Assistant Professor Tan Zhong Xing ’12 wins Hart Publishing Prize


Assistant Professor Tan Zhong Xing's paper, 'Contract Law in an Emerging Age of Proportionality: From Form to Substance and Beyond', was awarded the Hart Publishing Prize for the best paper by an early career scholar at the Ninth Biennial Conference on the Law of Obligations held at Melbourne Law School from 17 – 20 July 2018, and co-hosted by Melbourne Law School and the Faculty of Law at the University of Oxford. The judging panel included Professor Andrew Burrows, Justice James Edelman, and Professor Barbara McDonald.

Zhong Xing’s paper explored the emerging idea of proportionality in contract law, as expressed in the jurisprudence on illegality, penalties, and cost of cure damages, and argued that this development signals a movement away from formalism towards a substantive justificatory framework for the accommodation of plural and competing values in contract law adjudication.

Zhong Xing said, "I am grateful for the input and encouragement from Assistant Professor Swati Jhaveri and Associate Professor David Tan at NUS Law, who shared their resources (including their work in public law) and ideas with me, as well as Professor Mindy Chen-Wishart, Associate Professor Wayne Courtney and Professor Tan Yock Lin with whom I have had the chance to chat with on the topic at the early stages of research."

"I also benefitted greatly from reading Associate Professor Ernest Lim's and Professor Alec Stone Sweet's excellent works on related topics. Many colleagues (including friends from SMU and Hong Kong) were incredibly supportive during my virgin outing at ‘Obligations’, which was most encouraging," he added.

Tan Zhong Xing joined NUS Law as a Sheridan Fellow in 2014 teaching the Law of Contract. He received his LL.M. at Harvard Law School in 2017, and was promoted to Assistant Professor in January 2018. He is presently teaching the Law of Contract and Introduction to Legal Theory at NUS Law. In his years at NUS Law, his articles have been published or are due to appear in journals such as the Modern Law Review, Legal Studies, Journal of Contract Law, Journal of Business Law, and the Journal of Corporate Law Studies.

Assistant Professor Tan Zhong Xing with Professor Barbara McDonald (left) and Professor Andrew Burrows (right)