LawTech.Asia

Southeast Asia's foremost Law & Technology Review

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LawTech.Asia: Media Partner for TechLaw.Fest 2018!

We are proud to be recognised an official media partner for TechLaw.Fest 2018!

Organised by the Singapore Academy of Law, the inaugural TechLaw.Fest 2018 (held from 4 to 6 April 2018) is a convention that will be the focal point of leading thinkers in technology law and legal technology.

Key highlights of TechLaw.Fest 2018 include:

  • A main conference themed “Smart Regulations for a Digital Economy”, which will dive deep into novel regulatory approaches tested to help societies and businesses navigate the world of rapid technology growth and the accompanying legal issues.
  • Over 50 prominent speakers, who will speak about and lead panel discussions on smart regulations and technologies and the impact of technology on legal practice.
  • Sessions, panels, dialogues, exhibitions, hackathons, masterclasses and workshops on all things law and technology (and in-between), with a target audience of 3,000 visitors and 500 delegates comprising of lawyers, policymakers, technologists and business vendors.

From now to April 2016, the LawTech.Asia team will bring you regular interviews and shout-outs covering prominent speakers and the topics they will be speaking at TechLaw.Fest. These speakers include key leaders from:

  • Intelllex
  • Law Society of Singapore
  • Microsoft Singapore
  • ROSS Intelligence
  • Singapore Management University
  • Uber Asia Pacific
  • And more!

LawTech.Asia readers will also receive special perks, including a promo code that gives you a discount off full-price passes for TechLaw.Fest. To stay updated, please like the LawTech.Asia Facebook page and join the Legal Hackers SG Facebook group.   

We’re raring to have you join us in exploring the constantly-moving intersection of law and technology. Check back on our site regularly to ensure that you get the latest coverage, updates and news about TechLaw.Fest 2018!

We also wish to take this opportunity to wish all our readers a happy and prosperous Lunar New Year!

The LawTech.Asia Team

LawTech.Asia Annual Theme for 2018 and Quarterly Themes

A warm hello to our readers and fellow legal technologists!

Singapore takes the ASEAN Chairmanship in 2018 with the themes of “resilience” and “innovation”. Hence, it is timely for LawTech.Asia, with a focus on legal technology in Southeast Asia, to focus on legal technology developments in Singapore and the region.

At the same time, given that it has been roughly half a decade since the buzz about legal technology took root in Singapore, it is also appropriate to do a stocktake on the state of legal technology in Singapore for our readers. In addition, with the focus on Southeast Asia, it would also be useful to draw insight from legal technology developments in the region. This would also give LawTech.Asia the opportunity to examine how Singapore can learn from her fellow ASEAN counterparts, and vice versa.

With this in mind, the LawTech.Asia team presents to you our theme for our articles this year: Legal Technology in Singapore and ASEAN: Present and Future.

Aside from our regular articles, the LawTech.Asia team will be bringing to you a series of Quarterly Updates, a four-part thematic series that focuses on four sub-themes that are in line with LawTech.Asia’s annual theme. LawTech.Asia intends to cover the following four topics in its quarterly update:

  1. 1st Quarter: The state of legal technology in Singapore
  2. 2nd Quarter: The state of legal technology in ASEAN
  3. 3rd Quarter: What might Singapore be able to learn from ASEAN and vice versa?
  4. 4th Quarter: A legal technology report card on Singapore’s drive of “innovation” for ASEAN, and a look at the future.

We look forward to your continued support as we continue to bring you insights and information exploring the past, present and future of legal technology in Singapore and ASEAN.

 

Wishing you a happy and fruitful 2018,

The LawTech.Asia Team

 

Image credit: ASEAN

The Future of Law Conference 2017: Charting the Converging Paths of Law and Technology

Written by Amelia Chew & Jerrold Soh

Editor’s note: This article was originally published on Singapore Law Blog. We would like to thank Singapore Law Blog for graciously allowing us to reproduce this article on this site for our readers.

