Centre for Maritime Law

Research Staff

Elson ONG  

Elson ONG
Research Associate, CML
+65 6601 5966

Elson obtained his LLB (Hons) and LLM (Maritime Law) degrees from the University of Southampton in 2013 and 2015 respectively. He was admitted to the Singapore Bar in 2016 and practiced law with a reputable firm advising on banking, finance, real estate and infrastructure matters. He previously served as a member of the conveyancing practice committee of the Law Society of Singapore. Prior to his career in law, Elson worked in a distribution company specialising in the import and export of heavy equipment spare parts.

Research Interests

Elson's research interests are in the international sale of goods, carriage of goods by sea, electronic commerce, and commercial conflict of laws.



» "Call a bill a bill: The Star Quest" (2017) 23 Journal of International Maritime Law 328-335

Working Papers:

» "Blockchain bills of lading", (2018) CML Working Paper Series, CML-WPS-1807


» "Report on the 14th IISTL Colloquium on new technologies on shipping/trade law" (2018) CML Reports, CML-R1805 (with Luci Carey)
» "Shipping and technology" (2018) CML Reports, CML-R1803

Research Projects

The advent of blockchain bills of lading will usher in a long-awaited shift from the use of paper bills of lading to electronic transferable records. However, as with other electronic bills of lading, the uncertainty concerning the legal value of electronic transferable records constitutes a hindrance to international commerce. The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) has recently adopted the Model Law on Electronic Transferable Records (MLETR) at its fiftieth session on 13 July 2017. UN member states, including Singapore, are in the midst of considering whether to enact domestic legislation to give effect to the MLETR. This project examines whether records created by the blockchain technology can be considered electronic transferable records under the MLETR and whether the functional equivalence framework for electronic transferable records under the MLETR is compatible with the existing substantive law of the bill of lading.


» "Introduction to ledger technology in commercial shipping", CML Lunch Seminar Series, 7 November 2018
» "Introduction to blockchain bills of lading", CML Lunch Seminar Series, 14 February 2018
» "Call a bill a bill: The Star Quest", CML Lunch Seminar Series, 10 October 2017

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