SINGAPORE - Parties in cases will be actively encouraged to consider settling their disputes outside of court, said Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon on Friday. This will help them save both time and legal fees.
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Here is the full speech by Mr Sundaresh Menon, chief justice
On behalf of the Judiciary, I am delighted to welcome each of you to this morning's ceremony. I am especially grateful to the Right Honourable Tun Arifin bin Zakaria, Chief Justice of Malaysia and to Justice Geraldine Andrews of the High Court of Justice of England and Wales, our guests from Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Taiwan, representing their respective professional associations and our other guests from abroad for having made the effort to travel to Singapore to be with us this morning.
Before looking ahead to the developments that we can expect in the coming year, let me first pay tribute to two stalwarts of the Supreme Court Bench, who retired in the past year having each blazed a trail in our legal history. Justice Lai Siu Chiu was the first woman to be appointed as a Judicial Commissioner in 1991 and as a Judge three years later. She served on the Bench for 22 years before her retirement in October last year. Known to be a firm judge, she was one of the hardest working members of the Court. Alongside her judicial work, Justice Lai was also an active supporter of a number of social causes including the Salvation Army and the Singapore After-Care Association. Among the last of the projects she led was the unforgettable charity concert held last year in conjunction with the 25th Anniversary celebrations of the Singapore Academy of Law ("the Academy"), which raised more than $300,000 for the Yellow Ribbon Fund.
Justice Tan Lee Meng was the first academic to join the Supreme Court Bench. He was appointed as a Judicial Commissioner in February 1997 and then as a Judge six months later. Prior to his appointment, Justice Tan had been the Dean of the Faculty of Law and then the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the National University of Singapore. Justice Tan was a popular member of the Faculty because of his kind and approachable manner and the clarity of his teaching. I was personally a beneficiary of those gifts having been taught by Professor Tan, as he then was and now, once again, is. These qualities also characterised his work as a Judge. His judgments were instructive, soundly reasoned and easy to grasp.
Both of them will be missed as Judges and as colleagues. I congratulate them on their successful decades in the law and repeat my wishes for each of them to have a long, happy and fulfilling retirement.