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NUS' new Centre for Law & Business to promote research and educational opportunities in Business Law

14 August 2014 | ResearchEducation
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New centre will have a special focus on Asia and aims to encourage a vibrant discourse on Business law

The National University of Singapore (NUS) Faculty of Law has launched a new Centre for Law & Business (CLB) to enhance and promote research and educational opportunities for faculty, students, legal practitioners and business executives in the fields of Law, Business and Economics. The official launch ceremony, which was held this evening, was graced by The Honourable the Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon as the Guest-of-Honour.

The new Centre will be helmed by two notable experts in law and business - Professor Tan Cheng Han from NUS Law; and Associate Professor Lan Luh Luh, who holds a joint appointment with NUS Law and NUS Business School.

The three initial aims of the Centre for Law & Business are: to offer a platform for interdisciplinary research in law and business — prominently including intellectual property, tax, competition law — which will be of practical value to legal practitioners, legislators, and businesspeople; to be a thought leader in the area of commercial law, contributing to law reform in Singapore and the wider region; and to disseminate topical and important information on, and stimulate interest in, comparative commercial law.

CLB is managed by a Management Board that includes three academics from the Business School, and has 11 Academic Fellows. The Centre will focus on the following areas:

  • Business Organisations: Company Law (including corporate governance and corporate insolvency), Partnership, and other organisational vehicles
  • Competition Law and Policy, and Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Intellectual Property and Information Technology Law and Policy
  • International Business, and International Commercial Litigation
  • Taxation: Legal, Regulatory, and Accounting Aspects

The Centre's research projects include attempts to frame intellectual property law for the 21st century by integrating incentives, trade, development, cultural rights, and human rights. Other projects that are currently ongoing are:

  • Shareholder Remedies;
  • Independent Directors;
  • Conceiving a model arbitration law in Asia;
  • Studying how Asian jurisdictions deal with the problem of cartels through Competition Law.

Legal practitioners, business executives as well as faculty will be able to enrich their knowledge of the industry further through conferences, symposia and seminars, as well as from the thought leadership that the Centre will provide.

New centre poised for Asia

Said Prof Simon Chesterman, Dean of NUS Faculty of Law, “Singapore is on the path to being a true global legal services centre. But to achieve that, we need more than a robust rule of law framework, strong institutions, and a pool of talent. We also need ideas: we need to make Singapore a thought-leader in law and legal services. That insight is the driving force behind the new Centre for Law & Business, which builds on NUS Law's extensive experience in commercial law teaching and research. It brings together faculty members, colleagues from the NUS Business School and other faculties, and distinguished visitors from Singapore and around the world. Its work will be of scholarly value to academics, but also policy relevance to the wider legal and business communities.”

Prof Tan, Chairman of CLB, added, “We envision the Centre for Law & Business as a thought leader in the field of business law with a special focus on Asia. Our work will not only be inter-disciplinary but comparative as well.”

Prof Tan, who was the former Dean of NUS Law, is also the Chairman of the Singapore Media Literacy Council, Chairman of the Public Accountants Oversight Committee, a Commissioner of the Competition Commission of Singapore, a board member of the Accounting, Corporate and Regulatory Authority, as well as a member of the Appeal Advisory Panel to the Singapore Minister for Finance.

Assoc Prof Lan, who is Deputy Chairman of CLB, is the Associate Dean (Executive Education) of the NUS Business School, a member of the research team at the School's Centre for Governance, Institutions and Organisations (CGIO), a board member of the Charity Council of Singapore; and the scientist-in-charge for NUS' representation to the Global Corporate Governance Colloquia.

CLB, together with CGIO, is an academic partner of the Global Corporate Governance Colloquia, which is a series of annual world-class conferences on corporate governance research conceived by some of the scholars affiliated with the European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI). It will be collaborating with ECGI to organise the EU-Asia Corporate Governance Dialogue 2015 Conference entitled “Corporate Governance and Large Shareholders”, which will bring together top researchers and scholars from Europe and Asia to NUS Law.

International Conference on Framing Intellectual Property Law in the 21st Century

To coincide with the official launch of the Centre for Law and Business, an international conference on intellectual property (IP) law was opened earlier today by Ms Indranee Rajah, Senior Minister of State of the Ministry of Law and the Ministry of Education.

This public conference is part of a research project that brings together leading scholars to consider how intellectual property law (IP) should be framed in the 21st century. Adopting a multi-disciplinary approach, the research papers will focus on how best to integrate five distinct (and sometimes fragmented) themes of incentive, trade, development, culture and human rights as part of a forthcoming book project, which will be co-edited by Professor Rochelle Dreyfuss, Co-Director of the Engelberg Center on Innovation Law & Policy at the New York University School of Law, and Associate Professor Elizabeth Siew-Kuan Ng, Director of Intellectual Property at CLB. The two-day conference will end on 15 August 2014.

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