Asian Constitutional Law Forum 2015

Laureate Professor Emeritus Cheryl Saunders AO

The Asian Constitutional Law Forum took place from 10 – 11 December at NUS Law’s Bukit Timah campus. This year’s event, organised by the Centre for Asian Legal Studies (CALS), focused on constitutionalism in the courts, looking at constitutional cases, issues, and overall performance of the judicial branch across Asia as judiciaries establish their independence of the other branches and encounter new and challenging issues.

A centrepiece of this year’s forum was a stream of panels on ‘Constitutional Courts in Asia’, which was organised by CALS Director, Professor Andrew Harding and Professor Albert Chen, former Dean of Hong Kong University’s Faculty of Law. These panels were prefaced by an impressive keynote address by Professor Cheryl Saunders of Melbourne Law School, highlighting the distinction between diffused and centralised judicial review

The Asian Constitutional Law Forum provides a venue for distinguished scholars and new scholars to share their research and ideas on Asian constitutional law, to expand collaborative research networks, and to facilitate publications. This year’s instalment is the first time that the forum was held in South East Asia. The forum was first held at the Seoul National University, Korea in 2005; the second meeting was at the Centre for Asian Legal Exchange at Nagoya University in 2007; the third at the College of Law of National Taiwan University in 2009; the fourth at the Centre for Comparative and Public Law at the Faculty of Law, University of Hong Kong in 2011; and the fifth at the Centre for Public Law at Tsinghua University School of Law in Beijing in 2013.

At the close of the forum, participants expressed a desire to set up a new Association for Asian Constitutional Studies, and Professor Andrew Harding was asked to chair a preparatory committee to set up the new Association.

From left to right: Professor Andrew Harding, Laureate Professor Emeritus Cheryl Saunders AO and Professor Albert Chen

Professor Albert Chen