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NUS Law School has concluded agreements with the International Court of Justice and World Bank to offer fellowships for our alumni to work at each institution.

Tan Liang Ying '07In 2011, NUS Law School was pleased and honoured to accept invitations from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and World Bank to participate in fellowship programmes with both these organisations. Similar fellowship arrangements are already in place with select North American and European law schools, such as New York University, Yale and Oxford.


Announcing these prestigious fellowships, Dean Tan Cheng Han SC ’87 said, “These fellowships offer Law School alumni a valuable opportunity to gain experience in the most important international legal institutions.”


Ambassador-at-large Professor Tommy Koh ’61 also gave his enthusiastic support to the initiative. “The ICJ and the World Bank encourage peaceful resolution of disputes and international development. It is entirely appropriate that they are reaching out to a leading Asian law school, to encourage greater participation from this region.” Ambassador Koh played a significant role in Singapore’s successful 2008 case before the ICJ over the Pedra Branca territorial dispute between Singapore and Malaysia.


The World Bank’s two-year Legal Associates Programme is open to alumni with an LL.M.; while top-ranking LL.B. alumni may apply for the six- to twelve-month Legal Internship Programme. Both programmes set applicants on a path that includes working in the World Bank Legal Vice Presidency; and receiving a salary paid by the Bank.
The ICJ programme puts a successful applicant in the chambers of one of its judges. In addition to the given prerequisite of an excellent command of English, this programme also demands a working knowledge of the Court’s second language, French. The position is unpaid, but Law School will provide a modest stipend in support of a successful student.

Vice Dean for Graduate Studies Professor Simon Chesterman oversees both fellowship programmes. “As someone who has dedicated his teaching and research to public international law,” Prof Chesterman said, “it’s wonderful to create new avenues for our graduates to put these ideas into practice.”


Law School alumna Tan Liang Ying ’07 was selected to participate in the 2011-2012 University Traineeship Programme at the International Court of Justice for the period from 5 September 2011 through 31 May 2012.


She said, “I have been interested in public international law since I was an undergraduate, and am fascinated with the legal and political aspects of the resolution of disputes between states. I really want to witness and participate in the practice and development of public international law, and am thrilled to have the opportunity to do so.


“In preparation for the clerkship, I will be reading up on the Court's jurisprudence and current or potential disputes, and brushing up my French. I look forward to all aspects of the experience: from the substance of the work, to learning from judges and fellow clerks of incredibly rich and different backgrounds, to the experience of living and working in Europe.”


LawLink looks forward to hearing from Liang Ying on her participation in the program, and will report on her progress in future issues.