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National Tsing Hua University (NTHU) has long been a world leading research and education institute in the realms of science and technology.  In the aim of striving to become a complete and comprehensive university, NTHU progressively established various social science related departments in the past years, which impressed the nation with their innovative visions in higher education and proven NTUH’s capability in delivering outstanding academic performance in the social science sphere. In addition to social science, the need for law and management also surfaced with the fast development in technology. The intense interaction between law or management with the technology industry has become a grounding factor that closely affects the sustainable development for social economy and culture in Taiwan.  NTHU is situated in the heart of HsinChu Science Park, the Silicon Valley of Taiwan, and apart from striving for academic excellence, it is also responding to the society’s pressing need by establishing departments in law and management.

 

With this background, many well established social elites, including Dr. Chun-shan Shen, Dr. George C. Tiao, Dr. Morris Chang and Dr. Charng Ven Chen, were dedicated in founding College of Technology Management (CTM) in NTHU.  In 2000, CTM was officially established and Institute of Law for Science and Technology (ILST) being under CTM, admitted students in the same year.  ILST was the first institute of law for science and technology certified by Ministry of Education. This breakthrough was a milestone to interdisciplinary education in law, science, and technology and it also demonstrated NTHU’s strong ambition in achieving prominence in the age of knowledge economy.  NTHU has sets out a vision for itself, “Pursuing academic excellence, providing exceptional quality of teaching as well as first-rate facilities, comprehensive research fields with balanced development, outstanding school culture, excellence in management, sharing achievements with the community and science park, maintaining a close tie with the society and the industry and becoming one of the best universities conforming to international standards.”  The establishment of ILST became a crucial link in realizing this vision.  

 

Most of the leading law schools around the world have included intellectual property law as one of the most important legal expertise students should possess.  Many of the leading IP law schools have the advantage of sitting in close vicinity to technology development centers.  ILST too has the same advantage.  Some of the renowned IP law programs focus particularly on E-Commerce, Internet Law and Bio-Science.  In addition to incorporating similar courses as the core of Intellectual Property Law, ILST extended its expertise in the field of Info-communications, Biomedicine and Environmental & Energy Law.  Utilizing International & Comparative Law as research basis, ILST hopes to provide Taiwan with legal professionals properly equipped to fulfill the need in the technology industry.  

 

Initially, ILST intended to facilitate students with technology background (Science, Engineering, Medicine and Agriculture) into the legal profession. With elite education as our goal, ILST aimed to integrate the knowledge of technology and law, which in turn would enable our students with elite leadership qualities.  Consequently, in the early stages of the admission, ILST only admitted students from technology background.  ILST first offered basic legal education before introducing IP Law, Biotechnology Law, Info-communications Law and Environmental & Energy Law.  Two years later, in response to the greater need of legal professionals with multidisciplinary background, ILST began accepting students with law background.  Students with technology background and those with law background are categorized into Group A and Group B respectively.  Group B students will be given basic technology training while emphasizing the ability of integrating multidisciplinary knowledge.  In 2005, ILST further broadened the Group A admission criteria by admitting students with liberal arts, business and management background. 

 

The importance of technology has advanced to the degree where it directly affects our life and environment.  IP law is the foundation to the progress of science.  However, current law system is usually the mechanism of regulating social values, but often fails to reflect social changes. Traditional legal education system also comes short in preparing students with different technological knowledge.  Moreover, the system of bar exams further disincentivizes legal professionals to participate in society changes, which often results in great disappointment from the society.  Many have proposed to eliminate the limitations imposed by bar exams and suggested advanced degree for legal education.  As such, to equip students with elite leadership quality, the traditional legal education is no longer sufficient.  This society needs a leader who has the knowledge of science as well as the expertise of law.  An institute of law for science and technology has the advantage of preparing a leader with such qualities. This is the key reason why many institutes providing advanced legal degrees have emerged in this nation. The core value of ILST and its very existence lie upon NTHU’s vision to base on the technological resources and pursue globalization and excellence.