About Singapore Academy Of Law

By | February 14, 2017

About Singapore Academy Of Law

The Singapore Academy of Law (the “Academy”) is the promotion and development agency for Singapore’s legal industry, with the vision of making Singapore the legal hub of Asia.

The Academy aims to drive legal excellence through developing thought leadership, world class infrastructure and legal solutions. Its work focuses on building up the intellectual capital of the legal profession by enhancing legal knowledge, raising the international profile of Singapore law, promoting Singapore as a centre for dispute resolution and improving the standards and efficiency of legal practice through continuing professional development and the use of technology.

As a body established by Statute, the Academy also undertakes statutory functions such as stakeholding services, appointment of Senior Counsel, Commissioners for Oaths and Notaries Public.

The Academy is led by a Senate headed by Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon, and comprising the Attorney-General, the Supreme Court Bench and key leaders of the various branches of the legal profession. It has more than 10,000 members, including the Bench, all persons who are called as advocates and solicitors of the Supreme Court (i.e. the Bar), or who are appointed as Legal Service Officers, corporate counsel, faculty members of the two local law schools (i.e. the National University of Singapore and the Singapore Management University) and foreign lawyers in Singapore.

2016
SAL hosted a landmark international conference titled “Doing Business across Asia: Legal Convergence in an Asian Century” in January.

The Asian Business Law Institute (“ABLI”) was launched on 21 January.

Academy Publishing Journals Online, a dedicated site for AP published journals and periodicals on 1 April.

2015
A training unit was set up in February under the SAL Legal Education cluster to develop and deliver quality skills training for legal professionals and para-professionals.LawNet3, a powerful online platform rich in content and capabilities was launched on 1 June. LawNet Premium, a service that offers online access to Academy Publishing titles and sentencing information from the State Courts was also made available.

“SAL-e”, an online store for SAL’s products and services was launched in June.

The Global Technology Law Conference: The Future of Money and Data was held from 29 – 30 June.

SAL was reorganised in June to focus on its new role as a promotion and development agency. The Executive Board and the various SAL Committees were regrouped under five clusters of work: Legal Publishing & Knowledge, Legal Education, Legal Development, Legal Technology and Corporate Development.

A legal history App which takes the visitor on an interactive virtual tour of the Old Supreme Court was launched on 11 August.

The Corporate Social Responsibility (“CSR”) Sub-Committee was established in June to involve the legal fraternity in fund-raising programmes that will contribute to the SAL-YRF Star Bursary. An inaugural “CJ’s Cup”, a charity futsal tournament held in November raised close to $60,000 for the Bursary.

2014
The SAL E-seminar portal “e-Lex” was launched on 22 August.The Singapore Mediation Centre (“SMC”) embarked on a re-branding exercise and launched its new visual identity in September. SMC launched its inaugural event for the business community, “Unfolding Conversations” on 25 September.

The Academy Bistro was closed in November.

2013
The inaugural SAL-Chancery Bar Association Conference was held on 25-26 April. The conference covered topics on key developments in commercial law and litigation.SAL celebrated its 25th anniversary with a series of activities to raise public awareness about legal rights, to update the profession on the developments in law and also to give back to the community. A limited edition notebook featuring line drawings of courthouses were distributed to members.

Law Week 2013, a five-day event focused on bringing law and pro bono services closer to the community and to encourage members of the legal profession to participate in pro bono activities was held from 22 -26 July.

A book fair and exhibition entitled #Law & Community on Criminal Justice and Family Law, held in conjunction with Law Week attracted more than 2,000 visitors.

Three new initiatives were launched to provide the public with access to legal help: Know the Law Now!, a free commemorative publication; an interactive directory on legal clinic services available in Singapore; and LegalHelp portal, a free online platform for members of the public to pose legal questions and get general legal information.

A charity concert, “The Lex Factor – Law Has Talent” , in support of the Yellow Ribbon Fund-SAL STAR Bursary was held on 12 September. A total of $303,000 was raised for the Bursary.

Former Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong was conferred the Honorary Member for Life and Fellow for Life on 1 November.

Academy Publishing launched its first audio book, Legal Tenor, Voices from Singapore’s Legal History (1930 – 1959).

2012
Professor Yeo Tiong Min was appointed the first Senior Counsel (honoris causa).

SAL launched a seed funding programme, ‘SAL Innovations and Ideas Scheme’, to promote innovation and creativity to benefit the legal industry and/or wider community.

