SINGAPORE: Decide of Attraction Chao Hick Tin was offered a exceptional honour on Wednesday (Sep 27) to mark his retirement immediately after extra than 50 yrs of general public provider.
A valedictory reference was done to fork out tribute to his contributions to Singapore. It is a official sitting of a entire bench of Supreme Court judges to mark gatherings of special importance.
Justice Chao, seventy five, is the only judge who served less than all four Chief Justices in put up-impartial Singapore.
Opening the valedictory reference, Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon hailed Justice Chao as a job product for attorneys, stating he “personified the pretty essence of what it suggests to be an exceptional judge, and to do so with the suitable temperament”.
The Chief Justice recalled a conversation he had with Senior Counsel Chelva Rajah in which the latter stated: “The entirety of my self-education and learning as a judge was to inquire myself each and every time I had a complicated problem, ‘What would Hick Tin do?’”
“Many of us on the bench would still say that this was our surest tutorial to resolving a judicial dilemma,” Chief Justice Menon additional.
“WE OWE JUSTICE CHAO A DEEP Credit card debt OF GRATITUDE”: Law MINISTER
Among these who gave speeches to fork out tribute to Justice Chao were Law Minister K Shanmugam, Professor S Jayakumar and Lawyer-Normal Lucien Wong.
Mr Shanmugam highlighted ways in which Justice Chao had advanced Singapore’s interests in the authorized arena.
He was involved in the Pedra Branca scenario, and was also a critical member of the team that negotiated the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
But Mr Shanmugam singled out an example of how Justice Chao played a job in securing Singapore’s lengthy-expression h2o security, following the country’s separation from Malaysia in 1965.
The minister recalled how in 1968, Justice Chao – as a twenty five-12 months-outdated attorney in the AGC then – was despatched to stand for Singapore at a UN Convention on the Law of Treaties.
At the discussions, a Malaysian consultant stated: “Some treaties could possibly be so basic to the pretty existence of states that they simply could not be dispensed with, regardless of what political differences could possibly arise.
“For example, the new island state of Singapore was dependent on Malaysia for its h2o offer The treaty less than which Malaysia had to offer a specified amount of h2o each day to Singapore could not be terminated or suspended involving the two States for any political cause.”
Mr Shanmugam stated Justice Chao had the “presence of head and astuteness” to realise that the Malaysian representative’s feedback need to be place on record.
“He manufactured absolutely sure that went on record – the value of getting that acknowledgement penned into the record in the UN, in black and white,” stated Mr Shanmugam.
“We owe Justice Chao a deep debt of gratitude. For this and a lot of other ways in which he shielded and advanced Singapore’s desire.”
Prof Jayakumar, meanwhile, shared personal recollections of Justice Chao, with whom he worked on UNCLOS.
“After a tiring day at regulation of the sea periods, our delegation looked forward to an evening food in the resort and the chef was Chao Hick Tin,” stated Prof Jayakumar, recalling how Justice Chao was “an exceptional cook”.
The authorized fraternity also surprised the retired judge with a ebook which contains a compilation of essays and a biography of his authorized job.
Stated Justice Chao: “I am pretty fortunate to have had the prospect to be involved in the growth of the regulation in Singapore. My time on the Bench has been unforgettable.
“The regulation and the administration of justice have undergone considerable modifications in excess of the yrs, and I am self-assured that our authorized system will proceed to evolve to far better serve the requires of society.”
Justice Chao started his job in the general public provider as a State Counsel in the Lawyer-General’s Chambers in 1967. He grew to become a Large Court judge in 1990 and was appointed Decide of Attraction in 1999.
In 2006, he grew to become the Lawyer-Normal of Singapore ahead of returning to the Supreme Court as a Decide of Attraction in 2008.