The National University of Singapore Faculty of Law (NUS Law) successfully hosted the 16th ASLI Conference from 11-12 June 2019. NUS Law is one of the founding members of the Asian Law Institute (ASLI). The theme for the conference this year was "The Rule of Law and the Role of Law in Asia".

This year’s conference reached new heights. This was the largest ASLI conference ever with 329 participants, including 236 presenters. Some 567 abstracts had been submitted from which about 358 were accepted.

Professor Simon Chesterman, Dean of NUS Law, opened the conference with a speech, warmly welcoming the delegates to Singapore and to NUS Law’s historic Bukit Timah campus. This was followed by speeches from Professor Mariko Igimi of Kyushu University, representing the Chairman of the Asian Law Institute (ASLI) Board of Governors, and Associate Professor Gary F. Bell, Director of ASLI.

This year’s keynote speech was given by Mr K Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law, who is also one of NUS Law’s top graduates. In his speech, Mr Shanmugam lauded ASLI’s and NUS Law’s initiative in developing expertise on Asian legal systems, and reiterated the government’s support for such initiatives.

The two-day conference brought together colleagues from all over Asia and beyond, thus strengthening ties between legal scholars and law schools across Asia and beyond. The conference was a wonderful opportunity to discuss ideas on law and law reform in Asia. It provided a forum for outstanding scholarship from Asia and about law in Asia and demonstrated the collective commitment to advancing knowledge and ideas about law and justice in the diverse and fascinating region. As usual, the programme this year reflected a large range of topics and approaches to law, reflecting the strength and diversity of the member schools of ASLI.

As with previous years, an Open Forum was scheduled to provide an opportunity for the Director of ASLI to update the members on latest developments and invite non-members to join the institute. Associate Professor Dan Puchniak, Editor-in-Chief of the Asian Journal of Comparative Law (the ASLI journal), also gave an update on the journal and its publications. Members and Conference attendees raised questions and shared their opinions. The Open forum was followed by the Asian Journal of Comparative Law – Best Paper Presentation ‘How Global is the Common Law? A Comparative Study of Asian Common Law Systems – Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore’, by Kwai Hang Ng & Brynna Jacobson.

After two full days of papers and presentations, the conference came to a close in the evening of 12 June 2019 with an inspirational closing speech by Professor Antony Anghie of NUS Law. Professor Anghie is a leading authority on Third World Approaches to International Law, and is currently the Secretary-General of the Asian Society of International Law. Among others, he delivered the Grotius Lecture at the annual meeting of the American Society of International Law in 2010. The Conference was thereafter brought to a close with words of thanks from Associate Professor Gary F. Bell.

ASLI is grateful to the National University Faculty of Law for hosting this year’s conference. We look forward to the 17th ASLI Conference next year at National Law University, Delhi (NLU Delhi) that will be held on 3 and 4 June 2020.

ASLI Highlights

ASLI Opening Ceremony

ASLI Closing Ceremony

AsJCL Best Paper Presentation

Hosted by:
National University of Singapore Faculty of Law
Asian Law Institute