Asia’s Ambivalence About International Law & Institutions: Past, Present, and Futures
Asian states are the least likely of any regional grouping to be party to most international obligations or to have representation reflecting their number and size in international organizations. This is despite the fact that Asian states have arguably benefited the most from the security and economic dividends provided by international law and institutions. The […]more…
The Fall and Rise of Legal Education in Asia: Inhibition, Imitation, Innovation
The history of legal education in Asia bears the scars of colonialism. The most obvious evidence of that today lies in the common law/civil law divide between our various countries, a distinction for which the determining factor was typically the legal system of the European power that happened to exercise colonial power. In recent years, […]more…
The Myth of Magna Carta
The Hereford Cathedral Magna Carta will be on display in Singapore’s Supreme Court from Thursday. But almost everything you think you know about this 800-year-old document is wrong. Magna Carta bears an iconic status in legal history. Signed eight centuries ago by King John at Runnymede, near Windsor, it laid the foundations for constraints on […]more…
The Secretary-General We Deserve?
The Charter of the United Nations frequently maps out a chasm between its aspirations and the means to achieve them. War is to be renounced, human rights are to be advanced, and development to be a priority. Yet peace is beholden to the five permanent members of the Security Council, human rights obligations remain limited […]more…
The growing economic and political significance of Asia has exposed a tension in the modern international order. Despite expanding power and influence, Asian states have played a minimal role in creating the norms and institutions of international law; today they are the least likely to be parties to international agreements or to be represented in […]
As computers surpass human intelligence and take on greater responsibilities, should they be given rights also? This essay considers the evolution of the Turing Test for machine intelligence and its relationship to ongoing debates about legal personality and artificial intelligence.
The United Nations is a vital part of the international order. Yet this book argues that the greatest contribution of the UN is not what it has achieved (improvements in health and economic development, for example) or avoided (global war, say, or the use of weapons of mass destruction). It is, instead, the process through […]
Artificial intelligence is viewed by many as the defining technology of the 21st century. But how can we ensure that its benefits outweigh the potential risks? This think piece takes the one-year anniversary of the first pedestrian death caused by an autonomous vehicle to consider the question of whether and how regulation can mitigate the […]
Prior to independence, legal education was all but non-existent in Singapore and many other colonies. This essay brieﬂy discusses that colonial context before going on to describe how the National Uni-versity of Singapore Faculty of Law came to play an important part in Singapore’s rule of law story as Singapore’s national law school, a global […]
Are universities the means by which a society produces employees to fulfil specific roles in the economy? Or should we cater to the needs and desires of individual students (and their parents)? Put more simply, are our students products? Or are they customers?
Next year marks the twentieth anniversary of the Kosovo conflict that was the genesis of the responsibility to protect (‘R2P’). This doctrine was developed precisely as an alternative to humanitarian intervention — the notion that unilateral force can be used to protect human rights in another state. The term was coined by a commission established […]