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Ex-Chief Justice Chan among five senior judges appointed

SINGAPORE — Slightly more than two years after he retired as top judge, Mr Chan Sek Keong has returned to the Bench as a senior judge — a new judicial position opened up by changes to the Constitution passed last year.

SINGAPORE — Slightly more than two years after he retired as top judge, Mr Chan Sek Keong has returned to the Bench as a senior judge — a new judicial position opened up by changes to the Constitution passed last year.

With his appointment yesterday, along with four others, the former Chief Justice, who served on the Bench for 12 years, will hear cases on an ad-hoc basis in the Court of Appeal and the newly-established Singapore International Commercial Court (SICC).

The other four senior judges, all retired High Court judges, are Justices Kan Ting Chiu, Lai Siu Chiu, Tan Lee Meng and Andrew Ang. They will work on a part-time basis and will hear “most urgent matters as well as shorter non-docketed matters”, said Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon yesterday, in his speech at the opening of the legal year. “They will also help with the training and mentoring of new judges and the judges of the State Courts,” he added.

These appointments were among a raft of appointments to the judiciary announced yesterday, including the inaugural batch of international judges for the SICC and two new judicial commissioners — Mr Chua Lee Ming, 55; and Mr Foo Chee Hock, 54.

Mr Chua, who will be appointed on Feb 1 for a term of two years, has served in the Legal Service, on the Bench and was the general counsel of GIC.

Mr Foo, who is the current registrar of the Supreme Court, will step up to the Bench on April 1 for a term of three years and concurrently oversee the development of a new college for the training of judges. Mr Vincent Hoong Seng Lei, the current chief executive of the Singapore Land Authority, will take over as registrar.

With the appointments yesterday, the Supreme Court will have a total of 14 judges (including the Chief Justice), nine judicial commissioners, five senior judges and 11 international judges.

Responding to the first appointments of senior judges, lawyer Nagaraja S Maniam, who has 17 years’ standing, said the legal fraternity and judiciary will benefit from their guidance and judgments. “They will be able to guide and steer us to greater heights,” he added.

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