Profile M Ravi Delta 09.10.2013 1 .pdf
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Human Rights Lawyer, Singapore
Graduating from the University of Cardiff in UK, M. Ravi
is an Advocate and Solicitor who was admitted to the
Singapore Bar in 1997. Prior to that, in 1993, Ravi
graduated from the National University of Singapore (NUS)
with a degree in Political Science and Sociology.
M. Ravi is one of Singapore’s leading human rights lawyers.
He began his legal career in civil and criminal litigation and
has had the opportunity to work in a wide range of legal
areas including family law, commercial law, intellectual
property law, criminal law and constitutional law.
M. Ravi has represented opposition political figures and
human rights defenders in a range of cases.
M Ravi is actively leading the anti-death penalty campaign
to abolish the death penalty in Singapore. He frequently
represents those accused of capital offences. He addressed
the European Parliament’s sub-committee on Human
Rights in 2007. He is also involved in clinical legal
education across Southeast Asia and participates actively in
civil society initiatives on the ASEAN Human Rights
mechanism. He has been invited as a speaker at various
regional and international human rights conferences and
forums around the world.
Photos, from top: M Ravi campaigns for client Cheong Chun
Yin; Mr Ravi and Queen’s Council Edward Fitzgerald and his
anti-death penalty legal defense team; Right: M Ravi’s
autobiography, “Kampong Boy”
Asia Sentinel has described M.
Ravi as having “…an aggressive
and somewhat discursive courtroom
style that can yield dividends...”
M Ravi Human
Human Rights Lawyer, Singapore
Defense Against Capital Punishment
M Ravi’s work in human rights began in 2003 with the defence of Vicknes
Moorthi, facing capital punishment. Since that time, Mr Ravi has continued to
represent clients on Singapore’s death row and to advocate for the abolition of
the death penalty worldwide.
Appeal for the life of Yong Vui Kong
In May 2012, two days before Yong's scheduled execution, Mr Ravi made an
application for a stay of execution for Vui Kong pending a High Court hearing
for an appeal. The Court of Appeal had previously not heard Vui Kong's case
as his defence lawyer had withdrawn it. The judge decided that he was not in
the position to make the decision for the Court of Appeal, granted the stay of
execution for Vui Kong. The High Court will soon hear Vui Kong’s case for resentencing with an exemption from capital punishment.
Defending Cheong Chun Yin
In October 2010, Mr Ravi took up the appeal for Cheong Chun Yin, who was
arrested in Singapore three years ago and charged with trafficking in 2.7kg of
heroin. To this day, Chun Yin maintains that he had believed himself to be
carrying gold bars concealed for the purposes of tax evasion. He had assumed
that gold bars had been hidden in the lining of a bag handed to him in
Myanmar, and nothing had happened during the journey to suggest otherwise.
Ramalingam Ravinthran v. Attorney-General
Photos, from top: M Ravi campaigns for
client Yong Vui Kong; Singapore Civil
Rights leader J. B. Jeyaretnam; Malaysian
political opposition leader Anawar Ibrahim;
M Ravi lobbies Nigerian National Assembly
In a Constitutional challenge on the ambit of Prosecutorial Discretion, Mr.
Ravi argued that the prosecution leading to his client’s conviction of two
capital charges of drug trafficking was unconstitutional. The specific ground
relied on was an alleged violation of the right to equality before the law under
Art 12(1) of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore which occurred
when the Attorney-General decided to charge the Applicant with capital
offences while charging, a person complicit in the same criminal enterprise,
with non-capital offences.
In July 2006, M Ravi embarked on a speaking tour in Europe to
promote awareness about human rights violations in Singapore and
to campaign against the imminent execution of two Africans,
Nigerian Amara Tochi and South African Okele Nelson Malachy.
Appeal to Nigerian National Assembly
In August 2006, M Ravi made an appeal to the Nigerian National
Assembly to appeal for clemency for his client, Iwuchukwu Amara
Tochi, facing the death penalty in Singapore. This led to Nigerian
President Olusegun Obasanjo appealing directly to Prime Minister of
Singapore, Mr. Lee Hsien Loong, for clemency for Tochi in January
2007. However, clemency was denied.
European Parliament Briefing
In 2008, Mr Ravi returned to Europe and during an internship at the
EU Parliament, he presented a briefing paper to the Directorate
General on External Policies on the death penalty in Singapore.
Human Rights Lawyer, Singapore
Freedom of Religion
Falun Gong Supporters Arrested
In September 2006, M Ravi took on
the defense of Ms Ng Chye Huay &
Mr Erh Boon Tiong, arrested by
Singapore Police and charged for
writing on a banner: "Stop
persecution of Falun Gong in
China.” The words, according to the
prosecution, were insulting because
the allegation of persecution of
Falun gong in China, they
contended, was untrue.
Civil and Political Rights
SDP takes a stand for Freedom of Speech
In May of 2008 and again in October 2012, M Ravi defended the Singapore
Democratic Party members' right to free speech and freedom of assembly.
First, in defamation suit over an article that the SDP published that was
critical of the Singapore government. Later, when SDP leadership had been
convicted of holding an assembly without a permit on National Day 2008.
With M Ravi, they bid to have their case heard at the Court of Appeal. Their
bid was rejected.
In January 2011, M Ravi took a
stand against new guidelines
pertaining to the festival of
Government of the Republic of
Singapore through the Hindu
Endowment Board, that he claimed
were in breach of the Minority
Rights guaranteed under Article 12
of the Constitution of the Republic
Defending Alan Shadrake
Alan Shadrake's book, Once A Jolly Hangman: Singapore Justice in the Dock,
alleges a lack of impartiality in the implementation of Singapore's laws. Ravi
acted on Shadrake's behalf in July 2010, after the author was arrested when he
visited Singapore to launch his book.
Challenge for Gay Rights
On 24 September 2010, M Ravi, acting for Mr Tan Eng Hong, initiated a
constitutional challenge to Section 377A of the Penal Code. This is the law
that makes “gross indecency” between two men a crime in Singapore,
punishable with up to two years’ imprisonment. The civil appeal continues to
The Right to Parliamentary Representation
After 20 years without by-elections, leaving some constituancies politically
disenfranchised for two years at a time, a Singapore resident, Mdm Vellama
d/o Muthu, in March 2012, filed an appeal asserting that Parliamentary
representation is not discretional, it is a constitutional right. On 5 July 2013,
the Court of Appeal determined that the Prime Minister of Singapore does not
have unfettered discretion as to whether a by-election must be held.
Photos, clockwise from top: Writer Alan Shadrake and M Ravi; Falun Gong supporters
in Singapore; Mdm Vellama d/o Muthu and M Ravi