TAN David

Associate Professor

Ph.D. (Melbourne), LL.M. (Harvard), LL.B. (Hons), B.Com. (Melbourne)

  • Dean's Chair, NUS
  • Vice Dean (Academic Affairs), NUS Law
  • Director (Communications), NUS Law
  • Advisor, Publications Committee, Law Society of Singapore
  • Board Member, Institutional Review Board, Singapore Sports Institute
  • Academic Fellow, EW Barker Centre for Law & Business, NUS
  • Associate Member, Centre for International Law, NUS
  • Senior Fellow, Melbourne Law School
  • International Contributing Editor, Media & Arts Law Review
  • Board Member, Advisory Board, Max Planck Encyclopedia of Comparative Constitutional Law
  • Board Member, International Advisory Board, Persona Studies
Email Address:
Office Tel: (65) 6516-6781 
Office Fax: (65) 6779-0979 
Office Address

Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore
Eu Tong Sen Building
469G Bukit Timah Road
Singapore 259776
Research Interests

Entertainment Law
Publicity/Privacy Rights
Cultural Studies
Freedom of Speech
Outer Space Law

Subjects Taught

Entertainment Law: Pop Iconography and Celebrity (LL4177)
Freedom of Speech: Critical and Comparative Perspectives (LL4190)
Law of Torts (LC1004)

Brief Biodata

David Tan holds a PhD from Melbourne Law School, a LLM from Harvard, and graduated with a LLB (First Class Honours)/BCom from the University of Melbourne. He was named the 1998 Outstanding Young Person of Singapore and is also an accomplished fine art fashion photographer, having published a coffeetable book "Visions of Beauty" in association with Versace, and "Tainted Perfection" in collaboration with Cartier in Singapore. His most recent retrospective collection of photographs "David Tan: The First Decade" is exclusively distributed by PageOne/Kinokuniya bookstores. David was formerly with the Singapore Administrative Service, serving as Director of Sports at Ministry of Community Development, Youth & Sports and Director of International Talent at Ministry of Manpower. In the area of law, he has published in a diverse range of journals like the Harvard Journal of Sports & Entertainment Law, Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal, Yale Journal of International Law, Sydney Law Review, Australian Law Journal and Australian Intellectual Property Journal.

Representative Publications

1. The Commercial Appropriation of Fame: A Cultural Analysis of the Right of Publicity and Passing Off (Cambridge University Press, April 2017)

2. 'The Lost Language of the First Amendment in Copyright Fair Use: A Semiotic Perspective of the "Transformative Use" Doctrine Twenty-Five Years On' (2016) 26 Fordham Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal 311

3. 'Beyond Trademark Law: What the Right of Publicity Can Learn from Cultural Studies' (2008) 25 Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal 913

4. 'The Reynolds Privilege in a Neo-Confucianist Communitarian Democracy: Reinvigorating Freedom of Political Communication in Singapore' [2011] Singapore Journal of Legal Studies 456

5. 'A Sufficiently Close Relationship Akin to Employment' (2013) 129 Law Quarterly Review 30

6. 'Debunking a Myth: A Rejection of the "Assumption of Responsibility" Test for Duty of Care' (2014) 22 Torts Law Journal 183

7. 'The Promise of Universality: The Spandeck Formulation Half A Decade On' (2013) 25 Singapore Academy of Law Journal 510 (co-author Goh Yihan)

8. 'Towards a New Regime for the Protection of Outer Space as the Province of All Mankind' (2000) 25 Yale Journal of International Law 145

Publication List