Your Authoritative Source on Singapore Law

The Privilege against Self-incrimination and Right of Access to a Lawyer: A Comparative Assessment

Ho Hock Lai

(2013) 25 SAcLJ 826

This essay assesses the state of the law in Singapore on aspects of the right of silence and the right of access to a lawyer of a suspect who is in custody. It examines the right to be informed of the privilege against self-incrimination, the basis for and fairness of drawing adverse inferences from the non-disclosure of material facts during questioning, the right to be informed of the right to a lawyer and the time at which this right is available to be exercised. Comparisons are made with the law elsewhere, especially in the US, the UK and Europe. The general conclusion is that these rights are relatively weak in Singapore.