NUS Spurs Interest in Law Specialisations, Honours Past Law Professors

Professor Michael Hor chatting with former criminal law colleagues Professorial Fellow Stanley Yeo and Associate Professor Chan Wing Cheong

The National University of Singapore Faculty of Law (NUS Law) will be introducing six new subject prizes to recognise students who excel in six subjects, namely intellectual property law, carriage of goods by sea, charterparties, international commercial litigation, law of torts and freedom of speech. These awards have been established through generous gifts totalling S$90,000 from institutions and donors who have a keen interest in legal education and the nurturing of top legal talent.

The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) has pledged a gift of S$15,000 to the law school to establish the IPOS Prize in Foundations of Intellectual Property Law, which will be awarded annually for 15 years. A cash prize of S$1,000 will be presented to the top student enrolled in the subject.

Mr Daren Tang ’97, Chief Executive of IPOS, said, “Innovation is a strategic pillar for Singapore’s economic growth and progress. IPOS believes that the building and development of talent is key in driving the innovation cycle. As such, we are pleased to partner NUS in launching the IPOS Prize in Foundations of IP Law, in support of the development of young IP Lawyers in Singapore.”

In addition to the IPOS Prize, NUS Law is also establishing the Maritime Law Association of Singapore Prizes in Carriage of Goods by Sea and in Charterparties. These subjects form the cornerstones of the faculty’s specialised Master of Laws programme in Intellectual Property and Technology Law, and Maritime Law, which are also available to undergraduate students. The Faculty is also setting up the Thomson Reuters Prize in International Commercial Litigation, which will be awarded to the best student in the subject. The prizes were each set up with a gift of S$15,000 and will award a cash prize of S$1,000 to the best student in each of the three subjects.

NUS Law also honours its former professors for their dedication and outstanding contributions to the faculty with the establishment of two additional subject prizes: the Tan Keng Feng Prize in the Law of Torts and the Michael Hor Prize for Freedom of Speech. The prizes, which are gifted by donors, will be awarded each year to the best student who has excelled in the subjects of Law of Torts and Freedom of Speech respectively. Each prize is valued at S$1,000.

The Tan Keng Feng Prize is named in honour of Professor Tan Keng Feng ’71, one of the leading torts professors in Singapore, who joined the Faculty of Law at the University of Singapore, the predecessor institution of NUS, as a lecturer in July 1974 and served for 30 years until he retired on 1 January 2005. During his service, Prof Tan had convened and taught the core course Law of Torts.

The Michael Hor Prize was established in honour of Professor Michael Hor ’84, who taught at NUS Law from 1988 to 2014. Prof Hor left the school in June 2014 to take up the position of Dean of the Faculty of Law of the University of Hong Kong.

Professor Simon Chesterman, Dean of NUS Law, said, “We are tremendously grateful for the support that has made these prizes possible. Such prizes recognise individuals and institutions that have contributed greatly to Singapore’s past legal development, and highlight subjects that will be important to its future. They also encourage all our students and enable us to reward those who excel.”

Five of the new prizes – the IPOS Prize in Foundations of Intellectual Property Law, the Maritime Law Association of Singapore Prizes in Carriage of Goods by Sea and in Charterparties, the Tan Keng Feng Prize and the Michael Hor Prize - will be awarded to NUS Law students from the current academic year onwards. The Thomson Reuters Prize in International Commercial Litigation will be awarded starting from Academic Year 2016/2017.

Each year, a number of subject prizes are awarded to top NUS Law students for excelling in a wide range of subjects, ranging from family law to international environmental law, and from negotiation to securities regulation. The addition of six new prizes means that there are now 50 awards available to students, including book prizes and medals, recognising NUS Law’s top students for their outstanding performance in the course of their studies (and in some cases for their extra-curricular activities).