Jointly organised by the Centre for Cross-Border Commercial Law in Asia at the Singapore Management University (SMU) School of Law and Osborne Clarke, the inaugural Future of Law Conference that took place from 26 to 27 October 2017 brought together leading academics and practitioners from around the world to tackle issues at the intersection of law and technology. This article provides but a snippet of the insights discussed at the conference.

The Relationship Between Humans & Artificial Intelligence

In his opening keynote speech, Professor Ian Kerr (University of Ottawa) spoke about the ethical and legal concerns surrounding delegating previously exclusively-human decisions to machines. Given that we are only at the stage of artificial narrow intelligence (ANI) at the moment, the concern is less about a dystopian future where robots may potentially overthrow humans and more about how we can manage the relationship between artificial intelligence (AI) and humans. As an increase in machine autonomy correlates with a decrease in human control, it is crucial to establish safeguards to deal with a situation where a machine demonstrates emergent behaviour.

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Recent Growth and Developments on Online Dispute Resolution in Southeast Asia

Written by Josh Lee and Professor Thomas G. Giglione

This is the first part of a two-part series on recent developments in online dispute resolution. These series was co-written by Josh Lee and our guest contributor, Professor Thomas G. Giglione.

Professor Giglione is an experienced commercial mediator, and is the Convener for the 2017 Asia Pacific Mediation Forum Conference in Da Nang, Vietnam.

Introduction

Notwithstanding the continued importance of “traditional” dispute resolution mechanisms such as litigation and ADR, online dispute resolution (“ODR”) has continued to grow in influence and importance as an enabling tool for lawyers in assisting clients with the resolution of disputes.

This development, however, has been patchy at best. Certain regions, such as South-East Asia (“SEA”), do not seem to have embraced ODR as compared to regions like the European Union (“EU”). This is in spite of the sustained explosion in growth of mobile usage and e-commerce in SEA – between January 2016 and January 2017, for instance, the number of internet users and mobile subscriptions in SEA jumped by 80 million and 62 million respectively.

In this 2-part series, we intend to bring attention to major ODR developments in the EU, and to explore the possibility of applying such developments in the SEA context. In particular, our two mini-articles will cover the following areas:

  1. Briefly trace the global development of ODR, and to identify the development phase that ODR is in today;
  2. Identify the latest major development on ODR in the EU, the pan-EU ODR system, and to examine its main features, strengths, and criticisms;
  3. Broadly assess the desirability and feasibility of implementing a region-wide ODR network in SEA, with suitable modifications, if any; and
  4. To this end, identify certain inroads that have been made so far towards the implementation of such a region-wide ODR network in SEA.

The first part of this series will cover (a) by tracing the global development of ODR, and attempt to identify the phase of development that ODR is currently in.

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The 8th Asia Pacific Mediation Forum Conference in Vietnam

Interview by Amelia Chew & Josh Lee

Interview with Thomas G. Giglione, Online Dispute Resolution expert and Convenor of the 8th Asia Pacific Mediation Forum Conference

The 8th Asia Pacific Mediation Forum (APMF) Conference taking place in Da Nang, Vietnam from 11 to 13 November 2017 aims to enhance cooperation, collaboration and networking on issues relating to mediation and other conflict transformation processes. The theme for the conference this year is “The Future of Mediation in the Asia Pacific Region” and the role of technology in dispute resolution processes is set to be a key topic discussed at the conference. We sat down with the Convener for the 2017 APMF Conference, Thomas G. Giglione, to find out more about the plans for the conference.

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What Will The Lawyer’s Office Of The Future Look Like?

Written by Josh Lee | Edited by Amelia Chew

Introduction

During his speech at the Opening of the Legal Year in 2017, the Honourable Chief Justice of Singapore Sundaresh Menon spoke about a determined push by the legal profession towards embracing technologies that will enhance effectiveness and productivity in the legal workplace. With this backdrop in mind, as well as the mainstream acceptance of technologies, such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality and cloud storage, what sort of workplace might lawyers expect to see in the future?

