Singapore judiciary mourns passing of former lawyer and Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew

Singapore judiciary mourns passing of former lawyer and Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew

The Singapore judiciary mourns the passing of Mr Lee Kuan Yew, the first Prime Minister of Singapore and a much admired and respected member of the Singapore Bar, said Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon in a statement released to the media on Monday.

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He said: "We, in the Judiciary, express our deepest condolences and heartfelt sympathies to the family of the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew. Our thoughts are with them at this difficult time."

Mr Lee was was called to the Singapore Bar on 7 August 1951 and practised law until he took office as Prime Minister in 1959. He continued to be deeply interested in the development of Singapore's legal profession and its legal system.

In Mr Lee's vision for Singapore, he saw that the strength and vitality of the legal system, including first-rate law schools, a strong and able profession and an outstanding Legal Service led by a free, independent and incorrupt judiciary, were matters of the first importance.

He added that Mr Lee was a lifelong champion of the rule of law and from the outset of his tenure as Prime Minister he set out to eradicate corruption in public institutions.

Mr Lee's passion for continuous learning and for judges and senior lawyers to mentor and inspire younger lawyers led to the establishment of the Singapore Academy of Law (SAL) in 1988.

Chief Justice Menon said the ideals of a legal system that operated well at a practical level to ensure order and justice in dealings among citizens and also in the relationship between the citizenry and the State remain relevant to society today.

cynloh@sph.com.sg

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