Bond University Law Faculty Visits CPPS
On 20 August 2018, a delegation from the Law Faculty from Bond University Australia visited ASLI’s Centre for Public Policy Studies (CPPS). The delegation was led by Ms Narelle Bedford, Associate Professor of Law and Dr Lee Mei Pheng, Adjunct Professor of Law.
Mr Lau Zheng Zhou, Senior Director of CPPS, welcomed the delegation and introduced them to the history, background and public policy roles of CPPS, including its upcoming collaborations with the ministries for Women, Family and Community Development and Housing. Currently, CPPS is well-positioned to shape public policy especially on socioeconomic issues, international relations, and good governance.
The purpose of the visit was to expose Bond University’s law students to alternative career paths such as working with independent think tanks and the government instead of law firms. In public policy, Mr Lau advocated involvement in parliament as an ideal opportunity for law students to utilise their legal background. A role for them would be to represent the select committees newly established by backbenchers to study bills. In the private sector, Mr Lau recommended business councils as a potential career opportunity for law students, as legal expertise of each country the business councils are based in is required. Mr Lau wrapped up the theme of potential career paths for law students by offering to link Bond university students interested in gaining work experience abroad to different parts of the region. He concluded that China’s dominance in the global sphere would be an ideal opportunity to involve Chinese speakers from Bond University.
Ms Bedford and Dr Lee highlighted the versatility of Bond University’s law students due to their diverse disciplinary backgrounds such as engineering and business. The academics emphasised the potential role of law students in examining regulatory processes and procedural fairness.
On CPPS’s own potential as a partner institution, Mr Lau highlighted challenges faced by the new Pakatan Harapan-led government. These include decentralised data systems and resistance to changing government policies among a civil service used to the previous Barisan Nasional-led government. These challenges have created opportunities for CPPS to play a greater role. CPPS’s training of its interns in data sourcing and management would further improve their ability to handle complicated data systems. Mr Lau emphasised CPPS’s new reforms to drive increased public engagement and policy debate. Among these are introducing open dialogues instead of closed-door conferences, as well as media involvement. This will enable first-hand interaction with industry players and add a political dimension in addition to legal and economic solutions.