Meeting Chief Justice of the Australian High Court

Second from the right: Chief Justice French speaking with students from the NUS Law Club.

The Honourable Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia, Robert Shenton French AC paid a visit to the National University of Singapore (NUS) Faculty of Law on the 18 September 2013. Chatting with NUS professors and law students over delectable canapés and aromatic coffee in the Lee Sheridan Conference room, the Chief Justice left an indelible impression on many that evening.

Fifth from the left: The round-table discussion was led by Dean Professor Simon Chesterman.

The meet-and-greet session began formally with a round of self introductions by our distinguished professors. This was followed by a light-hearted and fruitful discussion over topics such as human rights, public law, international law and a number of Australian legislative schemes.

Chief Justice Robert French responding to a question put forth by Professor James Penner.

Danial Hakim, president of the NUS Student Law Club thinks "the round-table discussion regarding the rule of law - and its application on both Singapore and the international stage - was enriching and engaging.” One of the takeaways he had was the Chief Justice's opinion on “how the rule of law must be nuanced and tailored to the respective jurisdictions, even though there might be cross-pollination of concepts which give rise to the laws of the land.”

At the end of the day, it was our exchange students from Australia who were the most starry-eyed. Like fans attracted to a movie star, they requested for a photo with the revered and affable Chief Justice as he was about to take his leave.

Our exchange students from Australia having a photo with the Chief Justice.

"As an Australian, I was very excited to meet the Chief Justice,” says exchange student Anna Holmes. “I have learnt a lot from listening to his observations about the Singapore and Australian judicial systems, and it was great to be given the opportunity to participate in the conversation and pose a question to the Chief Justice."