IN this contemporary world, the international law pervades every aspect of national, regional and international life entwining the matters relating to human welfare, ocean, environment, technology, religion, culture and finance, etc. The teaching and researching of international law are deemed as cornerstone to these projects. It is evident that in latter days, 'research' has acquired pivotal significance in the career of legal academics. The brewing surge of online blogs to analyse commentary on national and international affairs from legal viewpoint; and exchanging of intellectual views in social networks are stark examples. Hence, to delve into the orb of research is becoming more important than teaching. However, the junior faculties of law schools are entwined with various difficulties encompassing lack of academic resources, burden of administrative responsibilities and lastly, but no way the least, the meagre allotment of research time. Furthermore, there is no coordinated and seamless efforts to identify the challenges that are grappling law schools.
With an ambition to provide impetus in tandem with zeal to smooth the ruffled pitfalls through legal scholarship and research, the Centre for International Law (CIL), a research institute of National University of Singapore (NUS), makes an initiative to arrange a three-day event from 20-22 June 2018. This event has already marked a dragging line from that of any other legal academic engagements and workshops. This event of CIL is the very first of its own kind where a platform has been facilitated to engage junior and learned senior legal scholars of Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America into the whirlpool of vital topics which includes not only teaching methods, course materials, legal research skill, development and publication issues; but also encompasses the thought provoking issues such as serious intellectual exploitation of junior faculty by the senior faculty members.
The event has brought approximately 130 law academics, dean of law schools, law journal editors and beginner scholars to make panel discussions; presentations regarding ongoing research projects and open discussions as to recent brewing developments in the realm of international law. The event of the CIL has churned out an opportunity for junior faculties and emerging scholars to present their works in front of the senior experienced scholars.
Professor Antony T Anghie, renowned scholar of International Law and Secretary General of the Asian Society of International Law (AsianSIL) remarks that the CIL's event prefers to mainly those who are beginner scholars and junior faculty members. The reason is that they are future and definitely the event would pave thoroughfare for them to know the fundamental of presenting an argument or to defense a research paper.
The whole event can be bucketed into two programmes: Junior faculty workshop (June 20) and 'Teaching and Researching International Law in Asia' (TRILA) Conference (June 21-22).
In workshop, most of the senior professors and researchers, who contributed their valuable commentaries, are masthead of law journals' editorial team. Their direct discussion towards the paper presenters as well as exchange of views with other participants would surely instigate a fervour for engaging to research activities.
The TRILA conference directed at exploring the challenges that junior faculty members confront at the outset of their career in establishing themselves as teachers and in developing a scholarly agenda. Professor BS Chimni, a legal scholar of South Asia, opines in the conference that in law schools of South Asia, critical perspectives are not taking seriously in the pedagogic system. Though many critical theories had been articulated by Asian scholars and academics, we the researchers of international law tend to rely mostly on the western books such as Malcolm Shaw's International Law. Professor Chimni urges the junior scholar to take the critical perspective to the classroom. Dr. M Shahabuddin, a Reader in International Law at Birmingham Law School, also points out the appalling absence of vibrant legal community. Professor Anghie urges beginner scholars and junior faculties to delve into reading outside the orb of their expertise and to read articles critically for their structure and presentations.
THE WRITER IS A PhD CANDIDATE, TEXAS TECH UNIVERSITY, USA.