TAN Hsien-Li

Assistant Professor

Ph.D. (NUS), LL.M. (Nott.), LL.B. (LSE)

  • Editor, Asian Journal of International Law
  • Senior Research Fellow; Co-director of ASEAN Integration Through Law, Centre for International Law, NUS
  • Member, Centre for Legal Theory
Email Address:
Office Tel: (65) 6516-7613 
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

ASEAN law and policy; governance and institutions; institution-building; integration through law; the practice and impact of international law in Asia

International human rights law

Public international law

Peace and security; post-conflict transition and reconstruction; transitional justice and administration

Subjects Taught

ASEAN Law and Policy
Constitutional and Administrative Law

Brief Biodata

Dr Tan Hsien-Li was until recently Senior Research Fellow and Executive Director of the ASEAN Integration through Law Project at the Centre for International Law, NUS, an affiliation she still maintains. Hsien-Li has held fellowships at the European University Institute, Florence; the Jean Monnet Center for International and Regional Economic Law and Justice, NYU School of Law. She was previously also the AsianSIL Research Fellow at the NUS School of Law and the Ushiba Memorial ASEAN Fellow in Tokyo working on Japan's human security policy's impact on Southeast Asia. Hsien-Li researches on the role and the rule of law and institutions in ASEAN Integration; public international law, particularly on institution-building and norm-creation; as well as human rights and peace and security. Hsien-Li wrote the first book on the ASEAN human rights system (Cambridge University Press, 2011) and will publish two books (co-authored) on ASEAN dispute settlement mechanisms and human rights in ASEAN with Cambridge University Press, forthcoming in 2016. Hsien-Li is currently working on two more books - the documentary analysis of ASEAN instruments and a theory of the ASEAN Way. Hsien-Li is an editor of the Asian Journal of International Law and the general co-editor (together with Joseph Weiler) of theASEAN Integration Through Law Book Series (Cambridge University Press).

Representative Publications

1. The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights: Institutionalising Human Rights in Southeast Asia (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011)

2. Promoting Compliance: The Role of Dispute Settlement and Monitoring Mechanisms in ASEAN Instruments (with Bob Beckman, Leo Bernard, Hao Duy Phan, Ranyta Yusran) (Cambridge University Press, February 2016)

3. Does ASEAN Take Rights Seriously? (with Alison Duxbury) (Cambridge University Press, expected end 2016)

4. "Persistent engagement and insistent persuasion: The Working Group for an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism's role in institutionalizing human rights in the ASEAN region", in Hitoshi Nasu and Ben Saul eds.), Human Rights in the Asia-Pacific Region: Towards Institution Building (Oxford: Routledge, 2011), 127-44.

5. "Non-state Actors in Southeast Asia: How does civil society contribute toward norm-building in a state-centric environment?" in Jean d'Aspremont (ed.), Participants in the International Legal System: Multiple Perspectives on Non-State Actors in International Law (Oxford: Routledge, 2011), 109-26.

6. "Not just global rhetoric: Japan's substantive actualization of its human security foreign policy", Vol. 10(1) International Relations of the Asia-Pacific (2010) 159-187.

Publication List