CHEAH W.L. (CV and publications)
|National University of Singapore (Faculty of Law), Singapore
Assistant Professor of Law (tenure-track). Design and teaching of courses on international criminal law, Singapore criminal law, and Singapore public law.
2007 – present
|INTERPOL, Office of Legal Affairs, General Secretariat, Lyon, France
Legal Officer. Provided legal analysis and recommendations on human rights and protection claims submitted to General Secretariat. Drafted legal reports, regulations, and resolutions for the General Assembly and Executive Committee. Represented the Office of Legal Affairs in meetings with national and regional actors. Made legal presentations at a variety of international forums.
External Legal Collaborator. Provided primary research support for Working Group on Article 3 of INTERPOL Constitution, focusing on INTERPOL’s human rights obligations and neutrality.
|2005 – 2006
2004 – 2005
|Serious Crimes Unit, Dili, Timor Leste
Legal Trainee. Assisted in the preparation of indictments and court documents. Conducted analysis of affidavits and documentary evidence.
|Suhakam (Malaysia Human Rights Commission), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Legal Trainee. Prepared a research paper on indigenous land rights in Malaysia.
|Education and Professional Qualification
|Oxford University, Centre for Socio-legal Studies, United Kingdom
National University of Singapore Overseas Graduate Scholarship (full funding)
Part-time tutor. Designed and delivered research seminar on public international law (sources and criminal jurisdiction).
|European University Institute, Florence, Italy
Diploma in Human Rights Law (1 of 2 diplomas awarded for 2012 course examinations)
General Course attended: Human Rights Between Individualism and Collective Interests Specialised Courses attended: The Environmental Dimension of Human Rights
|Attorney and Counselor-at-Law, New York, United States (qualified to practice law in New York)
|Harvard University School of Law, Boston, United States
Master of Laws
National University of Singapore Faculty of Law Scholarship
Kathryn Aguirre Worth Memorial Scholarship
Thesis topic: “The Use of Human Rights Discourse by the ‘Comfort Women’ Movement” (subsequently published by Harvard Human Rights Journal)
Harvard’s Program on the Legal Profession Research Award
Harvard East Asian Legal Studies Research Conference Award
Human Rights Program Research Conference Award
|2007 – 2008
|Queen Mary University of London
Diploma in International and Comparative Commercial Arbitration
|2006 – 2008|
|National University of Singapore Faculty of Law, Singapore
Master of Laws (research)
National University of Singapore Scholarship for LL.M Studies (local)
Asia Research Institute Research Award
Asia Research Institute Graduate Symposium, Graduate Paper Prize
Thesis topic: “Justice and Reconciliation in Post-Conflict Timor Leste” (subsequently published by UCLA Journal of International Law and Foreign Affairs)
|2003 – 2005|
|National University of Singapore Faculty of Law
Bachelor of Laws
Second-upper Honours, Dean’s List of Academic Excellence 2000/2001/2003
Talent Development Programme
Jessup International Law Moots Competition, Quarter-finalist, 2003
Asia-Pacific Presentation Competition, Judges Award, 2002
Rodyk and Davidson Scholarship, 2000
|1999 – 2003|
|Appointments and Other Activities
|Centre for International Law Research and Policy, Brussels, Belgium
Senior Adviser, Forum for International Criminal and Humanitarian Law.
Adviser, Case Matrix Network.
Editor, Torkel Opsahl Academic EPublisher.
Academic consultant, Singapore Law Society Criminal Law Practice Committee.
Asia Correspondent, International Law Association Committee on Complementarity in International Criminal Law.
Coordinating Committee, European Society of International Law Interest Group on Feminism and International Law.
Visiting Researcher, iCourts Research Centre, University of Copenhagen.
Visiting Researcher, Faculty of Law, Humboldt-Universitat zu Berlin.
Visiting Professional, International Criminal Court.
Young Amicus Curiae, Singapore Supreme Court, in the case of PP v Chong Kai Xiong and others  SGHC 101, on the issue of illegal assemblies and processions.
Teaching Faculty, Centre for Transnational Legal Studies, London (International Criminal Law).
Researcher, Comparative press freedoms research project for Singapore Minister of Law.
Visiting Professor, Royal University of Law and Economics (Cambodia).
Visiting Professor, University of Lyon III, LL.M. program.
Visiting Researcher, International Christian University, Tokyo, Japan.
