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Cablegate: Singapore to Increase Number of Eligible Attorneys

VZCZCXYZ0001
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHGP #2828 2502323
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 072323Z SEP 06
FM AMEMBASSY SINGAPORE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1116
INFO RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC

UNCLAS SINGAPORE 002828

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON ETRD EINV ELAB SN
SUBJECT: SINGAPORE TO INCREASE NUMBER OF ELIGIBLE ATTORNEYS


1. The Ministry of Law recently announced plans to increase the
supply of attorneys eligible to practice law in Singapore. Its
decision reflects the recommendations of the Third Committee on
Supply of Lawyers, appointed in December 2005, which was tasked
with exploring how best to respond to increased demand for legal
services, especially in the areas of international arbitration,
banking and finance, and corporate law.

2. MinLaw proposes the following changes:

-- allowing certain honors graduates (Singapore citizens and
permanent residents) of recognized overseas law schools to
practice domestic law. These law schools include those on the
list of "Scheduled Universities" and those agreed to in
SingaporeQs bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs). Singapore
currently recognizes four law degrees under our FTA: Harvard,
Columbia, New York University, and the University of Michigan.

-- allowing foreign lawyers who meet specific criteria and pass
qualifying tests to practice domestic corporate, finance and
banking law;

-- creation of a second law school under the Singapore
Management University enrolling about 90 students annually; and

-- increasing the annual intake of law students at the National
University of Singapore from 220 to 250 students;

3. MinLaw tells us that legislative changes will probably be
required to implement some of these recommendations. It is
aiming to begin presenting these to Parliament for approval when
it next sits in November.

HERBOLD

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