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Prof S Jayakumar hosts legal talk on land reclamation

05 March 2012

Prof Koh (left) and Prof Jayakumar at the NUS Centre for International Law Fireside Chat

Professor S Jayakumar hosted the second NUS Centre for International Law (CIL) Fireside Chat on International Law and Diplomacy, titled "The Land Reclamation Case: Lessons in Law and Diplomacy" on 2 March. This instalment in the series examined the Malaysia-initiated arbitration which claimed Singapore's reclamation works impinged on the former's territorial waters and marine environment in the Straits of Johor.

The panelists comprised Prof Tommy Koh, Ambassador-At-Large at Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Chairman of CIL; Dr Cheong Koon Hean, Deputy Secretary (Special Duties) in the Ministry of National Development and CEO of the Housing and Development Board; and Mr Tan Ken Hwee, Deputy Chief Prosecutor of the Economic Crimes and Governance Division, Attorney-General's Chambers. Host Prof Jayakumar has served as Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister, Coordinating Minister for National Security, Minister for Law, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other leading roles in the Singapore Government.

The Panel, all of whom played a key role in the proceedings brought by Malaysia, provided insight into both the legal and technical aspects of the dispute, the lessons learned, as well as Singapore's strategy in dealing with international litigation including the coordination between the various government agencies. The audience, made up of students from NUS, Singapore Management University and Nanyang Technological University, participated in a lively and frank discussion.

The CIL Fireside Chat Series, hosted by Prof Jayakumar and Prof Koh, explores the interplay between diplomacy and international law. Leading international lawyers and diplomats are invited to share their insights on the legal and political considerations that shape a State's conduct in international relations.

The next Chat on 30 March 2012 will focus on "Territorial Disputes in Asia: Lessons from the Pedra Branca". Open to university students, it will feature Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong, Director of CIL Prof Robert Beckman, as well as Prof Jayakumar and Prof Koh.

For more information on the series and registration details, visit CIL's website.

By Centre for International Law