Roundtable with Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon
On Thursday 28 July 2022, the Perth USAsia Centre was privileged to host Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon for a private roundtable at the University of Western Australia.
Chief Justice Menon has spent the past three decades in both private practice and public service and is highly esteemed for his work in improving and modernising the civil justice system in Singapore and his efforts in promoting access to justice through alternative dispute resolution.
The focus of the roundtable discussion with the High Court Justice was judicial diplomacy – an often unrecognised aspect of international cooperation.
Conversation touched on the important work of the Council of ASEAN Chief Justices before moving on to discussion of the key role Singapore plays through the Singapore International Commercial Court.
The Australian and Singapore judiciaries have been regularly engaging in areas such as family justice reform, technology and the law and case management. The role of the Rule of Law in attracting foreign direct investment into Singapore was noted as a key determinant in Singapore’s rapid development over the last 50 years.
Examination of the importance of judicial diplomacy by the discussants surfaced three areas of focus: creating precedent on cross border insolvencies, access to justice reforms and the value in cross cultural judicial training.
Questions from participants centred on how advancing technology accelerated law making, the geopolitical implications of transnational law and the use of the death penalty in Singapore.
The room was supportive of the continuing cooperation between the Australia and Singapore judiciaries and Australia-Singapore relations more broadly.
The audience congratulated the Chief Justice on the conferral of an Honorary Doctorate from UWA for his contributions to the Law and his relationship with UWA and Australia.