Kwa Geok Choo Distinguished Visitor Justice Matthew Palmer

NUS Law held the 9th Kwa Geok Choo Distinguished Visitors Lecture on 20 January 2016 at the NUS Bukit Timah Campus. The faculty welcomed The Honourable Justice Matthew Palmer, Judge of the High Court of New Zealand , who delivered a lecture on “The Rule of Law, Judicial Independence and Judicial Discretion”. Chairing the lecture was The Honourable Justice Vinodh Coomaraswamy.

Attended by over 80 people from the legal fraternity, the lecture engaged the audience in a discussion on the rule of law. While there are many different versions of its definition, certainty and predictability are at its core and judicial independence is seen as its pre-condition. In this lecture, the Honourable Justice Matthew Palmer, of the High Court of New Zealand, outlined this familiar ground and explored its relevance to international commercial dispute resolution. He then grappled with the tension between judicial discretion and the rule of law, both conceptually and in application to particular areas of law.

NUS Law established the Kwa Geok Choo Distinguished Visitors Programme as one of several initiatives to pay tribute to the late Madam Kwa Geok Choo, wife of Singapore’s founding Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew. Under this programme, leading law academics will be invited to teach a course at NUS and/or give public lectures on topical legal issues.

From left to right: Dean Simon Chesterman, Justice Matthew Palmer and Justice Vinodh Coomaraswamy.