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International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy Queensland University of Technology 2202-8005 The International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy is an open access, blind peer-reviewed journal that publishes critical research about challenges confronting criminal justice systems around the world.  The Journal is committed to democratising quality knowledge production and dissemination. Authors retain copyright and articles are licenced via Creative Commons to make published articles more readily available and useable. There are no APCs (Article Processing Charges). Authors can submit and publish at no cost.
International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy 9 2

Capital Punishment in Singapore: A Critical Analysis of State Justifications From 2004 to 2018


This article examines state justifications for capital punishment in Singapore. Singapore is a unique case study because capital punishment has largely been legitimised and justified by state officials. It illustrates how Singapore justifies capital punishment by analysing official discourse. Discussion will focus on the government’s narrative on capital punishment, which has been primarily directed against drug trafficking. Discussion will focus on Singapore’s death penalty regime and associated official discourse that seeks to justify state power to exercise such penalties, rather than the ethics and proportionality of capital punishment towards drug-related crimes. Critical analysis from a criminological perspective adds to the growing body of literature that seeks to conceptualise social and political phenomena in South-East Asia.


Pages:133 to 151
Section: Articles
0 citation(s) in Scopus
0 citation(s) in Web of Science


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Author Biographies

Monash University
Australia Australia

Ariel Yap is a doctoral researcher and teaching associate at Monash University. Her doctoral research uses historical and qualitative methods to examine the sociology of punishment and political detention in Southeast Asia. Ariel also continues to work in the areas of capital punishment and crime control in Southeast Asia, international law and human rights development, as well as prison linkage projects within Australia, Victoria. 

Monash University
Australia Australia

Shih Joo is a PhD candidate at Monash University. Her doctoral thesis examines the experiences of female migrant domestic workers in Singapore and Hong Kong. Using qualitative methods, her research project focuses on the nexus of everyday security, gender, state migration and labour policies, and how this interplay impacts on workers’ access to justice and protection.