New Additions to NUS Law

NUS Law welcomes new faculty members!  

Get to know more about them here.


Professor James Penner 

James first obtained a B.Sc (Honours) in Genetics at the University of Western Ontario in 1985, an LL.B at the University of Toronto in 1988 and completed his D.Phil at University College, Oxford in 1992. His thesis formed the basis of The Idea of Property in Law, which won the 1997 “Society of Public Teachers of Law First Prize for Outstanding Scholarship by a Younger Scholar” (now renamed the “SLS Peter Birks Prize”).  

Since 1992, James has taught law at Brunel University, the London School of Economics, and King's College London. Most recently, from 2008 until 2013, he was a Professor of Property Law at the Faculty of Laws, University College London. During his time there, he also served as Head of Department from 2011 to 2013. He has established himself as one of the world's leading experts in the philosophy of property and the law of trusts, and writes more widely in the areas of private law and the philosophy of law. Adding on to his international experience, James had also been a visiting professor in China, Canada, Belgium, and Australia. 

His published works include:

“On the Very Idea of Transmissible Rights” in James Penner and Henry Smith (eds), The Philosophical Foundations of Property Law (United Kingdom: Oxford University Press, 2013)  

“The Difficult Doctrinal Basis for the Fiduciary's Proprietary Liability to Account for Bribes” (2012) 18 Trusts and Trustees 1000 

James on NUS Law and Singapore …

1)      What do you find to be a distinctive feature of NUS Law School?

Its optimistic outlook and jovial atmosphere. 

2)      What do you do for fun in Singapore?

Nothing so far, as it has been far too busy at the moment. However, I would like to go to the MacRitchie reservoir when things let up a bit.


Asst Prof Nicole Roughan 

Nicole is a Fellow of the New Zealand Centre for Public Law, and has previously held appointments as temporary lecturer in jurisprudence at the University of Cambridge, teaching officer at Trinity College Cambridge, adjunct lecturer at the University of Kent at Brussels, and lecturer at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.  

She completed her doctoral research at Yale Law School in 2011, with her thesis forming the basis of her book Authorities: Conflict, Cooperation, and Transnational Legal Theory, published in October 2013. Nicole's current research agenda pursues “pluralist jurisprudence”, working towards a fully developed "pluralist" theory of law which can explain law beyond, within or among sovereign states.

Her published works include: 

Authorities: Cooperation, Conflict, and Transnational Legal Theory (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013) 

“The Relative Authority of Law: A Contribution to 'Pluralist Jurisprudence’ ” in Maksymilian Del Mar (ed), New Waves in Philosophy of Law (United Kingdom: Palgrave Macmillan,2011) 

Nicole on NUS Law and Singapore …

1)      What do you find to be a distinctive feature of NUS Law School?

The students are distinctive - they are equally hard-working and intelligent, which is a rare combination. My students are also very entertaining. I am really enjoying the local sense of humour, which is evident among both colleagues and students. 

2)      What do you do for fun in Singapore?

I would say I like to get into the outdoors, but I was recently a victim of food-snatching monkeys which made the outdoor experience less fun than usual. I have a pre-schooler so most of my free time is spent at parks, playgrounds and pools.


Asst Prof Christian Hofmann 

Christian received his first law degree from the University of Freiburg (Germany). He continued his legal education at the University of Halle-Wittenberg and received a postgraduate degree in international business law ( and a doctorate degree (Dr. iur.) for his thesis on cashless payment instruments.  

He received his professorial qualification (Habilitation) from Humboldt-University of Berlin for his thesis on the protection of minority shareholders, an LL.M. in Global Business Law from NYU and an LL.M. in Corporate and Financial Services Law from NUS Law through the “NYU@NUS” dual LL.M. degree programme.  

Christian has held several faculty and research positions. He was a visiting professor at the University of Cologne (Germany) and Goethe-University Frankfurt (Germany), a visiting scholar and Humboldt Fellow at UC Berkeley and a Global Research Fellow at NYU School of Law.  

Prior to joining NUS law, he was a senior legal counsel for the German Central Bank (Bundesbank) and a law professor at the Private University in the Principality of Liechtenstein. 

His published works include: 

"A Legal Analysis of the Euro Zone Crisis" (2013) 18 Fordham Journal of Corporate and Financial Law 519 

"Vertical Price Fixing in Europe and the U.S. - the way to a uniform approach for both markets" (2013) 14 European Business Law Review 699 

Christian on NUS Law and Singapore …

1)      What do you find to be a distinctive feature of NUS Law School?

NUS Law School is one of the most international law schools I know. Everybody would agree to that, but for me this global aspect is probably even more pronounced and significant than for many of my colleagues.  

Only at NUS can I pursue extensive research in both of these fields. It is a wonderful perspective for me to do research in this environment and to see this “legal pluralism“ reflected in the classes I teach, classes in which I have students from Singapore, other common law jurisdictions, continental European countries and many different Asian regions. 

2)      What do you do for fun in Singapore?

I love nature, probably stemming from the fact that I grew up in a mountainous area with forests, lakes and rivers. My favorites are Pulau Ubin and the Wetland Reserve in the North-West corner - where one can spot an impressive variety of birds (and theoretically, though I have not been that lucky yet, crocodiles).  

The more obvious options are Southern Ridges and McRitchie Reservoir – simply because they are much easier to get to. I go there on weekends to run and hike, clear my mind and “recharge my batteries” for the coming week. 

From left to right: Asst Prof Christian Hofmann, Asst Prof Nicole Roughan and Prof James Penner