Singapore, 5 November 2012 – He was the first and only person to hold consecutive appointments as judicial commissioner, judge, Attorney-General and Chief Justice. The Honourable Judge of Appeal Justice Sundaresh Menon (CJ Designate), who takes over as Singapore’s fourth Chief Justice from tomorrow, likens him to be a Singapore’s Hercules in terms of his knowledge and intuitive sense of the law.
Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong, who is also President of the Singapore Academy of Law (“SAL”), will retire on 6 November 2012, after having served two terms as Singapore’s third Chief Justice from 2006 to 2012. As a fitting tribute to his immense contributions, SAL has published a book, The Law in His Hands – A Tribute to Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong.
The book which was launched today by Justice Menon is a compilation of CJ Chan’s speeches, interviews and a collection of essays written by 11 senior lawyers and legal scholars. In his speech at the launch, Justice Menon said the book is more than just a tribute to an exceptional man. “It is in fact something of a history of Singapore law over the last half century,” because CJ Chan has been “the dominant Singapore lawyer of this era”.
As a private practitioner, CJ Chan is best remembered as the lawyer who drafted the lifeboat fund arrangements that helped to stabilise Singapore’s financial sector after the collapse of Pan-El in 1985. During his term as Attorney-General, CJ Chan was instrumental in developing the Attorney-General’s Chambers from a small outfit to a large modern organisation. As Chief Justice, CJ Chan brought a new style to the Bench. According to Justice Menon, CJ Chan’s style “rests not only on a profound knowledge of the law, but equally in a gentle and courteous demeanour on the Bench”. (see Annex A for milestones in CJ Chan’s career.)
About the book
The Law in His Hands – A Tribute to Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong is a publication by Academy Publishing, a division of the Singapore Academy of Law. This 828-page publication comprises three parts. Part I contains a short biographical essay of Chief Justice Chan and a selected number of speeches and interviews. Part II assembles experts in the various fields of law to synthesise as well as analyse Chief Justice Chan’s contributions in the major areas of Singapore law. Part III offers a representative selection of his publications and speeches, written or delivered in his capacity as both Attorney-General and Chief Justice. The general editors for this title are: The Honourable Judge of Appeal Justice Chao Hick Tin, The Honourable Judge of Appeal Justice Andrew Phang Boon Leong, The Honourable Judge of Appeal Justice V K Rajah, and Professor Yeo Tiong Min SC (Honoris Causa), Yong Pung How Professor of Law, Singapore Management University. (see Annex B for list of contributors.)
The Law in His Hands – A Tribute to Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong, priced at $96.30 (inclusive of GST), is available at major bookstores in Singapore. Orders can also be placed online via the Singapore Academy of Law website www.sal.org.sg/ebookshop. For more information, call 6332 4388.
About Academy Publishing
Academy Publishing is a division of the Singapore Academy of Law. It was officially launched on 18 May 2007 by the President of the Academy, the Honourable the Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong. This division was set up to publish books and other texts on Singapore law, and its objectives are threefold:
- To provide affordable legal materials to the legal profession (including corporate counsel), law academics, law students, and the Judiciary;
- To provide an alternative avenue to the academics in our law schools to publish their writings and thereby to encourage them to produce more works; and
- To disseminate the laws of Singapore to a wider public in the region and internationally.
Academy Publishing is not profit-driven and its immediate priority is to publish books on areas of law that fulfil practice and student needs, although other kinds of legal texts will also be included.