16 Feb 2016 Posted in Press releases
The Ministry of Law announced today the setting up of Singapore’s third law school in UniSIM, which will be a specialist law school for the training of prospective family and criminal lawyers.
The UniSIM Law School will take in its first batch of 50 – 60 students from Academic Year 2017. 80% of these will be mature students, which may include paralegals, law enforcement officers and social workers. Admission will be based not just on academic ability but also aptitude, attitude and interest in the practice of family and criminal law.
The third law school’s curriculum will be credit-based and modular to cater to mature and working students. The school will be practice-oriented and multi-disciplinary, with a strong focus on applied research. To support the emphasis on practice, ULS will explore co-location with the State Courts and/or Family Justice Courts. Professor Leslie Chew, S.C., will be the Dean of the new law school.
The development of the third law school is guided by the recommendations of the Steering Committee for the Establishment of the UniSIM Law School, chaired by Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Law, Ms Indranee Rajah, S.C. The Steering Committee was set up on 27 November 2013 and submitted its recommendations to the Ministry of Law on 3 February 2016. The Ministry of Law has accepted its recommendations in full.
Recommendations of the Steering Committee
- The Steering Committee’s recommendations are aimed at building a school with a difference to make a difference, producing well-equipped family and criminal law lawyers with a strong sense of justice and a heart for their fellow Singaporeans. The third law school will provide an opportunity for Singaporeans to embark on law as a second career, and create an additional path for prospective law students who may otherwise have to go overseas.
- The Steering Committee made seven key recommendations for the development of Singapore’s third law school, which the Ministry of Law has accepted in full:
- First, it should be a specialist law school, focusing on producing lawyers specialising in family and criminal law.
- Second, its curriculum should be practice-oriented and multidisciplinary, and include a six-month clinical programme (Practicum) for hands-on teaching and learning.
- Third, it should offer Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) for undergraduates and Juris Doctor (J.D.) for graduates. It should be credit based and modular, with flexibility to complete the LL.B in four to six years and the J.D. in three to six years.
- Fourth, at least 80% of its students should comprise mature students with life and work experience and seeking a mid-career switch to law, such as paralegals, law enforcement officers and social workers. Students should be selected not just based on their academic ability but also their aptitude, attitude and interest the practice of family and criminal law.
- Fifth, it should provide continuing legal education and training programmes for practitioners, in line with Skills Future. This can be in the form of a Family Law Practitioner’s Course (“FLPC”) and a Criminal Law Practitioner’s Course (“CLPC”). It should also offer standalone modules as non-degree courses that can be taken up by both legal and non-legal professionals.
- Sixth, it should consider setting up a centre for applied research on Family Law Practice and Criminal Justice, with relevant cross-disciplinary areas. This can be used to inform policy making, development of social programmes and provide thought leadership in these areas.
- Seventh, it should eventually be co-located with the State Courts and/or the Family Justice Courts.
- The Executive Summary of the Steering Committee Report, containing the full list of recommendations, can be found in Annex A (0.79MB).
Click here (1.2MB) for the infographic on ULS
MINISTRY OF LAW
16 FEBRUARY 2016
Last updated on 16 Feb 2016