Message from the Director

I would like to start my message by extending my heartfelt congratulations on behalf of the CIL to Professor S Jayakumar, Chair of the CIL International Advisory Panel, on his appointment as NUS Pro-Chancellor. Prof Jaya, as we all know, has made outstanding contributions to the academia, public service and international community, throughout his long affiliation with the university, since he started as a law student in 1959. Professor Jayakumar has also been awarded the title of Emeritus Professor of the NUS Faculty of Law.

In addition, warmest congratulations also go to Professor Robert Beckman, Head of CIL’s Ocean Law and Policy Programme, who has also been made an Emeritus Professor of the NUS Faculty of Law. As the founding director of CIL, and an active educator and a scholar, Bob played a transformative role in the lives of virtually all of Singapore’s international lawyers and the many international students with whom he has had contact.

On 11 June, as Director of CIL, together with Prof Beckman and Lionel Yee, I had the honour to witness the Adoption Ceremony of the Model Agreement between Singapore and the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS). The agreement was signed by Minister for Law and Home Affairs K Shanmugam and ITLOS President, Judge Jin-Hyun Paik, who also sits on our International Advisory Panel. Disputes referred to ITLOS can now be heard in Singapore. Singapore is the first country to have such a Model Agreement to host ITLOS proceedings outside of ITLOS’s headquarters.

During June, the CIL continued to remain active in the virtual world.

The last session of the CIL e-Conference held on 3 June on ‘International Shipping’ garnered the highest number of registrants at 461 from over 76 countries. We are pleased to receive many positive responses from speakers and audience for this e-Conference series. The next panel of the e-Conference series is organised by Dr Ayelet Berman together with the American Society of International Law and is scheduled for 29 July on ‘COVID-19: A New Surveillance Era?’

In addition, the CIL continues to create podcasts and blog posts.

If you are interested in nuclear-related issues, then you should not miss the series of four podcasts that the Nuclear Law & Policy team has put together featuring Dr Charles D Ferguson, Director of Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, and former President of the Federation of American Scientists. The series discusses the fundamentals of nuclear safety, security, safeguards and their inter-relationships. The first two episodes are now available. The full series will be available soon.

Prof Beckman has also written a very timely and important blog thought piece on the CIL website entitled ‘COVID-19 and Shipping: New Global Regulations and a New Normal’.

Other notable publications by members of the CIL include Prof Tommy Koh’s op-ed dated 6 June 2020 published in The Straits Times entitled ‘ASEAN’s Response to Covid-19: A Report Card’, based on the CIL webinar that he very ably chaired. Prof Beckman also published an op-ed on 10 June in The Straits Times entitled ‘US Joins “Lawfare” by Diplomatic Notes over Chinese Claims in South China Sea’.

In addition, Asst Prof Tan Hsien-Li, Co-Director (Teaching) for the CIL’s ASEAN Law and Policy Programme, published in the Business Times on 2 June a thought piece entitled ‘ASEAN’s Collective Response to Public Health Crises’.

Most recently, Research Prof (CIL) Calamita published on 29 June in the Business Times a very insightful analysis entitled ‘The Risk of Investor-State Disputes in ASEAN in the Aftermath of COVID-19’.

Members of the CIL have also participated in different panels in June.

Asst Prof Tan Hsien-Li spoke at an international conference organised by Renmin University’s Human Rights Center on ‘Human Rights Protection Under Law-based Pandemic Prevention and Control: The Role of Proportionality Principles’ on 20 June. She spoke on ‘From SARs to COVID-19: Reflections on ASEAN’s Collective Response to Public Health Crises’.

Two members of the CIL were panellists at the virtual annual conference of the American Society of International Law—‘The Promise of International Law’. Dr Ayelet Berman moderated the panel on ‘Between Participation and Capture: Non-State Actor Participation in International Rule-Making’. I spoke on the panel ‘Addressing the Law of the Sea Challenges to Sea-Level Rise’.

I welcome you to follow the CIL on social media: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

I wish you all good health.

Warm regards,
Nilüfer Oral
Director