SMC introduced a new Neutral Evaluation service as part of its suite of Alternative Dispute Resolution services.
Former Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong retired as President of SAL on 5 November. Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon became President of SAL on 6 November.
2011
Fourth conference in the Five-year Series, “SAL Conference 2011 – Developments in Singapore Law between 2006 and 2010: Trends and Perspectives”, was held.

The Singapore Institute of Legal Education, a single body responsible for preparing law graduates for practice and ensuring their professional development throughout their legal career was formed on 3 May 2011.

SAL started the SAL Conveyancing Money Service after being designated as one of the Appointed Entities by Minister for Law.

LawNet held an International Conference on E-litigation. An iPad App on LawNet was also launched at the conference.

SMC inaugurated the Singapore Mediation Charter to encourage businesses to explore mediation as a first resort to dispute resolution.

2010
Singapore Law Reports (Reissue) was completed and launched by former Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong.
LawNet celebrated its 20th anniversary with the launch of a new logo.
2009
The Membership Credit Dollar scheme was introduced, to encourage continuing legal education and upgrading of legal knowledge.
SMC hosted the first Asian Mediation Association Conference – “Mediation Diversity – Asia and Beyond”.
First SAL Forensics Conference and Exhibition organised.
Inaugural Junior College Law Programme was launched, to provide junior college students with an introduction to law as a career choice.
2008
SAL launched the Singapore Law Watch, a free “one-stop” daily legal news service for the legal community and public.

Legal WorkBench was launched in Malaysia.

SAL celebrated its 20th anniversary with a special edition, legal heritage themed Member’s Diary and an exhibition entitled “Legal Legacies: The Story of Singapore Law”, which included a final salute tour of the old Supreme Court building.

SAL inaugurated the SAL Merit Awards and Singapore Law Merit Awards at its 20th Anniversary cum Appreciation Dinner.

The title of Honorary Member for Life and Fellow for Life was conferred on former Deputy Prime Minister and Co-ordinating Minister for National Security Professor S Jayakumar.

2007
SAL was restructured into three legal clusters and a corporate services cluster to focus on different aspects of work. The legal clusters are Legal Knowledge, Legal Technology and Legal Industry.

New SAL website was launched, providing online events registration, online bookshop, digital library, and an integrated backend for accounts and membership.

SMC became a founding member of the International Mediation Institute (“IMI”) based in the Netherlands. IMI aims to put in place international competency standards for mediators.

Academy Publishing, the publishing arm of SAL, was launched by former Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong to publish authoritative texts on Singapore law.

Academy Publishing published Ethics and Professional Responsibility which provided, for the first time in Singapore, a set of codified principles for legal ethics. This book is the first title published by Academy Publishing.

New Inter Se, an SAL bi-annual periodical for members, was published.

New portal LawNet2 was launched by former Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong to provide integrated search and access to Singapore, Malaysian and English case law.

The Executive Committee held an inaugural Appreciation Dinner for all SAL committees and boards.

SMC celebrated its 10th anniversary with the signing of an MOU in Singapore with regional mediation bodies to form the Asian Mediation Association, to promote the use of mediation in international cases in Asia.

2006
Third conference in the Five-year Series, “SAL Conference 2006 – Developments in Singapore Law between 2001 and 2005”, was held.
SAL launched the SingaporeLaw website, a one-stop web portal to provide updated and relevant information on Singapore law.
Former Chief Justice Yong Pung How retired as President of SAL on 10 April. Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong became President of SAL on 11 April.
The title of Honorary Member for Life and Fellow for Life was conferred on former Chief Justice Yong Pung How.
SMC launched its Small Case Commercial Mediation Scheme.
SAL celebrated the 180th anniversary of the Second Charter of Justice with a monograph of the same title.
2005
SMC was appointed an Authorised Nominating Body under the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2004 (“SOP Act”) to administer the adjudication process under the SOP Act.
SAL and SMC were relocated to the new Supreme Court building.  The SAL Restaurant in City Hall was closed, and replaced by the Academy Bistro in the new building.
SAL held its second SAL Strategic Planning Retreat to address its response to landscape issues facing the legal profession.
2003
SAL assumed full publishing responsibilities for the Singapore Law Reports, and commenced the Singapore Law Reports (Reissue) project.
SAL inaugurated the Expert Series lunch-talk to introduce the legal profession to experts in other fields of study and work.
SIAC was transferred from SAL to Singapore Business Federation to create an alliance with the business community.
SAL conducted a review of the Electronic Filing System.
SAL inaugurated the SAL Visiting Fellows Programme to bring in distinguished academics from common law jurisdictions.
2002
The Council of Law Reporting was formed to oversee law reporting in Singapore.
2001
Mass training of the Singapore legal profession in the use of the Electronic Filing System.

