SINGAPORE - An anonymous donor has gifted over $1 million to the National University of Singapore (NUS) Faculty of Law to convert the existing Amaladass Fellowship into an endowed Professorship.
The Amaladass Fellowship was established in 2009 in memory of the late legal practitioner Mr M. Amaladass with a gift of $1 million by one of his friends.
Endowed chairs at NUS typically require a minimum $2 million gift.
NUS said in a statement on Wednesday that criminal law expert Professor Ho Hock Lai has been appointed as the inaugural Amaladass Professor in Criminal Justice in April, for a term of three years.
The NUS, Oxford and Cambridge alumnus joined NUS Law in 1991, and has expertise in the areas of criminal evidence and legal theory, including the administration of criminal justice. His works have been cited in the appeal courts of Singapore and other Commonwealth countries, as well as in texts on evidence.
The new Professorship aims to strengthen and deepen the faculty's expertise in criminal law, NUS said.
Besides commemorating Mr Amaladass' life and work, the donor hopes that the Professorship will promote research in criminal law in Singapore, as well as encourage NUS Law students to consider a career in this field.
Professor Simon Chesterman, Dean of the NUS Faculty of Law, said: "This gift is an extraordinary gesture to honour a good friend. It is also a timely reminder that the rewards of being a lawyer can be more than financial."
The inaugural Amaladass Professor, Prof Ho engaged over 100 legal practitioners, students and academics in a lecture on Wednesday evening.
Chaired by leading criminal lawyer Mr Subhas Anandan, Prof Ho discussed the right of an arrested person to have access to a lawyer - an issue that has been in contention in recent cases - and offered an analysis of and reflections on the state of the law.
Mr Amaladass was a veteran lawyer specialising in criminal litigation for 28 years.
He started his career as a police officer and was a police prosecutor before he retired at the rank of Assistant Superintendent. He studied law in London and was called to the Singapore Bar in 1980.
Mr Amaladass passed away in December 2008 at the age of 73 due to a heart attack.