All posts by cjkohlawlib

Snoopy Features as the Legal Beagle

Calling all Peanuts fans! “Snoopy Features as the Legal Beagle” is now available in the C J Koh Law Library (call no. PN6727 Schu.Sn 2000). This classic comic book is another offering by one of the most influential cartoonists of all time, Charles M. Shultz (1922-2000).

“Isn’t this book meant only for the shelves in a children’s library?” you ask. Peanuts is an all-time favourite and will always appeal to the child in us. But while children get to enjoy the funny drawings and delightful fantasy of Snoopy, adults can lose themselves in the unflinching emotional honesty, sarcastic humour and artistic depth of the comics. As in Shultz’s other works, the contrast between Snoopy’s existence in a dream world and Charlie Brown’s in the real world, which is central to the humour and philosophy of Peanuts, is played out in this series of comic strips.

In this book, the children hire Snoopy as an attorney to resolve disputes with the principal, student council, school library, etc. As his alter ego, Charlie Brown’s pet dog dons a bow-tie and fantasises about being a “world famous attorney”. He randomly spouts legal maxims in response to the children’s concerns but in reality, never solves their problems. For instance, he is involved in several unsuccessful battles for Peppermint Patty with her school. Snoopy often digresses from the issues at hand and is often more preoccupied with thoughts about “John Doe” and “Richard Doe”.

So, make a date with the Legal Beagle and be delightfully entertained by the antics and musings of this well-loved cartoon character.

Lee Su Lin
CJ Koh Law Library

Prof. Peter Ellinger: A Tribute

Professor E. P. Ellinger is a Professor Emeritus of the National University of Singapore. In April, C J Koh Law Library put up a display of works by Prof. Ellinger to commemorate his many years of teaching at the NUS Faculty of Law.

Peter Ellinger was born in Vienna, Austria to a Jewish family on 25th April 1933. The family eventually settled in Tel Aviv where he graduated in 1959 with an M. Jur. Degree from Hebrew University (Jerusalem). He started work at the Faculty of Law in Singapore in 1961 and in 1963, he married a Singaporean Chinese lady who was a school teacher.

Prof. Ellinger obtained his doctorate from St. Catherine’s College of Oxford in 1964. His thesis formed the basis of the book Documentary Letter of Credit: A Comparative Study, which was published in 1970 and established Prof. Ellinger’s reputation as a leading scholar in banking law.

He has published a number of books on the subject, including Modern Banking Law (Oxford university Press), The Law and Practice of Documentary Letters of Credit (with Dora Neo) and chapters in Benjamin’s Sales of Goods and Chitty on Contracts, as well as many articles in scholarly periodicals.

In 1967, Prof. Ellinger accepted a chair at the Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand where he stayed for 10 years before moving to Melbourne, Australia in 1977. In 1986 he rejoined the Faculty of Law in NUS and has remained a well-respected professor and scholar ever since.

We wish Professor Ellinger many years of good health and happiness in his retirement.


Neo, D. S. S. (2007). Biography of Peter Ellinger. In D. S. S. Neo, H. W. Tang & M. Y. M. Hor (Eds.), Lives in the Law: Essays in honor of Peter Ellinger, Koh Kheng Lian, Tan Sook Yee. Singapore: NUS, Faculty of Law: Academy Pub.

Bissy Ithack
C J Koh Law Library 

New Law Databases

Here are two law databases that were added to our electronic resources collection recently:


eGazette gives the pdf version of the printed Singapore government gazette and goes as far back as 1998. It is updated daily and like the print gazette, it covers bills and acts supplement, the subsidiary legislation supplement, the industrial relations and trade marks supplements. 

You can also browse the free version at which is made available for public viewing for 5 days.


Investment arbitration reporter

The coverage starts from 2008 onwards and it tracks international arbitrations between foreign investors and their host governments and analyzes key developments in the area of international investment law. Among the areas that it covers are ICC and SCC rules, environmental, energy, mining and telecoms disputes. 

Do note that access to both databases is for NUS students and staff only.

Zaleha Othman
C J Koh Law Library

Rare Gems at the C J Koh Law Library

The C J Koh Law Library maintains a small Rare Book Collection of old and valuable legal works from as early on as 1576. Some of the titles include:

A brief synopsis of some of the titles:

La Graunde Abridgement by Sir Anthony Fitzherbert (1577)

La Graunde Abridgement is one of the earliest reports in the Rare Book Collection. It digests over 14,000 decisions alphabetically, mostly from the Year Books, and was the first systematic attempt to provide a summary of English law. La Graunde Abridgement was first published in 1514 and written in old French. The edition we have was printed in 1577.

The Institutes by Sir Edward Coke (1669)

The Institutes, published in four parts, have been extremely influential in the development of the common law. The four volumes address property law, statutes, pleas of the crown and the jurisdiction of courts respectively. Coke published the first volume of The Institutes in 1628, which delineated some of the basic rights of an individual in a stable legal order. The last three volumes, which included an analysis of the Magna Carta, were so incendiary that they were suppressed by King Charles I for almost a decade after Coke’s death.

Commentaries of the Laws of England by Sir William Blackstone (1766-1769)

From 1765 to 1769, Blackstone published the four volumes of his Commentaries, which were immediately successful in both England and the American colonies. They were long regarded as the leading work on the development of English law. The work was divided into four volumes – on the rights of persons, the rights of things, of private wrongs and of public wrongs, and provided an introduction to English law in a clear style that was easily understandable to the public.

Rare Books are available for reference but photocopying is prohibited due to the fragile nature of many of the items.

Carol Wee
CJ Koh Law Library

Singapore Statutes Online Enhanced

Searching for Singapore legislation? Look no further than Singapore Statutes Online at This official government website is maintained by the Singapore Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC).

