Legal futures for Singapore

The legal landscape is shaped by all kinds of societal forces. These trends create opportunities for the government, judiciary, legal profession and justice system users. The Ministry of Law of Singapore is looking ahead and asked HiiL to identify the most important driving forces in the legal field.

The study led to a list of global, regional, and domestic trends that are likely to shape Singapore’s laws, legal system and legal profession in the coming years. The impact of these driving forces on three core functions of a legal system – rulemaking, enforcement and compliance – was described. We also suggested indicators that can enable measuring the extent of each driving force. The Ministry plans to use the driving forces and indicators in their strategy making.

The driving forces were selected based on interviews with twenty-two experts and five Lab Sessions involving thirty-one thought leaders and leaders of change. In addition, the database of international trends in legal systems and legal services collected by HiiL was used, as well as trends found in over fifty major publications in the legal and governance fields, issued by international organisations, think tanks, and consultancies.

Some driving forces have similar impacts on the legal landscape. Others may pull the systems for rulemaking, enforcement and compliance, and conflict resolution in different directions. The report also illustrates developments that result from interactions between different driving forces.