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Dean's Diary

NUS Law Among the Top 10 Law Schools in the World

One responsibility of the Dean of any law school is to highlight the achievements of its faculty, students, and alumni. This is one of the best parts of my job — launching a field-defining book by a colleague, congratulating a prize-winning student, or celebrating a career-defining moment for an alumnus or alumna.

The past three months have seen newsworthy achievements in all three areas, accompanied by international recognition of our standing among the very best law schools in the world.

On 23 May 2012, Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong ’61 was guest of honour at the launch of Prof Thio Li-ann’s latest book: A Treatise on Singapore Constitutional Law. Written and published during a period of significant political change in Singapore, the book could not be timelier.

Some weeks later, on 7 July 2012, the Law School’s Commencement ceremony took place, with proud parents and relieved students (now alumni) participating in a joyous ceremony. Among many prize winners, our valedictorian, Amos Toh ’12, topped the first class honours list at NUS Law and then found out the next week that he had also come first in the Traditional LL.M. at NYU (where he completed his NUS LL.B. under our concurrent degree programme with NYU). The full list of NUS Law prize-winners is available here, but all our graduates and their families should be proud of their achievements.

Click through for more photos on our Facebook Page

Meanwhile, on the other side of the planet, Benjamin Moh ’12 and Eddy Hirono ’13 were winning the International Negotiation Competition in Belfast. This is the 2nd consecutive year that NUS Law has taken first place and the first time any law school has taken the shield twice in the history of the competition.

Team Coach Associate Professor Joel Lee, Benjamin Moh '12 and Eddy Hirono '13, with INC Exco member Professor Nancy SchultzAttorney-General Steven Chong ’82A third cause for celebration was the simultaneous promotions of Steven Chong ’82 to Attorney-General and Sundaresh Menon ’86 to Judge of Appeal. They add to the extraordinary list of achievements both in Singapore and around the world of NUS Law graduates. We have the great pleasure of featuring our new Attorney-General in this issue of LawLink – read the interview here.

In the same period, London-based Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) published the 2012 release of its “World University Rankings by Subject”. I was delighted to see that NUS Law had moved up from 24th in 2011 to 10th in 2012.

This latest recognition of our achievements is testimony to the hard work of our faculty and students, but also the successes of our alumni. I was particularly pleased because this news will create even more opportunities for our graduates to make an impact in their chosen field, in Singapore and around the world.

Contributing to public debate

Closer to home, NUS Law faculty have featured particularly prominently in discussions of criminal law. This included Assoc Prof Chan Wing Cheong’s commentary on the Vandalism Act and the “sticker lady” and an extended interview with Prof Michael Hor ’84 on sentencing in light of the Woffles Wu case. In addition, many of our faculty have been engaged in discussion with government for some time over Singapore’s mandatory death penalty. The press coverage quoted Prof Walter Woon ’81 and Prof Kumaralingam Amirthalingam extensively.

Being available to the media in this way contributes to public debate on areas of our faculty’s expertise. It also complements the role we play in assisting government and the judiciary in developing and refining the law.

Advancements in arbitration

One area in which the law has been changing quickly is arbitration. Singapore has swiftly become one of the most preferred venues for this form of dispute resolution; in June, the Republic hosted the 21st Congress of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration. To help build Singapore as a true global legal services centre, the Law School together with our Centre for International Law is designing a new Singapore International Arbitration Academy. Announced by Minister for Law K Shanmugam ’84 at the ICCA conference, the first class will begin in November 2012.Minister for Law K Shanmugam ’84 at the ICCA conference

 Welcoming a new member of the NUS Law team

Tjut Rostina (Tina), NUS Law's new Manager of Corporate CommunicationsAs we prepare for the new academic year, I’m delighted to announce that Tjut Rostina (Tina) has joined the team at NUS Law as Manager of Corporate Communications. She brings passion and experience in both journalism and corporate communications and in the coming weeks and months you will see a new look and feel to our Web site and publications.

A graduate of Monash University with a Bachelor of Arts (Journalism) degree, Tina marks her return to corporate communications here after four years as editor of the regional trade magazine “Asia Pacific Food Industry”. Excited and enthusiastic about joining NUS Law, she is eager to make a difference and looks forward to an enriching career with the school.

If you have a Facebook account, one way to keep up to date with these changes and to receive more frequent updates on our activities is to “like” our page:

Best wishes,

Simon Chesterman

Dean, NUS Law







This Issue Dean's Diary DIrector Faculty Students Reunions Class Action