2014 – present
2012 – 2015
|Professional and Speaking Invitations
|Triple book launch, “Historical Origins of International Criminal Law, Volumes 1 and 2, and On the Proposed Crimes Against Humanity Convention”, side-event at 13th Session of the ICC Assembly of States Parties
Presentation: “The Role of Historical Studies in International Criminal Law”.
|Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia
Presentation: “Maximising the Use of International Legal Frameworks to Facilitate Inter-state Cooperation in Cases of Piracy”
|Max Planck Institute on Foreign and International Criminal Law
Presentation: “ASEAN Developments in Inter-state Cooperation to Combat Transnational Crime”
|Double book launch, “State Sovereignty, Old Evidence and Core International Crimes”, side-event at 11th Session of the ICC Assembly of States Parties
Presentation: “The Importance and Use of Historical Evidence by Courts trying Core International Crimes”.
|Book launch, International Sex Crimes, Centre for Transnational Legal Studies, London
Presentation: “Open Access Publishing and Increasing the Availability of Legal Research and Information”
Research grants and awards
2017 NUS Faculty of Law Annual Teaching Excellence Award
2016 NUS University Scholars Program Teaching Incentive Award
2015 Humboldt University-NUS Research Collaboration Grant: a comparative study of British post-WWII trials in Germany and Singapore
2015 Singapore Judicial College Research Grant: Singapore courts’ use of academic citations
2015 National Heritage Board Grant and Singapore Academy of Law Grant (with Ng Pei Yi): Singapore War Crimes Trials Public Outreach Project
2009 Start-up grant: research on post-WWII Singapore war crime trials
2008 Harvard Program on the Legal Profession Research Award: research on ‘comfort women’ movement
2008 Harvard East Asian Legal Studies Research Conference Award: research on ‘comfort women’ movement
2008 Harvard Human Rights Program Research Conference Award: research on ‘comfort women’ movement
2003 Asia Research Institute Research Award: paper on indigenous rights in Malaysia
“An Empirical Study on the Singapore Court of Appeal’s Citation of Academic Works: Reflections on the Relationship between Singapore’s Judiciary and Academia” (with Goh Yihan), Singapore Academy of Law Journal, 2017, 53 pages with charts.
“An Overview of the Singapore War Crimes Trials: Prosecuting Lower-level Accused”, Singapore Law Review, 2017, 50 pages (3 pages of charts).
“Culture and Understanding in the Singapore War Crimes Trials (1946-1948): Interpreting Arguments of the Defence”, International Journal of Law in Context (Cambridge University Press), published online 2016, 23 pages.
“British Indian Army Desertions in the Singapore War Crimes Trials: Contesting Victim Status and Legal Gaps”, Asian Journal of International Law (Cambridge University Press), 2016 published online, 20 pages.
“Fair Treatment Standards in Transnational and International Criminal Law: International Developments and National Relevance”, Singapore Academy of Law Journal, Volume 25, 2013, pp 778-800.
“Post-WWII British ‘Hell-ship’ Trials in Singapore: Omissions and the Attribution of Responsibility”, Journal of International Criminal Justice (Oxford University Press), Volume 8.4, 2010, pp 1035-1058 (longlisted for Antonio Cassese prize).
“Policing Interpol: the Commission for the Control of Interpol’s Files and the Right to a Remedy”, International Organizations Law Review (BRILL), Volume 7.2, 2010, pp 375-404.
“Mapping Interpol’s Evolution: Functional Expansion and the Move towards Legalization”, Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice (Oxford University Press), Volume 4.1, 2010, pp 28-37.
“Migrant Workers as Citizens on the ASEAN Landscape: International Law and the Singaporean Experiment”, Chinese Journal of International Law (Oxford University Press), 2009, pp 205-231.
“The criminal law model and human rights model: a case study of counter-trafficking strategies in the ASEAN region”, Essex Human Rights Review, Volume 3:1, 2005, pp 46-63.
“Sagong Tasi and Orang Asli Land Rights in Malaysia: Victory, Milestone or False Start”, Law, Social Justice and Global Development Journal, Volume 2, 2004, pp 1-23.
“Being an International Law Lecturer in the 21st Century: Where Tradition Meets Innovation”, Cambridge Journal of International and Comparative Law, Volume 2, No 4, 2014 (co-authored with Freya Baetens), pp 974-1011.
“Developing a People-Centred Justice in Singapore: In Support of Pro Bono and Innocence Work”, Cincinnati Law Review, Volume 80, 2012, pp 1429-1464.
“Walking the Long Road in Solidarity and Hope: a Case Study of the ‘Comfort Women’ Movement’s Deployment of Human Rights Discourse”, Harvard Human Rights Journal, Volume 22, Issue 1, 2009, pp 63-107.
