Law in Scotland v Law in Singapore

But as I get deeper and deeper into revision, I realise I’ve forgotten just how interesting a lot of the studies here at NUS are. The content of our modules and the teaching methods are far more interesting and actually make you want to learn. The professors invoke a lot of class-led seminars, which involve a lot of class discussion and student participation. As sad as this sounds, it really does inspire you to prepare for class. A good teacher surely is someone who makes you want to learn? If that is true, then NUS have definitely succeeded in securing good teachers!

Back in June, before I came out (in July) I did spend a fair bit of time in selecting my law modules. I had various criteria: since Singapore is a different legal jurisdiction from Scotland, nothing I study would be directly relevant. Despite this, Singaporean law is rooted in the English common law and is largely based upon the common law. Lucky for me, so is the Scottish legal system (it is a hybrid system – a mix of civilian law from Roman times, and of common law from England. However, much of it is closely similar to England. Okay this is getting very boring now). So what I’m trying to say is that surprisingly, Singapore and Scottish laws do have a lot in common! So if I were to simple Singapore law modules, like Singapore Banking Law, or Singapore Family Law, then quite a lot of what I would learn would be roughly similar to Scotland. But not quite precise enough! And precision is 9/10 of the law!

So I decided to opt for modules which would be more directly relevant. The range of modules available to law students at NUS is unbelievable – there must be about 100 modules on offer! So I narowed myself into the international side of law, or comparative law modules, because these are equally applicable around the world, and the content of such modules would be roughly similar in every legal jurisdiction.

So I choose….

– International Patent Law and Policy; Comparative Criminal Law; Comparative Constitutional Law: Freedom of Speech Critical and Comparative Perspectives; Legal Argument and Narrative; Transnational Criminal Law; Rise of Law in the Modern World; and Comparative Advocacy.

From this, I’ve really opened my eyes and given myself a much better appreciation of international law. This is going to be a great asset in future, given the rapid expansion of globalisation and internationalisation. International relations are key to good business practice, and with a challenging career in mind, this is a skill I should be starting to develop from as early an age as possible.

Secondly, by doing the comparative modules, I’ve learnt a bit not only about Singapore, but about the UK (building on previous knowledge), America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Japan.

So I know this blog is a bit boring, but hopefully I can show just how beneficial learning in a different country, from a different perspective can be. It’ll be invaluable in a future career and something employers really would look for.

Before I press send I just want to throw in a few more examples of how “fun” the law modules on offer are. Ones that I fancied but didn’t end up choosing include…

– Legal Issues in Virtual worlds, Bio-medical Legal Ethics, Entertainment Law, Anti-Terrorism Law, World Trade Law, International Shipping Law, Aviation Law and Policy, Law and Religion, Economics for Lawyers…

And, as if that’s not enough, you could also try and do some non-law modules. Quite a few of my friends have picked up language classes such as Mandarin, Korean and Cantonese…. kind of wish I had too now 😦

Categories: Singapore

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