Jaclyn Neo & Kevin Tan
National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University
Judges can only ‘tower’ in environs where appropriate opportunities exist for them to do so. For that reason, they are more likely to be found in common law than civil law jurisdictions. They are also more likely to emerge in younger jurisdictions where the law is less settled or where local conditions require a significant departure from the established judicial canons. On that score, a towering judge should have emerged in Singapore a long time ago. A small but new jurisdiction that attained its independence in 1963, no major judicial figure, much less a towering judge was to appear until Chan Sek Keong was appointed third Chief Justice of Singapore in 2006.
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