“Forgiveness and Punishment in Post-conflict Timor”, UCLA Journal of International Law and Foreign Affairs, Volume 10, No.1, 2005, pp 297-359.
“Oaths of Allegiance in the Singapore Trials”, in Kerstin von Lingen and Robert Cribb (eds.), War Crimes Trials in Asia: Collaboration and Complicity in the Aftermath of War, Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming, 13 pages.
“Post-Second World War British Trials in Singapore: Lost in Translation in the Car Nicobar Spy Case”, in Morten Bergsmo, Cheah Wui Ling, Yi Ping (eds.), Historical Origins of International Criminal Law: A Four Volume Anthology (co-editor, with Morten Bergsmo and Yi Ping), Torkel Opsahl, pp 301-330.
“The superior orders defence at the post-war trials in Singapore”, in Kirsten Sellars (ed.), Trials for International Crimes in Asia (Cambridge University Press, 2015), pp 100-121.
“An Expository Approach to Public Law Adjudication: The Singapore Judiciary’s Evolving Jurisprudence”, in Goh Yihan and Paul Tan (eds.), Singapore Law 50 Years in the Making (Singapore Academy of Law, 2015), pp 321-357.
“Criminal Law”, Singapore Academy of Law Annual Review of Singapore Cases (2014), pp 269-294.
“Extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance in the Prosecution of Serious Maritime Crimes:
A Comparative and Critical Analysis of Applicable Legal Frameworks”, in Efthymios D. Papastavridis and Kimberley N. Trapp (eds.), Crimes at Sea (Hague Academy of International Law, 2014), pp 311-336.
“Placing Old Evidence and Core International Crimes on the Agenda of the International Discourse on International Criminal Justice for Atrocities” (with Morten Bergsmo), in Morten Bergsmo and Cheah Wui Ling (eds.), Old Evidence and Core International Crimes (Torkel Opsahl Academic EPublisher, 2013).
“Criminal Law”, Singapore Academy of Law Annual Review of Singapore Cases (2013), pp 274-301.
“Towards Rational Thematic Prosecution and the Challenge of International Sex Crimes” (with Morten Bergsmo), in Morten Bergsmo (ed), Thematic Prosecution of International Sex Crimes (Torkel Opsahl Academic EPublisher, 2012), pp 1-10.
“Maritime Crimes and the Problem of Cross-border Enforcement: Making the Most of Existing Multilateral Instruments”, in J Ashley Roach and Robert Beckman (eds), Piracy and International Maritime Crimes in ASEAN: Prospects for Cooperation (Edward Elgar, 2012), pp 207-232.
“Justice as Practised by Victims of Conflict: Post-WWII Movements as Sites of Engagement and Knowledge”, in Feminist Perspectives on Transitional Justice (Intersentia, 2012), pp 145-169.
“Singapore country report”, in Rule of Law for Human Rights in the ASEAN Region: A Base-line Study (Human Rights Resource Centre of ASEAN 2011), pp 219-252.
“Private Defence”, in Wing-Cheong Chan, Barry Wright & Stanley Yeo (eds), Codification, Macaulay and the Indian Penal Code: The Legacies and Modern Challenges of Criminal Law Reform (Ashgate 2011).
Historical Origins of International Criminal Law: A Four Volume Anthology (Torkel Opsahl Academic EPublisher, 2015) (co-editor, with Morten Bergsmo and Yi Ping).
Old Evidence and Core International Crimes (Torkel Opsahl Academic EPublisher, 2013) (co-editor, with Morten Bergsmo).
Shorter articles (below 13 pages) and book reviews
“Examining Thematic Prosecutions and the Challenges of Understanding and Proving International Sex Crimes” (with Morten Bergsmo, Alf Butenschøn Skre & Elizabeth Wood), Policy Brief Series No.11 (Torkel Opsahl Academic EPublisher, 2013), pp 1-4.
“Suhakam: Malaysia Human Rights Commission: The First Ten Years”, Development Note, Asian Yearbook of International Law, 2010, pp 307-318.
Review of Morten Bergsmo (ed), Complementarity and the Exercise of Universal Jurisdiction for Core International Crimes (Torkel Opsahl Academic EPublisher, 2010), Criminal Law Forum, 2013 (5 pages).
Review of Simon Chesterman and Angelina Fisher (eds), Private Security, Public Order: The Outsourcing of Public Services and Its Limits (Oxford University Press 2009), Singapore Journal of Legal Studies, July, 2011 (5 pages).
|Conference papers and presentations
|“Navigating Diversity: Trial Participation Challenges in the Singapore War Crimes Trials”, Fifth Annual Junior Faculty Forum of International Law, New York University, 27-29 June 2016.
