I am sorry about all those words from my brief stopover in the UK between California and Singapore – 11,100 of them, 1000 per day and one word for every mile flown to get there and back. What is alarming is that none of those posts formed part of any backlog – this is all current stuff sprung either from the Carmel Valley eDiscovery Retreat or from other things which have developed in what is supposed to be a quiet month.
It is, I know, more helpful to spread them out and it is possible, in fact, to go away and leave articles to publish themselves. I did not do that because many of them cross-link and you can only link to a published article. Equally, I could publish them from Singapore, which is where I am now, but the agenda here is full enough of new material without having to deal with what will by then be old stuff. Exciting times, represented graphically on my blog stats by three spikes reflecting interest in recent topics.
I am in Singapore for the International Conference on Electronic Litigation organised jointly by the Singapore Supreme Court and the Singapore Academy of Law. This was originally to have been a discreet affair hosted in the Supreme Court building, but so many people signed up for it that it has moved to the Marina Mandarin Hotel.
There is a strong UK contingent here. Lord Justice Jackson is the keynote speaker tomorrow with the title Managing Litigation at Proportionate Cost. Senior Master Whitaker follows to talk about International Developments in Electronic Discovery. After that, delegates interested in the UK perspective can choose between me and Vince Neicho of Allen & Overy; I am on a panel led by Senior Assistant Registrar Yeong Zee Kin with the title Electronic Discovery Law and Practice in Singapore and the UK; Vince is on one led by Bryan Ghows called Electronic Discovery – What Corporate Counsel Need to be Aware of. UK representation continues on Day 2 when barrister Stephen Mason covers International Developments in Electronic Evidence. There is, of course, very much more here than this UK input – the Agenda shows a wide range of contributions and subjects. It falls to me to wind up the proceedings as Rapporteur for the many judicial and VIP speakers and guests.
Stephen Mason is editor of Electronic Evidence published by LexisNexis and I wrote a section on electronic disclosure in England and Wales. I am just back from a dinner given by LexisNexis to thank those who contributed, at which I sat next to the Honourable Judge of Appeal Justice V K Rajah of the Supreme Court of Singapore. He is due to give the keynote address on Day 2 of this conference under the title The Incorporation of Technology in Court Advocacy.
I need no persuading already that Singapore is set to challenge other jurisdictions, including England and Wales, as an efficient and cost-effective place for commercial disputes. A recent UK Ministry of Justice paper, on which I wrote in less than complimentary terms, acknowledged this threat from Singapore amongst other places, and I keep picking up straws in the wind which suggest that UK barristers’ chambers, as well as firms of solicitors, are of the same view.
Justice Rajah described Singapore law as being like English law without the EU overlay, suggesting that it is the system of law as well as the attention to practice and procedure which makes Singapore attractive. There is a third layer as well: Justice Rajah wants to make Singapore the “hub for legal education” in this region, and I for one will be very pleased to play my part in this.
I have been given only ten minutes for my Rapporteur role at the end. I do not expect to run short of material.