Singapore Academy of Law
|Formed||November 1, 1988|
|Headquarters||1 Supreme Court Lane, Singapore 178879|
The Singapore Academy of Law (Abbreviation: SAL; Chinese: 新加坡法律协会) is a statutory body in Singapore. SAL is a promotion and development agency for Singapore’s legal industry. SAL also undertakes statutory functions such as stakeholding services and the appointment of Senior Counsel, Commissioners for Oaths and Notaries Public.
SAL has 3 sub-brands: Singapore Law Watch, Academy Publishing and LawNet (known in Malaysia as Legal Workbench).
SAL also has 3 subsidiaries: the Singapore Mediation Centre, the Singapore International Dispute Resolution Academy and the Asian Business Law Institute.
The Singapore Academy of Law Act was created by an Act of Parliament on 1 November 1988, and had its City Hall premises officially opened by former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew. With the Singapore Academy of Law (Amendment) Act passed in 1995, SAL’s functions were expanded to include development of legal infrastructure and services.
SAL 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 12,000 members, including the Bench, all persons who are called as advocates and solicitors of the Supreme Court (i.e. the Bar) or appointed as Legal Service Officers, corporate counsel, faculty members of the three local law schools (i.e. National University of Singapore, Singapore Management University and Singapore University of Social Sciences) and foreign lawyers in Singapore.
SAL’s Executive Board oversees major decision making and provides strategic direction for the development of SAL’s role in the Singapore legal industry. The Executive Board comprises 12 members from both the judiciary and the private sector.
Work of the Academy
The scope of SAL’s work as a promotion and development agency covers four “Cs”:
- Creating knowledge and know-how
- Catalysing ideas, insights and innovation
- Capability building with tools and technology
- Connecting the legal community
This work is carried out by 5 clusters:
- The Legal Education cluster comprises 3 divisions: Conference & Seminars, Training (workshops & courses) and e-Lex (eLearning programmes).
- The Legal Knowledge and Publishing cluster has the following functions: Academy Publishing, Law Reporting and Legal Heritage.
- The Legal Development cluster oversees Professional Affairs, International Promotion of Singapore Law, Law Reform, Singapore Law Watch and SAL Scholarships.
- The Legal Technology cluster developed and manages LawNet and the Electronic Litigation Systems.
- The Corporate Development and Services cluster is in charge of Statutory Services (Authentication, Appointments, Membership and Stakeholding), Business Development, Communications, Finance and Treasury functions, as well as internal corporate services. It also undertakes the work related to the Future Law Innovation Programme (FLIP).
- 1988 – The Singapore Academy of Law Act is passed by Parliament. LawNet is first incepted as a dial up network access provider.
- 1989 – The SAL Restaurant is opened, serving local and Western fare. Members were to be suitably dressed when dining there.
- 1990 – Former Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, officiates the opening of SAL premises at City Hall.
- 1995 – SAL’s functions expand to include development of legal infrastructure and services in Singapore.
- 1996 – The appointment of Commissioners for Oaths, the appointment of Notaries Public and legislation of documents for international use was transferred from the Attorney-General’s Chambers to SAL.
- 1997 – Launch of Singapore Mediation Centre by former Chief Justice Yong Pung How. Commencement of stakeholding services for residential and commercial properties in Singapore.
- 2000 – Electronic Filing System is introduced in conjunction with LawNet’s 10th anniversary.
- 2005 – Relocation of premises to the new Supreme Court building. The SAL Restaurant is closed and replaced by the Academy Bistro.
- 2006 – Former Chief Justice Yong Pung How retires as President of SAL and is replaced by Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong.
- 2007 – SAL restructures into Legal Knowledge, Legal Technology and Legal Industry. SAL’s publishing division, Academy Publishing, was officially launched by Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong. LawNet 2, a revamped LawNet portal, was launched with more user-friendly features and email alerts.
- 2008 – Launch of Singapore Law Watch, a daily legal news service for the legal community and public.
- 2012 – Former Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong retires as President of SAL. He is succeeded by Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon, who takes over as President of SAL.
- 2013 – SAL celebrates its 25th anniversary with the aim to raise public awareness about legal rights.
- 2016 – SAL sets up two new subsidiaries: (1) the Asian Business Law Institute (ABLI) – to conduct and facilitate research, and produce authoritative texts in the field of Asian legal development with the view to promote the convergence of Asian business laws; and (2) the Singapore International Dispute Resolution Academy (SIDRA) – the first regional hub dedicated to training and educational excellence in negotiation and dispute resolution.
- 2017 – SAL expands its office premises to The Adelphi. The Legal Education Framework for Training and Education (LIFTED) and Specialist Accreditation Scheme are launched by Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon at the Opening of Legal Year 2017. The Legal Technology Vision and FLIP are also announced.
Links to Community
SAL has designated the Yellow Ribbon Fund as the sole beneficiary of its charity efforts since 2011.
- "Singapore Academy of Law > About Us > Milestones > 1988 - 1993". www.sal.org.sg. Retrieved 2017-08-22.
- "S'pore Academy of Law moving to Adelphi". The Straits Times. Retrieved 2017-08-22.
- "Singapore Academy of Law > Resources & Tools > Legal Education > LIFTED > Overview". www.sal.org.sg. Retrieved 2017-08-22.
- "Singapore Academy of Law > Services > Appointments > Specialist Accreditation > Overview". www.sal.org.sg. Retrieved 2017-08-22.
- "Singapore Academy of Law > Resources & Tools > Legal Technology Vision". www.sal.org.sg. Retrieved 2017-08-22.
- "Welcome to the Future Law Innovation Programme by SAL - Singapore". Welcome to the Future Law Innovation Programme by SAL - Singapore. Retrieved 2017-08-22.