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Jaclyn L Neo

This chapter examines state regulation of religious communities within multicultural societies. It employs as the primary organizing factor whether religion is regarded as a private or public subject of regulation. Where religious communities are private actors, they are treated like associations and their members interact with the state primarily as individuals. Where religious communities are treated as public actors, the communal aspect of those communities tends to be emphasized, often over the individual interests within the community. Consequently, the primary regulatory approach towards private religion tends to be one of self-regulation, in addition to general statutory regulation. In comparison, where religious communities are treated as public actors, the state relies on a broader range of regulatory approaches – namely religion-specific statutory regulation and co-regulation – in addition to self-regulation. This chapter examines the modes and dimensions of regulation, the dominant approaches to regulating religious communities, and ideological postures influencing the regulatory reach of the state.

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Jaclyn L Neo and Helena Whalen-Bridge

Judicial codes can serve multiple objectives. This chapter examines the use and disuse of judicial codes of conduct by investigating the case of Malaysia. Malaysia first prescribed a Judges’ Code of Ethics in 1994, and then replaced it in 2009 with a more extensive code which established a procedure for complaints and investigation beyond the previous procedure. On the face of it, these codes may be conceptualized as rules for self-regulation, ensuring that judges comprehend their duties and act ethically. Furthermore, they appear to also serve the aim of asserting the judiciary’s independence against the other branches of government. However, because the codes were passed by Parliament in the wake of executive incursions and charges of corruption, there is concern that they are in fact a way for the executive, through the legislature, to control judicial conduct, with a deleterious effect on judicial independence.

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Helena Whalen-Bridge and Jaclyn L Neo

Singapore judges have a sterling reputation and yet they function without a published code of judicial ethics. The use of an internal code arises in part from a history of government-wide corruption eradication that did not target the judiciary specifically, but should Singapore at this point consider a published code? For Singapore’s contemporary national audience, unfamiliar with earlier struggles with poverty and corruption, a published code may have an important signalling effect. A published code could also provide a basis for comparison and discussion in ASEAN, and clarify standards for the international audience participating in the Singapore International Commercial Court.