“Japanese Defence Counsel in the Singapore War Crimes Trials”, Asia Research Institute Seminar. 3 February 2016.
“Culture and Interpretation in the Singapore War Crimes Trials”, International Journal of Law in Context and Oxford Centre for Socio-Legal Studies Early Career Workshop, Oxford, 29-20 June 2015.
“Cultural disconnect in the Singapore War Crimes Trials: Substantive Arguments at Trial”, 2015 writing workshop of the Harvard Law School Institute for Global Law and Policy, Doha, Qatar, 2-11 January 2015.
“Dealing with Oaths of Allegiance in the Singapore War Crimes Trials”, Rethinking Justice? Decolonization, Cold War, and Asian War Crimes Trials after 1945 Conference, Heidelberg University, 26-29 October 2014.
“A Critical Assessment of the Historical Turn in International Criminal Law”, European Society of International Law 10th Anniversary Conference, Vienna, 4-6 September 2014.
“The Singapore Trials”, Historical Origins of International Criminal Law Seminar, Centre for International Law Research and Policy, Hong Kong, 1-2 March 2014.
“Old Evidence and the Singapore Trials”, Old Evidence Collection and War Crime Trials in Asia, 5-6 March 2014, Fudan University Law School (invited speaker).
“Claims of Superior Orders in the Singapore Trials”, Research Seminar Series, NUS Law, 16 October 2013.
“Situating the Singapore Trials within the Landscape of Post-WWII Prosecutions”, Centre of International Law, NUS, 16 October 2013.
“Modes of Liability in ‘Hell-ship’ cases”, Trials for International Crimes in Asia, Centre of Asian Legal Studies, NUS, 17-18 October 2013.
“History and Development of Transnational Criminal Justice: ASEAN”, invited speaker, International Crime Control Workshop, Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law, Freiburg, Germany, 27-28 November 2012.
“The British Military’s Prosecution of Japanese War Crimes in Singapore: Colonial Ideas of Justice”, Critical Approaches to International Criminal Law Conference, University of Liverpool, 6-8 December 2012.
“The British Military’s Prosecution of Japanese War Crimes in Singapore: A Socio-legal and Historical Study”, Lunchtime Seminar, iCourts Research Centre, University of Copenhagen, 8 November 2012.
“The British Military’s Prosecution of Japanese War Crimes in Post-Colonial Singapore: A Socio-Legal and Historical Study”, Exploring the Legal in Socio-Legal Studies, London School of Economics, 21 September 2012.
“Multiple Forms of IO Legal Accountability: A Case Study of Interpol’s Public and Private Data Processing Arrangements”, 7th Global Administrative Law Seminar, La Tuscia University, Viterbo, 10 – 11 June 2011.
“Macaulay’s Private Defence after 150 Years: Historical Origins, Judicial Developments and the Need for Legislative Reconsideration”, Symposium on A Model Indian Penal Code adhering to the philosophy of Macaulay, National University of Singapore, 9 – 10 June 2010.
“Victim Participation at the Extraordinary Chambers of the Courts of Cambodia”, Brown-bag Lunch Presentation, East-West Centre, Hawaii, 7 January 2010.
“Death and Suffering onboard WWII ‘Hell-ships’: Reading the Singapore Trials”, Oxford Transitional Justice Conference, 27 – 29 June 2009.
“Hybrid Tribunals as Agents of Translation and Transformation”, 2009 Law and Society Junior Scholar’s Workshop (selected participant), Denver, 26 – 27 May 2009.
“Revisiting the Tokyo Trials’ Historical Legacy: The Resistance Paradigm of Post-Conflict Justice”, Workshop on Conflict and Transitional Justice: Feminist Approaches, Emory University, 19 – 20 September 2008.
“Advancing Counter-narratives of Post-conflict Justice using a Human Rights Discourse: the ‘Comfort Women’ Social Movement as a Case Study”, Cornell Inter-Graduate conference, 2008.
“Two Models of Post-conflict Justice: Reconciliation and Retribution”, War, Culture and Humanity Conference, Manchester University, 2004.
“Sagong Tasi and Orang Asli Land Rights in Malaysia”, Asia Research Institute Inaugural Graduate Symposium, 2004.
|English (fluent), Malay (fluent), Mandarin (basic), French (intermediate, passive)
Full PDF version of CV and publications list, click on the bottom: