AGC's role critical to Singapore: PM Lee

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said upholding the rule of law has not just allowed Singapore to grow from a Third World country to a First World one, but also underpins its international standing.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said upholding the rule of law has not just allowed Singapore to grow from a Third World country to a First World one, but also underpins its international standing.PHOTO: ST FILE

Upholding the rule of law has not just allowed Singapore to grow from a Third World country to a First World one, but also underpins its international standing, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said yesterday.

This is why the role of the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) is so critical, he told more than 450 guests, including attorneys-general past and present, as they marked the 150th anniversary of the institution, at Gardens by the Bay. He stressed the need for the AGC to enforce laws without fear or favour, saying it advises the Government not just on the limits of its powers, but also when laws are introduced or revised.

As public prosecutors, the AGC ensures that everyone is accountable for his actions.

As the Government's legal adviser, it must work with the relevant department to come up with solutions - by amending the law if necessary, said Mr Lee.

It also drafts new laws or updates existing ones.

The AGC also acts as Singapore's international lawyer, a role it will reprise as it defends Malaysia's attempt to revise a 2008 international judgment awarding Pedra Branca to the Republic. "I am confident of the eventual outcome, because we have a capable and experienced team in AGC and a strong case," said Mr Lee.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 01, 2017, with the headline 'AGC's role critical to Singapore: PM Lee'. Print Edition | Subscribe