Centre for Asian Legal Studies

CALS Seminar Series: Asia & International Law

The Missionary and the Merchant: How the US and China Use International Economic Law
by Assistant Professor Timothy Webster
Case Western Reserve University
11 December 2014, Thursday
12.00pm - 2.00pm (Lunch included)
Federal Bartholomew Conference Room, Federal Building, NUS (BTC)

CALS Seminar Series: Chinese Law

CALS Seminar Series

Ethics, Law and Public Policies: A Case of Islamic Biothics

by Dr Ayman Shabana
Georgetown University
28 November 2014, Friday
3.00pm - 5.00pm
Federal Bartholomew Conference Room, Federal Building, NUS (BTC)


Researching State and Personhood: Law and Society in Southeast Asia
by Assistant Professor Lynette Chua
15 & 16 December 2014
Lee Sheridan Room, National University of Singapore, Bukit Timah Campus

This conference is premised on the assumption that state and personhood in Southeast Asia can be fruitfully investigated by drawing on the broad interdisciplinary perspectives of the law and society field.
Scholars studying Southeast Asian cultures and societies have too often avoided coming to terms with "law", which they regard as the exclusive domain of legal specialists.
Their research may be highly relevant to the field of law and society even though they may not view their own work in these terms.

This conference proceeds on the premise that, "Law is too important to be left to the lawyers." It aims to build bridges across disciplinary divides and bring together scholars from diverse academic fields and locations in the region to forge new connections and consider new directions for socio-legal work.

To register for this Conference, please click HERE

The Beijing Consensus? How China has changed the western ideas of law and economic development and global legal practices
by Assistant Professor Weitseng Chen
8 - 9 January 2015
Lee Sheridan Room, Eu Tong Seng Building, NUS (BTC)

The Beijing Consensus remains a contested concept, if not controversial. One may argue if public ownership fits the market economy and helps maintain macro-level stability, why rush to secure private property? If private banks and insurance companies are too big to fail and require public bailout when in crisis, why privatize SOEs in the first place? The list of doubts may go on and on but it reveals more ambiguity of the Beijing Consensus than exact configurations of legal institutions and relevant practices.

The goal of this international workshop is to interrogate this Consensus, if any, from a law and development perspective, with a comparative framework that incorporates experiences of other Asian economies such as Singapore, Japan and Taiwan. Particularly, we aim to bring in not only theoretical analyses but also insights from market and legal practices. This is because most discussions at the moment are divided by disciplines; briefly put, legal scholars examine overall rule of law reforms, political scientists and economists focus on policies touching various dimensions of the state capitalism, while lawyers execute all of the reforms. More dialogues are greatly needed. We intend to create such dialogues by examining the institutional arrangements manifested in legal and market practices to date, in areas such as tax, securities, corporate, health care, property rights, financial institution, trade and foreign investment laws, the exact subjects that define the rival concept Washington Consensus.

For more information, please email cals@nus.edu.sg

Judging the Constitution: The Theory and Practice of Constitutional Interpretation in Singapore
by Assistant Professor Jaclyn Neo
16 January 2015
Lee Sheridan Room, Eu Tong Seng Building, NUS (BTC)

Debates over constitutional interpretation occupy a central space in the intellectual discourse of many constitutional systems. In America, for example, whose constitution provides the roots for many constitutionalist ideas, this debate has captured much academic, judicial, and political attention. There, much of the contemporary discussion has focused on the divergence between originalism and "living" constitutionalism. At the heart of this is a struggle between, on the one hand, fidelity to founding meanings and, on the other hand, creative interpretation to suit the context and needs of an evolving society. This contestation determines the authoritativeness of text, context, structure, norms, and theories in constitutional interpretation.

All these cases bear closer reflection, and this is the aim of this workshop. Bringing together scholars of constitutional law, this workshop provides a platform for discussion and debate on these recent developments, and to provide theoretical reflections that go beyond doctrinal and empirical accounts. The end goal is to produce an edited volume that will coincide with fifty years of Singapore's independence in 2015.

Attendance to this Workshop is by Invitation Only, if you have queries please email cals@nus.edu.sg

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