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Class Reunions


Dear Members of the NUS Law Community,

On Thursday, 11 July 2013, we celebrated the graduation of the Class of 2013. We call this ceremony “Commencement”, among other things signifying that even as students conclude their studies, they begin their careers and their new relationship to NUS Law as alumni.

This year’s ceremony generated special interest in the wider community for two reasons.

The first was that it included a video of the earlier, smaller ceremony held at the Istana in which NUS conferred an honorary doctor of laws degree on Singapore’s founding Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew. I was asked to serve as the public orator, delivering the citation in honour of Mr Lee — one of the more daunting engagements I have been asked to take on. My citation was published in the Straits Times and is available here.


Mr Lee Kuan Yew (extreme left) shaking hands with President Tony Tan, who is also Chancellor of NUS. Behind them is Dr Tan Chor Chuan, president of NUS.

The second reason for wider public interest was in relation to Darren Tan ’13. Prior to commencing studies at NUS Law, Mr Tan had spent a total of more than ten years in jail. After a long journey, he has now graduated and has a training contract with TSMP Law Corporation. Catch the video interview and coverage by Channel NewsAsia here.

But of course, there are many other good news stories among our students, including those who triumphed over adversity, or spent time and energy helping those less fortunate than them.

Congratulations to all our graduates – and welcome to our new alumni.

Law Deans’ Forum

NUS Law recently hosted a meeting of law deans from around the world. Centred on the topic “Legal Education for Global Practice”, the meeting convened 14 leaders from top law schools to discuss the challenges facing legal education today. The event included deans and dean-designates from universities such as Oxford, Tsinghua, and Melbourne. Managing partners from top global law firms such as WongPartnership, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, and White & Case, were also invited to join in a “Practitioners’ Dialogue” that took place in the final session of the day.

Faculty News

In faculty news, Prof AP Simester has been appointed Co-Director of the University of Cambridge’s Centre for Penal Ethics and Penal Theory. The Centre for Penal Theory and Penal Ethics is a research centre at the Institute of Criminology. Founded in 2000, the purpose of the Centre is to explore ethical and philosophical issues in criminal law and policy. The Centre brings together leading philosophers, criminologists, and criminal-law theorists to discuss and write about these issues.

Prof Simester and Prof Thio Li-ann have been appointed as NUS Law’s first ever Provost’s Chairs. These term chairs are designed to recognise outstanding performance in research that has achieved international recognition. The award comes with an annual grant to support research expenses. Each chair is tenable for a three-year period from 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2016.

Student Achievements and Awards

Our students continue to make us proud also. Timothy Liau Han Ming ’13 received an Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher (OUR) Prize for his research, titled “Is criminalizing directorial negligence a good idea?” His paper will be published as an article in the Journal of Corporate Law Studies.

Koh Kai Yang Alan ’13 was also awarded the OUR Prize for his work titled “Appraising Japan’s appraisal remedy”. He has been extended a publication offer from the Max Planck Institute’s leading Journal of Japanese Law. In addition, he made history by being invited as first undergraduate ever to present a paper at the Annual Conference of the American Society of Comparative Law Younger Comparativists’ Committee, held at Indiana University McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis, USA on 18-19 April 2013.

The NUS Debate Team (NUS A) finished as 1st Runners-Up at the United Asian Debating Championships 2013, held in Manila, Philippines. Represented by Xiao Hongyu ’14, Imran Rahim ’13 and Kelvin Chong ’15 (GLB), they were among the top 10 speakers of the tournament with Imran as the Best Speaker of the tournament, Hongyu in third position and Kelvin in fifth.

From left to right: Xiao Hongyu, Imran Rahim and Kelvin Chong.

Staying in Touch

On 31 August, we will also be welcoming NUS Law alumni and their families to our campus for our first ever Alumni Family Day. You can find more information on that in this issue of LawLink or by clicking here.

I hope you find these updates of interest. If you have a Facebook account, one way to receive more frequent updates on our activities is to “like” our page:

Best wishes,

Simon Chesterman

Dean, NUS Law


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