Constitutional Statecraft in Asian Courts explores how courts engage in constitutional state-building in aspiring, yet deeply fragile, democracies in Asia. Yvonne Tew offers an in-depth look at contemporary Malaysia and Singapore, explaining how courts protect and construct constitutionalism even as they confront dominant political parties and negotiate democratic transitions.
This richly illustrative account offers at once an engaging analysis of Southeast Asia's constitutional context, as well as a broader narrative that should resonate in many countries across Asia that are also grappling with similar challenges of colonial legacies, histories of authoritarian rule, and societies polarized by race, religion, and identity.
The book explores the judicial strategies used for statecraft in Asian courts, including an analysis of the specific mechanisms that courts can use to entrench constitutional basic structures and to protect rights in a manner that is purposive and proportionate. Tew's account shows how courts in Asia's emerging democracies can chart a path forward to help safeguard a nation's constitutional core and to build an enduring constitutional framework.