David Marshall and the Struggle for Civil Rights in Singapore

Trocki, Carl A. (2005) David Marshall and the Struggle for Civil Rights in Singapore. In Chua, Beng Huat, Trocki, Carl A., & Barr, Michael D. (Eds.) Paths Not Taken: Political Pluralism in Postwar Singapore, 14-15 July 2005, Asia Research Institue, National University of Singapore. (Unpublished)


This paper looks at the career of David Marshall during the years in which he was a "peripheral politician", as Chan Heng Chee has called him. It was in these years that his commitment to the causes of human rights and civil rights in Singapore came to the fore. During his career as an opposition politician and later as a barrister he regularly championed the causes of freedom of speech and freedom of conscience in Singapore. He stood against increasing odds for the rights of those who were detained without trial and who were persecuted for their political beliefs. His career between 1956 and 1972 saw him take a leading role in a number of significant issues. These included his opposition to the government’s move to eliminate trial by jury in Singapore; his campaign for humane treatment for the detainees of Operation Cold Store; and his defense of freedom of the press when government critics were arrested, among other actions. This paper will look at Marshall’s role in these three occasions and evaluate his contribution to the practice of politics in Singapore and will evaluate the long term impact of his defense of the rule of law. It will be based on an examination of his speeches and on the materials in the David Marshall papers.

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ID Code: 3117
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Singapore, history, politics, biography, civil rights
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES (220000) > APPLIED ETHICS (220100) > Human Rights and Justice Issues (220104)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > POLITICAL SCIENCE (160600)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY (210000) > HISTORICAL STUDIES (210300) > Asian History (210302)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > QUT Carseldine - Humanities & Human Services
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2005 The Author
Deposited On: 09 Mar 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:49

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