Singapore Journal of Legal Studies NUS
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The Singapore Journal of Legal Studies is the flagship law journal of the Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore and one of the oldest law journals in the Commonwealth. As the first and leading legal journal in Singapore, it contains a rich store of legal literature analysing the legal, political and social development of Singapore in its progression from a developing to a First World nation. The journal continues to advance the boundaries of global and local developments in law, policy and legal practice by publishing cogent and timely articles, legislation comments and case notes on a biannual basis.  

Highlights of our September 2017 issue are …

In celebration of the National University of Singapore Law School’s (“NUS”) 60th Anniversary, members of the faculty have written the following pieces relating to legal education in their respective fields of expertise:-

In The Fall and Rise of Legal Education in Singapore, Simon Chesterman contemplates the development of ‘legal education’ in Singapore – in the colonial context, how NUS came to play an important role in Singapore’s rule of law story, and the challenges for the future. He concludes with certain suggestions on the impact of these challenges (such as technology and the changing market for legal practice) on the educational and research mission of NUS.

Tan Cheng-Han, in NUS Law in the Noughties: Becoming ‘Asia’s Global Law School’, discusses the first decade of NUS’ journey in the 2000s, describing for instance the change in both curriculum and pedagogy and the growing importance of research in NUS, and how NUS developed her identity as “Asia’s Global Law School”.

In Teaching Constitutional and Administrative Law at NUS: Mission, Materials and Methods 1957-2017, Thio Li-ann and Kevin YL Tan engage pedagogy and teaching philosophy in reviewing how constitutional and administrative law has been taught at NUS over the past 60 years. They describe how teaching methods have shifted away from a black letter focus to seeking to impart both legal doctrine and theory as an aid to constructing propositional arguments.

Walter Woon, in The Teaching of Company Law – Reflections on Past and Future, proffers his thoughts on the teaching of company law specifically and legal teaching generally in the hope of provoking some reflection and discussion. He concludes by stating that “progress does not come from contemplation of the past” and urges teachers of the law to “also run forward, breaking the tendrils that bind them to past attitudes and approaches that have outlived their usefulness”.

In Making and Remaking Equity and Trusts in the Law School, Tan Yock Lin traces the shifts in institutional focus in both teaching and research in equity and trusts in NUS. Observing that there was little concerted planning in ensuring that the teaching and research in equity and trusts would remain responsive and relevant to the needs of the profession, he concludes with the proposition that equity and trusts is still relevantly taught as a distinct and separate subject.

Teo Keang Sood, in Legal Education in Property Law at NUS: Some Reflections, considers how the property law course in NUS has evolved over the years as a result of careful and meticulous planning. He considers how NUS has moved away from the traditional treatment of the subject and requires students to be critical of the subject and to be able to think independently given, eg, the scarcity of land in Singapore.

In The Impact of NUS Law on the Development of Tort Law in Singapore, Margaret Fordham discusses how NUS has engaged with tort law in Singapore through its teaching and writing, and pays homage to Prof Tan Keng Feng and his and other faculty’s and alumni’s contribution in helping to frame and shape these developments.

Ng-Loy Wee Loon, in NUS Law’s IP Journey, 1957-2017, describes how the intellectual property (“IP”) journey in NUS closely mirrors that of Singapore, and how NUS played a supportive role in nation-building, from Singapore’s initial suspicion of IP rights in its nascent years to when it shifted gears in the 1980s to move up the value chain into higher-technology sectors where IP rights matter.

In The Importance of Criminal Law, Kumaralingam Amirthalingam considers how the NUS has and continues to be deeply involved in the teaching, research and practice of criminal law in Singapore. He charts the evolution of teaching at NUS and how faculty was intimately involved in the development of criminal law as well as our conception of ‘justice’ in Singapore.

Helena Whalen-Bridge, in Student Pro Bono and the NUS Faculty of Law, discusses how NUS has contributed to the growth of pro bono in Singapore through student pro bono. She considers how student pro bono contributes to access to justice in Singapore, not only through support for lawyers and organisations serving the community, but also by assisting litigants in person in the courts and by providing legal information for the public.

The September 2017 issue also features the following articles:-

In The UK Supreme Court Decision in The Res Cognitans and the Cardinal Role of Property in Sales Law, Michael Bridge critiques the decision in The Res Cognitans. He proffers seven difficult questions which were not addressed in the decision and discusses its impact on the common understanding about the nature of a sale of goods contract.

Tan Yock Lin, in Property in Bribes Revisited in a Cross-Disciplinary Perspective, seeks to, by using economising models and the Calabresi and Melamed tripartite scheme, provide a cross-disciplinary perspective on whether an agent should hold the bribe he has received on constructive trust for his principal.

Our September 2017 issue also features several legislation comments and case notes, and book reviews. Click here for the complete contents page.


SJLS accepts submissions on a rolling basis and publishes 2 issues a year in March and September.

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