Senior District Judge of the Civil Justice Division Leslie Chew, who has headed the division since 2009, will retire on Mar 13.
Ms Foo Tuat Yien, currently the Senior District Judge of the Family and Juvenile Justice Division, will step up to take his place, while Ms Valerie Thean, the current Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Law, will be posted to the Subordinate Courts to replace Ms Foo. The new appointments will come into effect on Mar 13 as well.
Mr Chew, a lawyer of 26 years, was appointed Senior Counsel in 2000. An active arbitration practitioner, Mr Chew was a former president of the Singapore Institute of Arbitrators and the author of legal text The Law and Practice of Arbitration in Singapore. He is a Fellow of the Singapore and Chartered Institutes of Arbitrators, and the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration, and continues to teach law and the practice of arbitration at the Singapore Institute of Legal Education, where he is a Professorial Fellow.
Chief District Judge See Kee Oon expressed his appreciation for Mr Chew's sterling contributions to the Subordinate Courts, and wished him the best for his retirement.
"As Senior District Judge overseeing the Civil Justice Division, SDJ Chew very ably led the division through a period of re-organisation in the Subordinate Courts to meet many new challenges with many new initiatives," he said, citing improvements Mr Chew helped make to the division's mediation processes in 2011, and the launch of eLitigation, where law firms and court users can handle case files and court services online, in the Civil Justice Division just last year.
Mr Chew, he said, was also responsible for the Subordinate Court's efforts to digitally record and transcribe court hearings.