Singapore University of Social Sciences

Legal Methods and the Singapore Legal System

Legal Methods and the Singapore Legal System (LAW301)


LAW301 Legal Methods and the Singapore Legal System introduces the Law Student to the fundamental backdrop against which law is practiced in Singapore. Students are introduced to the various parts of the Singapore Legal System, and also to the key dramatis personae involved in the administration of law in this country. Students then learn how all the people and components function together as the common-law system as practiced here in Singapore. Students are then introduced to the key legal skills – understanding and analysing case law, interpreting statutes, using precedents in legal argument. These are skills that will be honed in the next few years of study and will be in constant use throughout their legal practice.

Level: 3
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: EVERY JAN


  • Introduction to the Study of Law and its Divisions
  • History of the Singapore Legal System
  • Separation of Powers: The Executive, Parliament and the Judiciary
  • The Judiciary in Singapore: Its Structure and System
  • The Common Law System: Stare Decisis (System of Precedents)
  • Understanding and Analyzing Case Precedents
  • Interpretation of Statutes
  • Contract Interpretation
  • Basic Elements of Legal Argument & Writing: Written Advocacy
  • Using Case Precedents in Legal Argument
  • Legal Drafting: Court Pleadings, Contracts and Affidavits
  • The Litigation Process and Alternative Dispute Resolution Methods

Learning Outcome

  • Indicate the various sources of the relevant law, how it is made and developed; of the institutions within which that law is administered and the personnel who practice law
  • Demonstrate understanding of legal concepts, values, principles and procedures of Singapore law and explain the relationship between them in a number of subject areas, as well as to apply them
  • Analyse fact patterns to identify relevant issues of law, fact and procedure.
  • Interpret the relevant rule of substantive law, procedure or evidence relevant to the issues identified
  • Apply the relevant laws and principles to come to a conclusion on the issues
  • Formulate an opinion, provide a solution and advise based on the conclusions
  • Discuss critically, competing arguments in literature or in a group situation and make a reasoned choice between alternatives
  • Examine ideas, concepts and arguments in the English language and legal terminology with care and accuracy
  • Employ information technology in an office environment for the search for information, the preparation of documents and presentations
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