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SMU announces new Chairman for School of Law Advisory Board

10 Jul 2017

Singapore, 10 July 2017 (Monday) – The Singapore Management University (SMU) is pleased to announce that Mr V. K. Rajah SC has been appointed the new Chairman of the SMU School of Law Advisory Board, for an initial term of two years.  He succeeds Mr Lucien Wong SC, the current Attorney-General of Singapore, who stepped down from the Advisory Board on 30 June 2017 after more than three years of chairmanship.

The School’s Advisory Board, established in January 2007, provides strategic advice and guidance to the Deanery of the School of Law, regarding the School’s academic programmes of study, curriculum development, internships, scholarships, international student exchange programmes and employment.

SMU President, Professor Arnoud De Meyer, said, “In the last 10 years since its establishment in 2007, SMU School of Law has grown to become a leading law school in Singapore and in Asia, which distinguishes itself as one which produces excellent graduates who are well-sought after in the market.  We are honoured and privileged that Mr V. K. Rajah has accepted the chairmanship to the School’s Advisory Board.  An eminent and respected figure in the legal fraternity, he brings a wealth of legal knowledge and experiences from both the private and public sectors.  I have no doubt that SMU School of Law will benefit immensely from his advice and leadership, as it begins its next chapter.”

SMU School of Law Dean, Associate Professor Goh Yihan, said, “I am absolutely delighted that Mr V. K. Rajah has agreed to the chairmanship of the School’s Advisory Board. Having worked with Mr Rajah in his former capacities, I am confident that his experience, dynamism and energy will take the School of Law to even greater heights of excellence.  I look forward very much to working with Mr Rajah in his capacity as Chairman of the Advisory Board.”

On his new role, Mr V. K. Rajah said, “I look forward to working closely with the Dean and the faculty, and building on the strong foundation of the SMU School of Law.  We share a common vision that aspires to make the School a centre of legal and professional excellence.”

[Photo: Mr V. K. Rajah is new Chairman of SMU School of Law Advisory Board (Photo courtesy of Mr V. K. Rajah)]

Mr Rajah was a one of Singapore’s leading commercial lawyers prior to entering public service.  He was among the first batch of Senior Counsel appointed in 1997, and led one of Singapore’s largest law firms.  In 2004, after 20 years of practice, he was appointed a Judicial Commissioner, and within the year a Supreme Court Judge.  Three years later, he became a Judge of Appeal, a position he held until 2014.

During his term on the Supreme Court Bench, he contributed prolifically to Singapore’s jurisprudence, and many of his judgments have shaped the development of Singapore law.  Beyond the courtroom, he helmed committees, which have enhanced the administration of justice and the vibrancy of Singapore’s legal profession.  These include the Committee to Develop the Singapore Legal Sector, which comprehensively reviewed the entire legal services sector, and made bold and important recommendations, including liberalising Singapore’s legal services, and building up Singapore’s exportable legal services in the areas of mediation and arbitration. 

This Committee also proposed to develop Singapore as a centre of legal education, and enhance post-graduate and professional training.  One result was the Singapore Institute of Legal Education, an umbrella institution overseeing vocational training and continuing education for the legal fraternity.  In 2013, Mr Rajah also chaired the 4th Committee on the Supply of Lawyers.

Beyond legal education, Mr Rajah actively promoted the use of Singapore law in the region.  In 2004, he chaired a Working Committee to study this and went on to head the newly-formed standing International Promotion of Singapore Committee, whose initiatives have helped raise the profile of Singapore law beyond our shores.  As Attorney-General from June 2014 to January 2017, he implemented strategic measures to strengthen and equip the Attorney-General’s Chambers, including setting up an AGC Academy to raise professional standards across the various divisions in the Chambers.  In January 2017, upon his retirement from public service, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong penned a valedictory letter to thank Mr Rajah for his luminary service and outstanding contribution to Singapore.

SMU also expressed its appreciation to outgoing Chairman, Mr Lucien Wong, for his guidance.  “We are very grateful to Mr Wong for his valuable advice and contribution as Chairman of the School of Law Advisory Board for more than three years.  Under his chairmanship, the School has made great strides towards enhancing its global reputation, and also established two excellent research centres, amongst others,” said Professor De Meyer.

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Last updated on 10 Jul 2017 .