Lim Meng Suang v Attorney General [2014] SGCA 53

Judgment of the Court of Appeal of the Republic of Singapore dismissing, on 29 October 2014, the joint appeals of Tan Eng Hong and Lim Meng Suang, who had separately challenged the constitutionality of section 377A of the Penal Code criminalising same-sex activity between men in Singapore.

In 2010, Tan Eng Hong filed an application to challenge the constitutionality of Section 377A of the Singapore Penal Code following his arrest for engaging in same-sex sexual acts with a partner. In 2012, Lim Meng Suang and Chee Mun-Leon, who had been partners for 15 years and had experienced discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation, filed a challenge to the constitutionality of Section 377A. The cases for both applicants were heard in the High Court in early 2013. In both judgments, the Judge held that Section 377A did not violate the Constitution. In October 2013, it was determined that the appeal for each of these cases would be heard together.

The applicants asserted that their right to equality before the law (Article 12) and right to life (Article 9) guaranteed in the Constitution were violated by Section 377A of the Penal Code.

The court dismissed the joint appeal challenging the constitutionality of Section 377A. They disagreed that the applicants rights under Article 9 and 12 of the Constitution had been violated. The court also stated that it is up to Parliament to decide on decriminalisation, declaring that the petitioner’s arguments involved ‘extra-legal considerations and matters of social policy which were outside the remit of the court, and should, instead, have been canvassed in the legislative sphere.’

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