College to train judges launched

College to train judges launched
Supreme Court judges gather for a group photograph with Chief Justice of Singapore Sundaresh Menon in front of the Supreme Court before a ceremony to mark the opening of the legal year on Jan 5, 2015.

The Singapore Judicial College, where judges will be trained, was launched by Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon at the opening of the legal year yesterday.

The college, within the Supreme Court, will manage and develop judicial training programmes. District Judge Tan Boon Heng will run its day-to-day operations as executive director. Mr Foo Chee Hock, who is to be appointed Judicial Commissioner, will be its Dean.

The appointment of Mr Chua Lee Ming as Judicial Commissioner was also announced yesterday. In addition, five former judges of the Supreme Court were appointed as Senior Judges for three years to hear and determine matters specified by the Chief Justice. They are Mr Chan Sek Keong, Mr Kan Ting Chiu, Mr Andrew Ang, Mr Tan Lee Meng and Ms Lai Siu Chiu.

Mr Chan will also sit as a Judge of Appeal and be a judge of the new Singapore International Commercial Court, which will have 11 international judges to hear transnational cases.

CJ Menon also announced that the State Courts will study measures to improve case management and minimise pre-trial delay, especially in complex criminal matters involving multiple charges. It will also study the provision of legal aid to the accused at an earlier stage, before the matter reaches the court.

CJ Menon noted that the management of litigation costs is a major concern and said that "costs scheduling" has been introduced to get parties to provide cost estimates before the outcome of a case is known.

"This is a useful tool to enable the court to obtain a reasonable picture of the level of costs claimed, and (to discourage) satellite litigation over the issue of costs," he said.

There will also be a costs guideline publication by the Supreme Court to serve as a signpost of the amount parties can expect to pay at various stages of litigation.

Four lawyers - Mr Lee Kim Shin, Mr Tan Chuan Thye, Ms Chionh Sze Chyi Mavis, and Mr Tong Chun Fai Edwin Charles - were appointed as Senior Counsel yesterday.

This article was first published on January 6, 2015.
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