SINGAPORE - Former chief justice Chan Sek Keong joined an elite group yesterday when he was honoured by the Singapore Academy of Law (SAL).
The 75-year-old, who retired last November after a legal career lasting more than 50 years, was made an "Honorary Member for Life and Fellow for Life".
He is only the sixth person to receive the title, which is bestowed on distinguished SAL members for outstanding contributions to the legal and judicial system and to the stature of the legal profession here.
The other five to receive it were former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew in 1990, former chief justice Wee Chong Jin and Singapore's first chief minister David Marshall in 1991, former chief justice Yong Pung How in 2007 and former law minister S. Jayakumar in 2008.
The latter two were among more than 250 guests at a ceremony at the St Regis hotel on Friday night.
Mr Chan was lauded for achievements including those made during 25 years of private practice and as attorney-general between 1992 and 2006.
But it was his six years as chief justice that probably had the "greatest impact" on the legal system here, said current Attorney-General Steven Chong.
"The Supreme Court flourished under Chief Justice Chan's leadership and its jurisprudence has taken on a distinctly Singaporean character."