As a Court of Appeal judge, Justice Chao Hick Tin held the record for the highest number of dissenting judgments from his peers on the bench.
The number was more than double that of the next contender for the record, Justice Choo Han Teck.
In his lack of hesitation to depart from the majority, Justice Chao pursued justice and fairness, said Attorney-General Lucien Wong at a ceremony yesterday in which Justice Chao, 76, was conferred the title of Honorary Member for Life and Fellow for Life by the Singapore Academy of Law.
During a career spanning five decades, Justice Chao was Attorney-General from 2006 to 2008 and served as a judge for 28 years, dedicating his life's work to public service, said A-G Wong.
Justice Chao began his career in 1967 at the Attorney-General's Chambers, and "quickly proved to be pivotal as one of the pioneers of international law practice in Singapore", said A-G Wong.
His accomplishments include being the first legal officer to be elevated to the High Court Bench without first cutting his teeth in the then Subordinate Courts.
In addition, he was re-appointed to the Court of Appeal a record five times after reaching the retirement age of 65. He is also the only judge to have served under all four of Singapore's post-independence chief justices.
In his speech, Justice Chao credited those he had worked with during his tenure as attorney-general, and his predecessors when he served as a judge, for his work on the bench.
"If I am considered a prolific judge, it is only because I have had the advantage of standing on the shoulders of common law giants and walking in the company of remarkably able judicial colleagues with outstanding minds," he said.