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Alex Toh LawTech.Asia

People: Alex Toh, Masters in Law, Science and Technology at Stanford Law School

Interview by Amelia Chew & Stella Chen

Alex Toh is currently pursuing a Masters in Law, Science and Technology at Stanford Law School. After graduating from the National University of Singapore (NUS) Faculty of Law in 2007, Alex started his legal career with the Litigation & Dispute Resolution department of Drew & Napier, and worked as legal counsel for Asia Pacific at American semi-conductor company Xilinx. Alex was a committee member of the Singapore Corporate Counsel Association (SCCA), and founded their young lawyers committee – Peers.

In this interview, Alex shares about his own experience searching for what he wants to do, how he ended up at the intersection of law and technology, and how law students should approach their future careers.

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The Changing Role of Lawyers in the Next Few Years

Written by Josh Lee

(Editor’s note: This article was originally published in the May 2015 edition of the Law Gazette (a publication of the Law Society of Singapore). We would like to thank the Law Society and its Publications Department for graciously allowing us to reproduce this article on this site for our readers.)

Introduction

Since the start of the year, the legal fraternity has been involved in much debate. There has been the on-going discussion about the glut of lawyers in Singapore. There was also a big debate over the dropping of certain UK universities from the approved list of overseas law schools. These discussions have spurred much thought about the attractiveness of lawyering as a career (especially among fresh-faced undergraduates) and the changing role of lawyers in society.

Thus, it was fortuitous that on Friday, 13 March 2015, the Young Member’s Chapter under the Professional Affairs Committee of the Singapore Academy of Law and SCCA PEERS Sub-Committee jointly organised the Singapore Legal Career Forum 2015, entitled, Being a Lawyer in the Next Five Years. Mirroring the on-going discussion in the wider fraternity, the aim of the Forum was to give those present an idea about the changing role of Singapore’s lawyers amidst the fast-evolving legal landscape. Held at the Viewing Gallery on the eighth floor of the Supreme Court, the impressive skyline of the Central Business District provided a fitting backdrop to the Forum.

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Virtual Fighter – Online Dispute Resolution

Written by Josh Lee | Edited by Stella Chen, Micole Yang

Introduction

Predictions of the future often tell us that we will soon have robot housekeepers, cars that drive themselves, and holidays in space. While these may be still some time away, it is already possible today to imagine a future where we no longer think of going to a physical location (the courts) to resolve our disputes. The ongoing revolution in communications technology and artificial intelligence systems may soon allow us to dispose most of our problems with a click of a mouse button.

This article seeks to give a general introduction to our readers about the phenomenon of “online dispute resolution” (“ODR”). This includes: (a) covering the definition of ODR and what ODR generally entails, (b) a brief coverage of current and prominent examples of ODR, and (c) examining the opportunities for ODR in light of growth trends in the region, and what young lawyers and law students can do (now) to leverage on the ODR trend.

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Legal Ambiguities in Cyberspace

Written by Micole Yang

Recently, instances of statecraft through cyberspace have captured headlines worldwide—but the terms and concepts used are not known to enough people. This is partially due to the mainstream media conflating all of them as ‘cyber-attacks’. There is a gap between what most people understand from reading the news and the conceptual legal framework offered by academics. There are clear opinions, grounded in international legal theory, that could form the foundations of a cyberspace legal regime. ‘Cyberspace’ itself is a contested definition—making the meaning of ‘cyber-security’ and ‘cyber-crime’ contingent on getting that first definition right.

For the purposes of this article, I borrow from the American National Security Directive: cyberspace is defined as an “interdependent network of information technology infrastructures, and includes the Internet, telecommunications networks, computer systems, and embedded processors and controllers in critical industries.” From here we can delineate what cyber-attacks are, why cyber-space is unique, what the existing legal regime to govern cyberspace conduct is like, and, ultimately, why we must come to a better understanding of this common space of opportunity and vulnerability.

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