SINGAPORE - After a 25-year run, the Singapore Law Gazette will cease its monthly print edition, after publisher LexisNexis decided not to renew its contract with the Law Society.
From this month, the Gazette will only be published online at lawgazette.com.sg.
The website will be revamped to make it more "modern, interactive and user friendly". It will include features which are "unfeasible in hard copy form" such as keyword searches, article recommendations and the sorting of articles by popularity.
In the final hard copy issue published in December, Mr Gregory Vijayendran, President of the Law Society of Singapore, and Ms Malathi Das, Chairperson of the Law Society's Publications Committee, said that it would "no longer be viable or sustainable for the Society to bear the costs for hard copies of the Law Gazette, going forward".
With over 5,300 copies in circulation, the Gazette is Singapore's most sought after legal journal. It covers current legal developments through features and columns by members of the Bar.
Law Society members, the law academia, the legal service and the judiciary were entitled to a free print subscription, while others paid $228 for 12 issues.
While online access will remain free of charge for the former group, no decision has been made on whether it will be chargeable for other readers.
In a letter to its advertisers on Jan 2, LexisNexis said the Law Society would be resuming ownership of the Gazette and its advertisements.
LexisNexis has been the publisher of the Gazette since 2000. Prior to that, it was published by Asia Law & Practice.
"LexisNexis' decision was not anticipated," said Ms Das in an e-mail to The Straits Times.
But she sees the Gazette's move to online publishing as an opportunity to "reach out to (their) members on a platform that is fast becoming the norm".
Former President of the Law Society Peter Low has welcomed the Gazette's digital shift with "sadness and hope".
"Sadness because an old-fashioned lawyer like me will not be able to carry a hard copy wherever, anymore. Nevertheless, I am hopeful for the future of the Gazette and that it will continue to be read - everywhere - by the legal community."