NUS Law receives S$1.1 million gift to establish the Chan Sek Keong Visiting Professorship in Public Law

The legal profession and future generations of law students will benefit from the lasting legacy of the endowed chair

The National University of Singapore Faculty of Law (NUS Law) has received a S$1.1 million endowed gift from alumni, friends, philanthropists and members of the legal profession to establish the Chan Sek Keong Visiting Professorship in Public Law. The Professorship celebrates Mr Chan Sek Keong’s far-reaching contributions to the development of Singapore law, in particular public law, and also honours him as one of NUS Law’s most distinguished alumni.

Mr Chan Sek Keong, a member of the inaugural batch of students at NUS Law, attained the pinnacle of practice as a leading banking and corporate lawyer before being appointed Singapore’s first Judicial Commissioner in 1986. He then went on to serve Singapore as Attorney-General and Chief Justice, and was, in 2008, conferred the Order of Temasek (With Distinction).

The growth of modern Singapore is underpinned by its commitment to the rule of law, and NUS Law has played a key role in making that commitment possible. Against this backdrop, this Visiting Professorship is an extension of its overarching aim to build up specialist knowledge and deepen expertise of the legal fraternity in Singapore. NUS Law will invite one prominent public law scholar to Singapore each year to speak and interact with its students and faculty on contemporary public law developments and issues in different jurisdictions. 

Professor Andrew Simester, Dean of NUS Law, said: “The Chan Sek Keong Visiting Professorship in Public Law serves to cement Mr Chan’s legacy and will continue to benefit the legal profession as well as future generations of NUS Law students by promoting legal discourse and providing enriching educational experiences in the field of Public Law. I thank Mr Chan for allowing us to recognise his vast contributions to the law in this manner, and extend my immense gratitude to all donors for making this happen.”

Professor Simester added: “It is particularly heartening that a majority of the donors are NUS Law alumni. I applaud their spirit of giving to honour Mr Chan and to contribute towards the growth and development of the legal community.”

Mr Allan Ng, the single largest donor, said: “I have had the great privilege of knowing Sek Keong for over 50 years. His remarkable intellect, coupled with his genuine love for the law, have undoubtedly made him one of the best legal brains in Singapore. I am extremely pleased to see the Chan Sek Keong Visiting Professorship in Public Law come to fruition.”

Professor Brian Leiter has been appointed the first Chan Sek Keong Visiting Professor in Public Law. He is the Karl N. Llewellyn Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the Center for Law, Philosophy & Human Values at the University of Chicago. He teaches and writes primarily in the areas of moral, political, and legal philosophy, in both Anglophone and Continental traditions.

Over the past few years, NUS Law has been privileged to name key institutions and positions after some of Singapore’s legal luminaries. Cutting-edge research is supported by the EW Barker Centre for Law & Business, while Kwa Geok Choo Distinguished Visitors deliver public lectures. Most recently in 2020, NUS Law named its moot court in honour of Singapore’s first Chief Justice Wee Chong Jin.