Annual Teaching Excellence Award 2017

NUS Law congratulates Professor Alan Tan ’93, Professor Thio Li-ann, Professor Walter Woon ’81, Associate Professor Margaret Fordham, Associate Professor Joel Lee, Associate Professor Paul Myburgh, and Associate Professor Eleanor Wong ’85 on being awarded the faculty-level Annual Teaching Excellence Award for 2017.

The award is given by the Faculty of Law to recognise faculty members who have demonstrated a very high level of commitment to, and achievement of, good teaching. The recipients were presented with the award by Professor Simon Chesterman, Dean of NUS Law, on 17 January 2018 at the Faculty’s “Semester Welcome Lunch”.


Professor Alan Tan

Professor Alan Tan specialises in Aviation Law, Maritime Law, Criminal Law and Environmental Law. Born in Penang, Malaysia, Alan attended the Penang Free School and subsequently Raffles Junior College in Singapore on an ASEAN Scholarship. He then obtained an LL.B. from NUS Law and an LL.M. and J.S.D. from Yale Law School. He was the winner of the Koh Han Kok Prize for International Law at NUS, and his doctoral thesis on the law and politics of shipping regulation won the Ambrose Gherini International Law Prize at Yale Law School.


Alan was Vice Dean (Graduate Studies and Research) at NUS Law from 2006 to 2010. He was Director (Projects) in the Office of the Provost at NUS from 2011 to 2012, overseeing the newly-established Yale-NUS College's double degree programmes. He was also Director of the NYU@NUS Dual Degree programme through which students obtained two LL.M. degrees from the New York University and NUS Law Schools.


In 2009, he was appointed as Hauser Global Visiting Professor at New York University School of Law, where he taught global aviation law and policy. He has also taught at the University of Sydney and served as a consultant to various governments and donor agencies, including the Vietnamese and Sri Lankan governments and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Alan has also been engaged as a consultant on aviation liberalisation in Asia by the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) forum, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Arab League, the Association of Star Alliance Pilots, various national governments and airlines including AirAsia, Royal Brunei and Cebu Pacific.


Professor Thio Li-ann

Professor Thio Li-ann teaches and has published widely in the fields of public international law, human rights law, constitutional and administrative law. She is currently the Chief Editor for the Singapore Journal of Legal Studies.  She is also on the editorial board of the Journal of East Asia and International Law, National Taiwan University Law Review and on the advisory board of the New Zealand Yearbook of International Law, Australian Journal of Asian Law and International Law & Human Rights Discourse.


Li-ann is on the international advisory board of the Max Planck Encyclopedia of Comparative Constitutional Law (from 2015), the University of Bologna Law Review and City University of Hong Kong Law Review.


She was formerly Chief Editor, Singapore Journal of International & Comparative Law (2000-2003), General Editor for Asian Yearbook of International Law and Editor for International Journal of Constitutional Law.


Li-ann has taught courses at the law faculties of University of Hong Kong and the University of Melbourne. A leading Singapore constitutional scholar, she is the author of A Treatise on Singapore Constitutional Law (Academy Publishing, 2012). She also co-authored Constitutional Law in Malaysia and Singapore (Lexis Nexis, 2010, 3rd ed.), co-edited Evolution of a Revolution: 40 Years of the Singapore Constitution (Routledge-Cavendish, 2009), and is co-editor of a book series with Hart Publishing on Constitutionalism in Asia (from 2017), all with Adjunct Professor Kevin Y.L. Tan ’86 . She was an expert witness before the Australian Federal Court and academic freedom consultant to the University of Warwick (2005).


She was a Nominated Member of Parliament (2007-2009), and received the NUS Young Researcher Award in 2004.


Professor Walter Woon ’81

Professor Walter Woon’s research interests are in Criminal Law, Company Law and International Law. A graduate of NUS Law’s Class of 1981, he was Sub-Dean and Vice Dean of the faculty from 1988-1991. He later became a Nominated Member of Parliament from 1992-1996, and was Legal Adviser to the President and Council of Presidential Advisers 1995-1997. Professor Woon was also Ambassador of Singapore between 1998 and 2006 in Germany, Greece, the European Union, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the Vatican.


