note: The 2020 Revised Edition of Acts came into force on 31 December 2021. Refer to the AGC website for more information: https://www.agc.gov.sg/our-roles/drafter-of-laws/legislation-and-revisions.

A. Indexes

Singapore Subsidiary Legislation (1981-1991); (1991-2005)
Searchable indexes of amendments to Singapore Subsidiary Legislation (1990 Ed.)

The Statutes of the Republic of Singapore (Indexes)
The Alphabetical List of Acts and Chronological Table of Acts in the 2020 Rev Ed. Published by the Attorney-General's Chambers.

B. Citators

Mallal's Digest: Legislation Citator 1932 to 2014
K7599.3 Mdl 2014 (LW Reference 1)
This citator contains a table of Singapore legislation considered by the courts. Note: the latest Legislation Citator (1932 to 2015) only contains references to Malaysian legislation.

Singapore Law Reports (Reissue): Table of Legislation Referred to: 1965 to 2009
K7599 SLR (LW Sing-Mal Coll)
The citator contains a listing of legislation referred to in cases reported in the SLR(R) from 1965 to 2009.

LawNet: Legislation Reference Trace (access: NUS Law) (access: Other NUS staff & students)
Use this to find documents which refer to a piece of local legislation.

C. Commentaries & Encyclopaedias 

Annotated Laws of Singapore (2021 - )
K7399 Sal (LW Sing-Mal Coll)
Section-by-section annotations to a selection of Singapore statutes including those relating to company, commercial, criminal and family law.

Butterworth's Annotated Statutes of Singapore (1996 - 2001)
K7399 Sbas (LW Leg/Reports, LW Sing-Mal Coll)
Detailed annotations to the provisions of earlier editions of Singapore statutes. Sections V and V5001 of Statute Referencer contain Words and Phrases Statutorily and Judicially Defined (statutorily defined in the revised editions of the statutes of Singapore in force as at 2 June 2000, and judicially defined by the Singapore and Malaysian courts from 1932 to 2 June 2000).

More up-to-date annotations have been published individually by LexisNexis. To find these materials, run a search for "LexisNexis annotated statutes of Singapore" in LINC: https://linc.nus.edu.sg/search/t.

Halsbury's Laws of Singapore
KE5011 Hal (LW RBR, LW Reference 1, LW Sing-Mal Coll)
Contains commentaries on and analyses of Singapore statutes. Online version available via Lexis Advance Singapore.

Singapore Law Watch Commentaries: Legislation
Commentaries on legislation by various law firms.

Online guides and tutorials: