New Presiding Judge of State Courts appointed

Justice Vincent Hoong Seng Lei (left) succeeded Justice See Kee Oon (right) as the new Presiding Judge of the State Courts on April 1, 2020.
Justice Vincent Hoong Seng Lei (left) succeeded Justice See Kee Oon (right) as the new Presiding Judge of the State Courts on April 1, 2020.PHOTOS: PRIME MINISTER'S OFFICE

SINGAPORE - After a six-year term as the Presiding Judge of the State Courts, Justice See Kee Oon has relinquished his position on Wednesday (April 1).

He is succeeded by Justice Hoong Seng Lei Vincent, the State Courts said in a statement.

Justice Hoong will now head the State Courts, and have overall responsibility for its management and leadership.

The State Courts said that Justice See will continue to be a Supreme Court judge, an appointment he has held since 2017.

Justice See was appointed Chief District Judge of the then Subordinate Courts in 2013.

After it was renamed as the State Courts in 2014, he became the first Presiding Judge of the State Courts.

During his term, he oversaw the move of the State Courts to its new premises - the State Courts Towers - in 2019.

Justice See, who has more than two decades of judicial experience, also presided over several high-profile cases.

They include the City Harvest Church trial, which was held between 2013 and 2015, and lawyer M. Ravi's constitutional challenge against changes made to the elected presidency in 2017.

He also heard three separate legal challenges against Section 377A of the Penal Code, which criminalises consensual sex between men, in November last year.

In a development on Monday, the High Court dismissed the three challenges, with Justice See rejecting arguments that the law is unconstitutional.

The judgment upholds an earlier decision by the Court of Appeal.

Justice See is also the Deputy President of the Industrial Arbitration Court and part of the Military Court of Appeal.


Aside from his adjudication duties, Justice See sits on the board of governors of the Singapore Judicial College, which offers training programmes for judges, among other things.

He chairs the Probation Committee and the board of the Community Justice Centre, which was launched to help unrepresented litigants.

He also chairs the Criminal Legal Assistance Steering Committee, which oversees the policies governing government funding of criminal legal aid .

Justice Hoong was the chief executive of the Singapore Land Authority from May 2009 to March 2015, before he was appointed as Registrar of the Supreme Court.

He was appointed judicial commissioner last year, presiding in the case involving the driver of a Mercedes-Benz who caused a fatal accident by driving against traffic on the Ayer Rajah Expressway in 2016.

The man was sentenced to a one- year jail term.

Justice Hoong was appointed as a Supreme Court judge in January this year, and currently sits on the Singapore Academy of Law's LawNet Management Committee.