SINGAPORE - The State and Family Justice courts sited in Havelock Road may become the training ground for the next generation of family and criminal lawyers.
The Ministry of Law, which announced the details of Singapore's third law school on Tuesday (Feb 16), said the part-time law course specialising in family and criminal law will be offered from January next year by SIM University.
To support the emphasis on practice-based learning, UniSIM will explore the idea of setting up a campus at the State Courts or Family Justice Courts.
The school will start with an intake of 50 to 60 students and classes will be run in the evenings.
Eighty per cent of the places will be set aside for mature students, which may include paralegals, law enforcement officers and social workers. The rest of the slots will go to fresh school leavers.
To cater to mature and working students, the curriculum will be credit-based and modular. It will also be multi-disciplinary, with a strong focus on applied research.
Admissions will open next month and students will be selected based not just on academic ability but also aptitude, attitude and interest in the practice of family and criminal law.
Students who already hold a first degree will take up the Juris Doctor course, while fresh school leavers will be offered a Bachelor of Laws.
Juris Doctor students are expected to take between three and six years to complete the degree, while LL.B. students are likely to take four to six years.
Senior Counsel Leslie Chew has been appointed as dean of the school.
Mr Chew, who has been a lawyer for 27 years, has also been in the Singapore Legal Service for almost 10 years serving as Deputy Public Prosecutor, State Counsel and latterly as Senior District Judge in the State Courts.
The development of the school is guided by the recommendations of a panel headed by Senior Minister of State for Law Ms Indranee Rajah.
The panel's recommendations are aimed at building a law school that will produce well-equipped family and criminal law lawyers with a strong sense of justice and a heart for their fellow Singaporeans.
The third law school will provide an opportunity for Singaporeans to embark on law as a second career, and create an additional path for prospective law students who may otherwise have to go overseas, said the committee in its report released on Tuesday.