 Singapore Acts have been made available through this free access database for several years. But the AGC has recently included Subsidiary Legislation and Acts Supplements in its menu of legislation.

Search capabilities are now more advanced to enable you to enter more detailed search criteria and obtain more specific results. Instead of using the Search function, however, you may simply browse the lists for the revelant Act or Subsidiary Legislation.

With these enhancements, the AGC seeks to provide up-to-date information on Singapore legislation to all researchers.

Lee Su-Lin
C J Koh Law Library

C J Koh Law Library Extension is Open


C J Koh Law Library obtained approval for its extension from the relevant authorities including URA (Urban Redevelopment Authority) and PMB (Preservation of Monuments Board) in 2010. Construction started on 6th June 2011 and obtained its TOP on 28 November 2011. The extension converts the 2 courtyards on the left and right of the Library into 2 rooms. The rooms have glass curtain walls and serve as breakout areas.

The two rooms have been named after the majestic Angsana tree that stands in one corner of the Lower Quadrangle where the Library is situated. It is the tree that is fondly remembered by many graduates and is eternalised in a photograph of the pioneer batch of law graduates taken in 1961. 

Angsana 1 has a seating capacity of 58 excluding the built-in benches along the glass walls. It serves as a multi-purpose area to be used for study, for presentations, trainings, group discussions. It is furnished and equipped with modular tables, roller blinds, a ceiling mounted projector and a 100 power points. Angsana 2 has 20 chairs excluding the benches around the wall. This room is equipped with 60 power points.

Well, let us know what you think of the two rooms and check out our Facebook page for more photos!



LawnetLawNet is a prime source of legal information on Singapore by Singapore Academy of Law.  It provides access to primary and secondary legal information on Singapore and about Commonwealth. The legal research module in Lawnet is called Legal Workbench. LawNet also gives access to legal materials from other jurisdictions such as UK, Australia, New Zealand (AustLII), Hong Kong (HKLII) and India. Users can search across jurisdiction, to save time and effort.  AustLII and HKLII are free resources available on web.  

Singapore legal materials include:

  • Singapore Law Reports (1965- )
  • Judgments  (1991- )
  • Legislation (1997- )
  • Parliamentary debates, official reports (1955- )
  • Heritage Law Reports –Early law reports
  • Treaties
  • Journals, text books, legal news etc.

Legal materials from other jurisdictions include:

  • The Malayan Law Journal (Judgments from Malaysian & Brunei Courts)
  • UK Law Reports (ICLR, 1865- ) and Weekly Law Reports (1953- )
  • AustLII (Australia & New Zealand), HKLII (Hong Kong)
  • SCC online (Indian Supreme Court cases, 1969- )

Legal workbench

The simple search option allows searching by keyword over all resources or by citation. Under the Legal Research tab, there are few search options such as basic combined search for all resources and resource specific search under each sub-tab like cases, reference material, legislation etc.

Lawnet legal research

Under Cases, you can restrict your search to Singapore and Malaysian cases or search for AustLII, HKLII and English cases. SCC online provides a separate search interface. Reference material includes journals, textbooks, commentary, legal news and updates. Legislation, which is Singapore’s Versioned Legislation Database, contains statutes, subsidiary legislation and act supplements. Parliamentary reports provides full-text of Parliamentary debates (Hansard reports), sessional and select committee reports. The Treaties section contains bilateral and multilateral treaties and agreements to which Singapore is a party.

NUS Libraries subscribes to LawNet Legal Workbench and all NUS staff and students can access it via the catalogue. Law faculty and students can also access LawNet via the NUS Law proxy service, as it is subscribed by Faculty of Law.

Bissy Ithack
C J Koh Law Library

Oxford Scholarship Online

Oxford Scholarship Online (OSO) consists of online books published by the venerable Oxford University Press.  Just type Oxford Scholarship Online in LINC+ and you will be able to access the website.

Oxford Scholarship Online

OSO provides both quick and advanced search. In advanced search, you can choose to search within books only or both books and chapters. Alternatively, you can choose to browse by subject.

The online book may contain footnotes that you can click on.

Browsing a book

Searching LINC+ for Oxford Scholarship Online also calls up other electronic books that you can browse.

OSO books

Do try the resource and we hope that you will find valuable information!

Zaleha Othman
C J Koh Law Library

Wee Chong Jin: An ‘Immortal’ of Singapore Law

Attending a book launch was a nice diversion from the routine and humdrum of everyday work. It was held at the old Supreme Court Building, in the former Court of Chief Justice Wee Chong Jin on 28 September.

Mrs Wee Chong Jin & the Guest of Honour, Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong

The First Chief: Wee Chong Jin—A Judicial Portrait is written by John Koh, a lawyer in Legal Service during the time of Wee Chong Jin’s tenure as Chief Justice. It was commissioned by the Singapore Academy of Law’s Legal Heritage Committee and published by its publishing arm.

The book attempts to analyse the important decisions of the first Asian chief justice of Singapore, who was appointed a judge in 1957 and Chief Justice in 1963. He retired in 1990, after 33 years on the bench. The First Chief is divided into 8 chapters, starting with the early years. Chapter 1 is entitled Penang, Cambridge and Singapore, while subsequent chapters trace the period when Wee Chong Jin worked as a lawyer in Singapore. The bulk of the book records his judgments during the many years of his stewardship on the bench. As the author acknowledgers, the work is not a scholarly biography but rather a study of the judicial work of the man.

Discussions of the leading cases of the day and their legal arguments might be heavy reading for a non-legally trained person, but much of it remains interesting reading. The book is well researched and well written, giving a very clear landscape of the major judicial proceedings of Singapore over a 30-year period.

Carolyn Wee
C J Koh Law Library