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PDPA and POFMA: the passing of these two Acts made the past decade the most eventful ever in the local Infocomm Technology (ICT) law scene. Besides bringing the issues of data security and fake news to the fore, the Acts also demonstrated the growing importance and reach of ICT law beyond its perceived confines.
It’s hard to imagine a Stefanie Yuen Thio who’s unsure of herself or her work. After all, confidence is almost always a trait associated with the Joint Managing Partner of TSMP Law. But that wasn’t always the case, she says. There was a time when she would worry about stray punctuation marks and incorrect phrases messing up the contracts she drafted for clients. And although more than two decades have passed, Ms Yuen Thio still vividly remembers the fear of getting something wrong. “There were many sleepless nights filled with worry,” she recalls.
The arguments between a Queen’s Counsel and a Judge are often the most thought-provoking, entertaining and engaging in the law. “I saw that everyone was incredibly sharp. The level of detail covered in these exchanges could only have happened if everyone was prepared and ready to engage with each other on the materials and the cases,” recalls Mr Darren Low, who witnessed these exchanges first-hand during an internship at Fountain Court Chambers (FCC) last year.
Listening to Professor Goh Yihan’s memories of his three months in London is like hearing someone talk of a bygone era, when terms like “coronavirus” were the stuff of medical journals, not daily chatter. But while the times are radically different, the value of such an experience hasn’t diminished, shares Prof Goh, the Dean of the Singapore Management University (SMU)’s School of Law. “Say what you will, but the world will still be a very internationalised one, especially to a country like Singapore, even after COVID-19.”
Armed with this belief, he applied for the programme in 2013 and flew to London for a three-month stint that year. During his time there, he was rotated between barristers. “By the end of the stint, I had a chance to work and interact with six barristers with varying styles,” he shares. “Some would ask you to sit in their office with them, as if you were their pupil, discussing cases in detail and involving you in every part of the process. Others will be more hands-off and just share their case files.” Irrespective of the approach, Prof Goh said there was still an element of learning,…