LEGAL SYSTEMS OF ASIA (F)
2014/2015, Semester 1
Modular Credits: 4
This course aims to introduce the major features, historical development and present-day functioning of legal systems in Asia. Legal systems that are explored include the civil law system that is shared by most Asian jurisdictions, as well as the laws of East Asia and Southeast Asia. In particular, the module will investigate the literature and issues on the themes of Legal Transplants, and Law and Business in Asia. The jurisdictions to be covered include,
, Singapore, China, Indonesia and Japan.
The module focuses largely on the institutional structure of these legal systems both individually and in comparison, and will use real-life examples and case studies to illustrate various aspects of the legal systems discussed. The module focuses on three components of legal systems: structural, substantive and cultural. Under the structural component, we will look at the legal institutions that make up a particular legal system, such as the legislature, the judiciary and the legal profession. In the substantive component we look at the laws and rules that are created by those institutions and how they are implemented in the Asian context. The third component is the legal culture, which incorporates legal traditions, legal history, social values and cultural attitudes towards the legal system, as well as the political, economic and ideological factors that impact upon the operation of the legal systems in Asia.
On completion of this module, you will:
acquire an appreciation of the main characteristics of major legal systems in Asia, the historical and cultural contexts that have shaped such systems;
gain the ability to compare various aspects of legal institutions in major Asian jurisdictions;
gain the ability to describe and analyse particular issues arising from the different jurisdictions under study; and
gain a greater understanding of how Singaporean lawyers might adapt when dealing with legal institutions and legal professionals from other Asian jurisdictions.
The course will be conducted through 12 weekly seminars. I intend to use the Socratic Method. As the course explores different laws in Asian jurisdictions which are likely unfamiliar to many of you, you are required to read the assigned materials before class. Doing so will help you understand the contents better.
The course will be evaluated by a final take-home exam, an in-class test and class participation.
(1) Take-home exam
You will have 6 hours for the take-home exam, which will be released on
Monday 17 November 2014 at 9 am and due at 3 pm.
Further details on the format of the exam will be provided later in the course.
(2) The in-class test
There will be one in-class test worth 15%. The test will take place on the following date and will be on the specific topic mentioned below:
16 September 2014: Civil Law and Common Law
This will be a closed-book test. The main purpose of the test is to see how well you have read the materials and paid attention in class. It is not meant to cover as much and go in as much depth as the final exam. It is meant to prepare you for the understanding of the subsequent topics of the course.
Yours answers will be handwritten, and the test will be administered in class.
Absence from the test will need to be justified by a medical certificate or similar evidence which would be acceptable as an excuse.
(3) Class participation (5%)
Attendance and general class participation will account for 5% in your final grade. You are encouraged to play an active role in class.
I will distribute an attendance sheet at the beginning of each class. There will be an
automatic penalty of 1% deducted from your final grade for each class that you fail to attend
—unless you provide me with a valid reason, supported by the relevant documentation, for your absence. It is your responsibility to sign the attendance sheet at each respective class.
Workload Components : A-B-C-D-E
A: no. of lecture hours per week
B: no. of tutorial hours per week
C: no. of lab hours per week
D: no. of hours for projects, assignments, fieldwork etc per week
E: no. of hours for preparatory work by a student per week