Publications: Making legal history a living subject

For many years, in university courses all over the world, legal history has, at best been a marginal subject, an oddity to be tolerated rather than encouraged.

Dr Kevin Y L Tan, editor of Essays in Singapore Legal History


One of our earliest projects in documenting Singapore’s legal history was a publication of 10 essays written by a select group of judges, legal practitioners and law academics. Published in 2004, Essays in Singapore Legal History aimed to not only bring the fascinating world of legal history to a wider audience but also serve as a springboard for future study and research. The Academy’s publishing arm now has a Heritage Series which focuses on titles on various aspects of our legal history.

Sample our books

Legal Tenor: Voices from Singapore’s Legal History (1930 – 1959) is the first of its kind in Singapore. It features audio recordings of 15 of Singapore’s earliest lawyers including David Marshall, Wee Chong Jin, J B Jeyeretnam, Joseph Grimberg, Howard Cashin and former judges, Choor Singh, F A Chua and Abdul Wahab Ghows as they recollected their lives and experiences in the practice of law in the decades leading up to self-governance in 1959. Purchase it here.


Some of the most architecturally beautiful buildings in Singapore were purpose-built for law enforcement. Legal Legacies: The Storeys of Singapore Law aims to tell a brief history of these buildings through the use of photos, architectural drawings and stories told by people who remember what it was like to work or be in these places. Come explore the interiors of the "hush-hush" house and dwellings of some of the most prominent practitioners in the early years of Singapore’s history. Purchase it here.