Coming Together for a Global Law Deans’ Forum

The first ever Global Law Deans’ Forum was co-hosted by NUS Law and the International Association of Law Schools (IALS). More than 80 Law School Deans and Chairs of law faculties from 31 countries met in Singapore from 23 to 25 September 2013.

The forum commenced with a welcome dinner at the Arts House jointly hosted by NUS Law and IALS. The next two days saw discussions on the following themes:

  1. Law School Leadership in the 21st Century

  2. Legal Education Globally and a “Global” Legal Education

  3. Global Principles for a Legal Education – Standards and Outcomes

  4. The Judiciary and Legal Education

  5. Enhancing Resources for Institutional Advancement

From left: Professor Stéphane Braconnier, Dean of the Sorbonne Assas International Law School in Singapore, Professor Emmanuel Magade, Dean of the University of Zimbabwe, Professor Barbara Holden-Smith, Vice Dean of Cornell Law School, United States, Professor Aishah Bidin, Dean of the National University of Malaysia and Professor Robert Klonoff, Dean of the Lewis & Clark Law School, United States chairing the opening discussion.

The Global Law Deans’ Forum was the culmination of eight Regional Law Deans’ Forums that took place over the preceding two years.

A highpoint of the meeting was the adoption of the Singapore Declaration on Global Standards and Outcomes of a Legal Education.

Dean Simon Chesterman spoke about how “legal education needs a ‘common language’ as the rule of law grows internationally and lawyers need to work more with their counterparts from different legal systems. Having a common language will facilitate understanding and cooperation.”

Professor Francis SL Wang, Dean of the Emeritus Kenneth Wang School of Law in China giving the opening speech for the Global Law Deans’ Forum.

Adding to that, the President of IALS, Professor Francis SL Wang said “the principles will serve as the fundamental building blocks for further defining a globalized legal educational initiative which will honour our diversity while connecting all teachers of the law in a shared vision of nurturing the next generation of law graduates.”

The principles are available here: