NUS Law has named its Moot Court in honour of Singapore’s first and longest-serving Chief Justice, the late Chief Justice Wee Chong Jin, in recognition of his legacy and contributions.
The Moot Court naming ceremony took place on 7 February, officiated by NUS Pro-Chancellor and former Chief Justice Dr Chan Sek Keong as Guest-of-Honour. The event was witnessed Mrs Cecilia Wee Chong Jin, members of the Wee family and some 50 guests, including donors, members of the legal fraternity and faculty members.
Wee Chong Jin Moot Court Endowed Fund
In line with the new name of the Moot Court, NUS Law launched the Wee Chong Jin Moot Court Endowed Fund in 2016. More than $4.6 million has been raised to date, including government matching, from contributions from the Wee family, Kuok (Singapore) Limited Group of Companies, the Tan Chin Tuan Foundation, The Grace, Shua and Jacob Ballas Foundation, the Wee Foundation, with support from family friends, law firms and various members of the legal fraternity. The funds will be used to support student learning and activities, such as mooting and other competitions, as well as international opportunities to enhance the advocacy and legal practice skills of NUS Law students.
“It is a privilege for NUS Law to name our Moot Court after the late Chief Justice Wee Chong Jin, recognising his remarkable achievements and many contributions to the legal fraternity and the rule of law in Singapore. We are deeply grateful for the generosity of Mrs Wee and her family, as well as the benefactors who have made this possible. Law students sharpen their competencies in legal research and advocacy through activities such as mooting. The endowment we have created will go a long way to advance that training, while also ensuring that our best students can participate in national, regional and global competitions regardless of their financial backgrounds,” said Professor Simon Chesterman, Dean of NUS Law.
Architect in Singapore legal system
Chief Justice Wee read law in St John’s College, Cambridge and practiced law in Singapore and Malaysia from 1940 to 1957. He was the first Asian lawyer to be appointed to the position of a judge at the Singapore Supreme Court on 15 August 1957, and on 5 January 1963 was appointed the first Chief Justice of Singapore.
Chief Justice Wee was vital in the development of Singapore’s legal system and he went on to serve in the role for more than 27 years, remaining, to date, the longest serving Chief Justice in the Commonwealth. He was also the first chairman of the Presidential Council for Minority Rights and the first president of the Singapore Academy of Law.
For his contributions to Singapore’s judiciary in its formative years, Chief Justice Wee was conferred an honorary doctorate in civil law by Oxford University in 1987. In April 1992, Chief Justice Wee was made an Honorary Member and Fellow of the Singapore Academy of Law for life, an honour given only to members with outstanding contributions to the legal and judicial system and to the stature of Singapore’s legal profession.
Mr Laurence Wee, son of Chief Justice Wee, said, “We are proud to have the Moot Court at Singapore’s national law school named after my father, in commemoration of his contributions of over 27 years as our first Singaporean Chief Justice to the development of Singapore’s legal landscape. My father always had a deep passion for the personal and professional development of lawyers, and I think he would have been very pleased to know that the funds raised will make a big difference in the development of the lawyers of tomorrow.”
See press release.