Upon returning to Singapore, he was Solicitor-General from 2006-2008 and Attorney-General from 2008-2010. He was appointed a Senior Counsel of the Supreme Court in 2006.  Currently, Professor Woon is Dean of the Singapore Institute of Legal Education, Chairman of regional law firm RHTLaw Taylor Wessing LLP, Honorary Fellow of the Singapore Institute of Directors and Chairman of the Society of International Law Singapore.  Professor Woon was also awarded the University Teaching Excellence Award in 2014 and 2015.


Associate Professor Margaret Fordham

Associate Professor Margaret Fordham is a graduate of Durham University. She joined NUS Law in 1984, having previously practised commercial law at Clifford-Turner, a leading London law firm. Her research interests relate primarily to Tort Law, although she is also the author of a book on tax incentives in Singapore.


She has published numerous articles, both locally, in journals such as the Singapore Journal of Legal Studies and the Asian Journal of Comparative Law, and internationally, in journals such as the Law Quarterly Review (UK), the Torts Law Journal (Australia), and the Tort Law Review (Australia). She is also the Chief Editor of the ASLI Working Papers Series, and is one of the longest-serving members of the editorial board of the Singapore Journal of Legal Studies.


Associate Professor Joel Lee

Associate Professor Joel Lee co-pioneered the teaching of Negotiation and Mediation in the Singapore Universities and has played a significant role in furthering the development of mediation in Singapore, not just in education, but also in practice. A graduate of Victoria University of Wellington and Harvard Law Schools, Joel is an associate partner with CMPartners (USA) and a principal mediator with and the Training Director of the Singapore Mediation Centre.


He is an adjudicator with the Financial Industry Disputes Resolution Centre and was a member of the International Mediation Institute's Independent Standards Commission and Intercultural Taskforce. He was also a key member of the Ministry of Law’s Working Group on International Commercial Mediation. Joel is presently the founding Chair of the Board of the Singapore International Mediation Institute.


Joel has taught overseas at the University of Copenhagen (Denmark), University of Law, Economics and Science of AixMarseille (AixenProvence France) and Anglia Law School (UK) and is the co-editor and co- author of the book An Asian Perspective on Mediation and the General Editor for the Asian Journal on Mediation. In 2011, Joel was awarded the Outstanding Educator Award which is the National University of Singapore's highest teaching award.


Associate Professor Paul Myburgh

Associate Professor Paul Myburgh joined NUS in May 2015. He previously held faculty positions at the University of South Africa, Victoria University of Wellington and the University of Auckland. He was a Visiting Professor at NUS (MPA Visiting Professor) and at the TC Beirne School of Law, University of Queensland for a number of years. He has been a Visiting Research Fellow at the Nordisk Institutt for Sjoerett (Scandinavian Institute of Maritime Law), University of Oslo, at the University of Queensland, and at City University of Hong Kong (KH Koo Foundation Visiting Research Fellow, Hong Kong Centre for Maritime and Transport Law. 

Paul is the author of New Zealand Transport Law (a monograph in M. Huybrechts (ed.) International Encyclopaedia of Laws: Transport Law (2nd ed.) and has published a significant number of book chapters and journal articles in leading international journals. Most notably, his chapter "Arresting the Right Ship: Procedural Theory, The In Personam Link and Conflict of Laws" in M Davies (ed.) Jurisdiction and Forum Selection in International Maritime Law: Essays in Honor of Robert Force was awarded the New Zealand Legal Research Foundation Sir Ian Barker Prize for Best Published Legal Essay. He was also invited to deliver the 2008 Richard Cooper Memorial Lecture at the Commonwealth Law Courts in Brisbane, Australia. He is currently working on a scholarly treatise on maritime private international law.


Associate Professor Eleanor Wong ’85

Associate Professor Eleanor Wong ’85, Vice Dean (Student Affairs) started her career with the Commercial Affairs Department, prosecuting complex commercial and securities frauds. She then obtained a Masters in corporate law from New York University in 1990 and practised in the New York office of Coudert Brothers, returning to Singapore in 1992. Eleanor specialised in regional banking and finance work for Coudert and, later, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe. Eleanor is a published playwright, whose works have been produced in Singapore and ASEAN. She has also held several top management positions in television production.


A graduate of NUS Law as a Public Service Commission Merit scholar, Eleanor was named Best Oralist (Championship Round) at the prestigious 1985 Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, where she was a member of the victorious NUS moot team.


Eleanor was Associate Director at the Centre for Development of Teaching & Learning from 2004 to 2007. She was awarded the University Annual Teaching Excellence Award twice before serving on the Faculty Teaching Excellence Committee from 2005 to 2017.