The Annual ASLI Conference, the 9th
in the series, was held in Singapore at NUS on 31 May and 1 June 2012. Under our MUU the hosting of the ASLI conference comes to NUS once every four years. This is the third time that NUS hosted the conference.
We were delighted to welcome the members of the Board of Governors for their annual meeting on 30 May, and around 168 participants in the conference itself, representing 20 countries and 97 institutions across Asia and beyond.
140 papers were presented, up from 107 at the 2011 conference. Support for the ASLI conference is growing every year, and the secretariat had a challenging task to accommodate as many papers as possible and arrange them into no less than seven parallel streams of panels.
The range of topics presented was immense, and by common consent the quality of the presentations in all panels was truly excellent. Indeed the entire conference was frequently pronounced a huge success by the participants.
The discussions in the Q&A sessions were both creative and entered into in a spirit of real intellectual inquiry, sharing of expertise, and respect for others’ efforts.
There is indeed no other venue where one can learn and discuss so much about law in Asia. The Conference theme was "Law: An Asian Identity?" There were seven parallel sessions held over five consecutive periods.
A notable feature of the 9th
ASLI Conference was our two excellent keynote addresses, both given by notable Singaporeans.
The first, on 31 May, was given by Professor S Jayakumar, former Deputy Prime Minister and Home Affairs Minister of Singapore, recently returned to the Faculty of Law at NUS following his retirement from politics. His talk was on The Law Faculty, Legal Education, Law Development and Good Government
The second was given by Professor Tommy Koh, Ambassador-At-Large, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, entitled "Law and Justice: An Asian Perspective
". Professor Koh’s lecture was followed by a lively Q&A session chaired by our Director, Professor Andrew Harding. These two talks were both thought-provoking and well received by an enthusiastic audience.
The event was not solely devoted to intellectual discourse. Participants were delighted to partake of a reception and buffet dinner on 31 May at the Megu Hall at the Singapore Flyer,
at which NUS’ new Centre for Asian Legal Studies was officially launched by NUS Law Dean Professor Simon Chesterman and former Dean Professor Tan Cheng Han. CALS intends to broaden and deepen research on Asian laws and legal systems.
The conference represents a tribute to the participants and to Asia’s rapidly advancing legal scholarship. On behalf of the secretariat and the Board of Governors I want to thank everybody for their outstanding contributions, whether they were researching, writing, presenting, discussing, chairing or simply facilitating these contributions.
We wish also to thank everybody for their cooperation with the organisational process. We hope you enjoyed your experience at the ASLI conference and will participate in our future conferences.
Next year in 2013 our tenth anniversary conference will be held in Bangalore, India, and will be hosted by the National Law School of India University. This will also be the first time that the ASLI conference is held in India.
We hope you will support this conference as we move into our second decade of operation.
Photos by: Darren Chin