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Appointments to the Supreme Court Bench: Re-appointment of Judge of Appeal and Appointment of Judicial Commissioner

Singapore, 10 April 2014 – The President of the Republic of Singapore, acting in his
discretion, and in concurrence with the advice of the Prime Minister, has re-appointed Mr Chao Hick Tin (赵锡燊) as a Judge of Appeal and Mr See Kee Oon (施奇恩) as a Judicial Commissioner of the Supreme Court of Singapore. Justice Chao’s reappointment will take effect from 11 April 2014 while Mr See’s appointment will take effect from 14 April 2014. Both Justice Chao and Mr See will take their affirmation of office at the Istana on 14 April 2014.

2        With the reappointment of Justice Chao and the appointment of Mr See, the Supreme Court will have a total of 13 Judges (including the Chief Justice) and five Judicial Commissioners.

Re-appointment of Justice Chao

3        Justice Chao has been reappointed a Judge of Appeal for a further period of two years with effect from 11 April 2014. The Honourable the Chief Justice has also re-appointed Justice Chao as Vice-President of the Court of Appeal with effect from 11 April 2014.

4        Justice Chao was born in Singapore in 1942. He obtained his LL.B. from the University College of London in 1965, and was called to the Bar as a barrister of Middle Temple in the same year. He received his LL.M. from the University College of London in 1966, and was admitted as an advocate and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Singapore in 1971.

5        Justice Chao began his career as a State Counsel in the Attorney-General’s Chambers in 1967 and went on to serve as a Senior State Counsel from 1979 to 1987. He was appointed Judicial Commissioner on 1 October 1987, Judge of the Supreme Court on 15 November 1990 and Judge of Appeal on 2 August 1999. On 11 April 2006, he was appointed the Attorney-General of Singapore. Justice Chao returned to the Supreme Court as a Judge of Appeal on 11 April 2008, an appointment that he held since. In addition, Justice Chao also served as the President of the Industrial Arbitration Court from 1 September 1993 to 31 August 1999. He was also previously the President of the ASEAN Law Association as well as the Chairman of the Singapore Mediation Centre.

Judicial Commissioner See Kee Oon

6        Mr See has been appointed Judicial Commissioner of the High Court under Article 94(4) of the Constitution for a term of three years with effect from 14 April 2014.

7        As a Judicial Commissioner of the High Court, Mr See has the powers of a Judge of the High Court and will also assist in the disposal of business in the Supreme Court at the direction of the Chief Justice. Mr See will also be concurrently appointed as the first Presiding Judge of the State Courts. Apart from administrative oversight and management of the State Courts, he will also hear matters in the Supreme Court, including appeals from the State Courts, in his capacity as a Judicial Commissioner of the Supreme Court. Mr See may also hear complex cases in the State Courts exercising the powers of a District Judge.

8        Mr See obtained his Bachelor of Laws (Second Class Honours, Upper Division) from the National University of Singapore in 1991. He later obtained his Masters of Law from the University of Cambridge in 1994 (First Class Honours) and Masters in Public Management from the National University of Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in 2006.

9        Mr See joined the Singapore Legal Service in 1991 as a deputy registrar and
magistrate in the State Courts (the Subordinate Courts of Singapore was renamed “State Courts” on 7 March 2014). He served as a Justices' Law Clerk in the Supreme Court from January 1995 and returned to the State Courts in 1997 as a District Judge. Mr See headed the Insolvency and Public Trustee's Office (Ministry of Law) from June 2007 to November 2009. He returned again to the State Courts in 2009, and was appointed Senior District Judge of the Criminal Justice Division in February 2010, and Chief District Judge of the State Courts in October 2013. Mr See, age 47, is married with one son.

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Jam Chee Chong
Senior Assistant Director, Office of Public Affairs
Supreme Court of Singapore
T: +65 6332 1053