ASEAN Law Academy Advanced Programme (online) 2021

ASEAN Law Academy
Advanced Programme (online) 2021

Changemaker Programme: Tuesday 2 – Thursday 18 February 2021
Educator Programme: Tuesday 2 – Friday 26 February 2021

Changemaker Programme | Educator Programme | Tracks and Specialisations | Advanced Programme Curriculum |
| Programme | Application | Course fee | Scholarships |


ASEAN has for some time been an important political, economic, and legal reality in its 10 Member States. The annual ASEAN Law Academy Advanced Programme (previously known as the ASEAN Law Academy) equips policymakers, practitioners, and academics with a deeper understanding of ASEAN institutions and key developments in ASEAN’s economic integration, foreign affairs and legal framework.

From 2 to 26 February 2021, the Centre for International Law (CIL) of the National University of Singapore will hold the third edition of its acclaimed ASEAN Law Academy Advanced Programme via Zoom. The programme is a cross-disciplinary master’s level intensive course for those working in the fields of politics and governance, economics, and law. Co-directed by Professor Joseph Weiler (New York University and National University of Singapore) and Assistant Professor Tan Hsien-Li (National University of Singapore), the modules are created and taught by an international faculty of experts from practice and academia.

On the importance of ASEAN

‘Unlike the protectionist trend elsewhere, ASEAN remains committed to free trade, regional integration and open economies…RCEP (The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership of ASEAN and six other economies) will be one of the biggest free trade areas in the world.’
Ambassador Tommy Koh, Chairman of the CIL Governing Board and Ambassador-at-Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore

‘I have witnessed how the interests and concerns of Member States are amplified internationally when ASEAN speaks with one voice. ASEAN is also capable of summoning a spirit of unity which is unparalleled. Even when faced with the thorniest of issues, leaders and officials work tirelessly to find common ground, and achieve agreement by consensus. This is not a trivial undertaking, given the diversity of the region we sit in.’
Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Singapore

‘ASEAN itself manifests what could be achieved – with the requisite political will and diplomatic persistence – to fundamentally transform a region from one marked by conflict and trust deficit to one of stability and strategic trust.’
Dr Marty Natalegawa, Foreign Minister of Indonesia (2009-14) and author of
Does ASEAN Matter? A view from within (2018)

Changemaker Programme

The creation and development of the ASEAN Community is in the hands of policymakers and practitioners in government and regional institutions, the private sector and civil society, and ASEAN’s external partners. The ASEAN Law Academy enables changemakers to engage in specialised content and practicums on key topics and interact with influential ASEAN researchers and educators. This helps them keep abreast of ASEAN developments and provides a forum to discuss regional issues in depth.

Who should attend

  • Officials from ASEAN member states, ASEAN’s external partner states, and international organisations involved in all areas of ASEAN cooperation and policymaking
  • Legal practitioners and consultants advising clients in the Asia-Pacific
  • Companies looking to benefit from ASEAN economic integration and trade agreements
  • A legal background is not required

Educator Programme

The imperative task of teaching of ASEAN at tertiary level, for general education and the need to train future graduates to operate within the ASEAN environment with professional competence and an adequate skill set, is a challenging one. In reviewing the essential building blocks of the ASEAN Community and the didactics of its teaching, the Educator Programme creates a forum for professors to share their experiences and exchange views on the teaching of ASEAN, as well as deeply engage with detailed syllabus modules for both undergraduate and graduate classes that they can then bring back to teach at their universities. Regardless of their experience and familiarity with ASEAN, we believe our programme has immense value so we encourage all university teachers, especially those from the faculties of economics, law, and political science, to participate.

The Educator Programme concludes with an international academic conference – a valuable opportunity for participants to present their ongoing research in ASEAN-related fields, obtain feedback, and discover synergies with colleagues’ research interests. Click here for the call for papers (Deadline for abstract submission: 15 January 2021).

Who should attend

  • Lecturers in tertiary institutions currently teaching or interested in teaching ASEAN-related modules
  • Academics with a research interest in ASEAN and/or regional integration
  • A legal background is not required

Feedback from participants of the 2019 ASEAN Law Academy

 ‘I would like to take this opportunity to express, on behalf of my co-participants, our deepest appreciation for all your efforts to bring us together and the put on an excellent program these past ten days. Your initiative demonstrates an inclusive attitude and an act of genuine desire to invest in building capacities of the participating ASEAN member states, institutions and key personalities in both the public and private sectors.

‘The Academy provided me not only precious knowledge on ASEAN Law but also networking of ASEAN scholars in this field. I am revising my teaching curriculum on International Trade Law with a focus on ASEAN perspective based on what I have learned from the Academy.

‘I’ve acquired understandings about our region and international public law which I’d not been familiar with before the program. From the perspective of a practitioner, I found the program very interesting, I learned a lot not only from the professors of NUS but also my colleagues, the participants.

‘Thank you for this & your hard work in organising the conference. Was a very enjoyable program overall – I learnt a lot that will directly assist my research.’

Tracks and Specialisations

The 2021 Advanced Programme offers two tracks: (1) the Changemaker and (2) the Educator Programme. For in-depth study, participants in both tracks should choose one specialisation most suited to their interests and expertise. Each specialisation will include lectures and practicum; participants will discuss realistic scenarios so as to deepen their grasp of the material.

Three specialisations are offered in 2021:

  • The ASEAN Free Trade Area and Rules of Origin
  • ASEAN Investment Law
  • ASEAN Foreign Relations and Regional Trade Arrangements

Advanced Programme Curriculum

The curriculum is based on CIL’s ASEAN Integration through Law book series published by Cambridge University Press. The Academy seeks to empirically address key topics of the contemporary ASEAN, including the following:

  • The governance and institutions of ASEAN
  • Public bureaucracy in ASEAN and its Member States
  • The ASEAN Economic Community—architecture, trade and investment
  • Compliance, enforcement, monitoring and dispute settlement across ASEAN
  • ASEAN external relations in the political and economic fields


  • Lectures and seminars will be conducted online on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 3-6pm (UTC+8).
  • Changemaker Programme: 2-4, 9-11, 16-18 February 2021
  • Educator Programme: Above dates, with additional pedagogical programme 23-25 February 2021
  • The ASEAN Law Academy Conference is a full day conference on Friday 26 February 2021
  • Download the full programme here.


This programme is by selection only. Applicants should fulfil at least one of the following requirements:

  • Familiarity with at least one aspect of ASEAN cooperation in either a practitioner or academic setting OR
  • Comparative expertise in law, public policy, political science or economics in one or more Southeast Asian countries OR
  • Have completed the ASEAN Law Academy Foundation Programme (Click to access the free Foundation Programme)

A legal background is not required. Applicants should be fluent in English. The organisers will endeavor to allocate applicants to their first choice of specialisation.

Participation and scholarship applications for the 2021 ASEAN Law Academy Advanced Programme are now closed.

Course fee

  • The registration fee for the Changemaker programme (9 days) is SGD 1,300.
  • The registration fee for the Educator programme (13 days) is SGD 1,600.
    The fee includes course materials. The fee is inclusive of government taxes, exclusive of bank charges.


Limited scholarships are available. Please indicate on your application if you would like to be considered for a scholarship. The scholarship covers the programme fees of SGD 1,300 or SGD 1,600. Applications are now closed.

Note: Changemaker Programme scholarships are available only for participants attending the full 3-week programme.  Educator Programme scholarships are available only to participants who are (1) attending the full 4-week programme and (2) presenting a paper at the ASEAN Law Academy Conference.


Should you have any questions, please email Ms Gerry Ng at