About Andrew



I am a Professor of Law at the National University of Singapore, and regarded as a leading scholar in Asian legal studies, specialising in comparative constitutional law, law and development, and law and society - all with special reference to SE Asia.
I was once asked what is the purpose of my scholarship. It is a good but challenging question. JS Bach said that his music was for the greater glory of God (a wag said that on the contrary it was for the greater glory of JS Bach; I would prefer to say it was one of the greatest ever advances in civilisation). So at what level do you answer something like this? Are you even entitled to provide an answer? Should it not be provided by someone else? Is it to make the world a better place (in what way)? To contribute to the sum of human knowledge (really?)? To satisfy my curiosity (is that trivial?)?
I would just say that I enjoy scholarship and sharing ideas, and will never cease to be a scholar. I believe in the goodness and ultimate triumph of justice and the rule of law, expressed through good laws and guided by humane instincts. I believe that exploring how different societies conceive their law and implement it we can never fail to be enlightened. I believe in the value of teaching others but also learning from them. Ignorance is not a crime but being closed to others' thoughts is. Scholarship is a form of giving, increasingly so, I think, as one gets older. Nothing delights me more than the outstanding work of younger scholars, carrying on the tradition that I too in my turn inherited and was taught to embellish where I could. I hope you find some of my work useful, interesting, or at least entertaining at some level. You will find here a mix of serious, comparative, theoretical, and popular writing on a wide variety of themes that interest me - including cricket!

I will be happy to receive your thoughts, comments and criticisms.

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