The international Millennium Law Conference, followed by a publication of the same title.

Launch of the on-line Heritage Law Reports, Commercial Precedents, Singapore Academy of Law Journal, Law Reform reports and Journals Index on the Legal Workbench.

Formation of the Technology Law Development Group.

2001
SAL published the inaugural issue of SAL Annual Review of Singapore Cases which evaluates decisions by Singapore Courts in the preceding year on principal areas of law.
SAL set up the Legal Development Fund, to fund courses in new areas of law.
Second conference in the Five-year Series, “Developments in Singapore Law between 1996 and 2000”, was held.
SMC launched Singapore Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (“SDRP”) which provides a framework for resolving “.sg” domain name disputes.
SAL held its first Strategic Planning Retreat to set future directions and consolidate its services and programmes.
2000
Supreme Court’s Electronic Filing System was introduced on LawNet.
SAL held the Millennium Law Conference to address trends and landscape issues facing the legal profession.
LawNet celebrated its 10th anniversary with the launch of new databases in Legal Workbench for commercial precedents, SAcLJ Online, Legal Journals Index and Heritage Law Reports.
1999
SAL took over responsibility for the promotion of international arbitration in Singapore, with the transfer of Singapore International Arbitration Centre (“SIAC”) from Trade Development Board to SAL.
1998
SAL launched Legal Workbench, an online legal research service for the Singapore Law Reports, Malayan Law Journal, Versioned Legislation Database, Parliamentary Reports, Academy Digest (Supreme Court Series) and Unreported Judgments. Legal Workbench was launched by former Chief Justice Yong Pung How.
1997
First batch of 12 Senior Counsel was appointed in Singapore.
SAL incorporated the Singapore Mediation Centre (“SMC”) to promote mediation services for civil disputes in the High Court. SMC was launched by former Chief Justice Yong Pung How.
SAL commenced Stakeholding Service for new residential and commercial properties in Singapore.
1996
Powers of appointment of commissioners for oaths and notaries public were transferred to SAL from Supreme Court and Attorney-General’s Chambers respectively.  Authentication service for notaries public signatures was introduced.
The SAL Scholarship Scheme was introduced.
LawNet was transferred to SAL from Attorney-General’s Chambers.
1995
SAL collaborated with the then Television Corporation of Singapore to produce a documentary, “The Passage of Law”.
Inaugural issue of Academy Digest (Supreme Court Series) was published.
SAL inaugurated a Five-year Series conference on the developments in Singapore law, “Review of Judicial and Legal Reforms in Singapore between 1990 and 1995”.
First SAL legal heritage exhibition was held at City Hall Chamber.
The Singapore Academy of Law (Amendment) Act 1995 was passed. SAL’s functions were expanded to include development of legal infrastructure and services in Singapore.
1994
Inaugural SAL Annual Lecture was held.
1992
Inaugural issue of the Singapore Law Reports was published by Butterworths Asia, by authority of SAL.
The title of Honorary Member for Life and Fellow for Life was conferred on former Chief Justice Dr Wee Chong Jin and Dr David Marshall.
1990
Former Prime Minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew officiated at the opening of SAL at the City Hall.  The title of Honorary Member for Life and Fellow for Life was conferred on Mr Lee Kuan Yew.
First SAL conference, “Legal Services in the 1990s”, was held.
Former Chief Justice Dr Wee Chong Jin retired as President of SAL on 27 September.  Chief Justice Yong Pung How became President of SAL on 28 September.
1989
SAL premises were set up at the City Hall.
Commencement of legal education seminars and law reform programme.
SAL published the inaugural issue of the SAL Journal (“SAcLJ”), a bi-annual legal journal of articles and commentaries for members.
1988
The Singapore Academy of Law (“SAL”) Act came into effect on 1 November

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