SINGAPORE - Supreme Court registrar Vincent Hoong will become a judicial commissioner in April, the Prime Minister's Office announced on Friday (Feb 1).
The 61-year-old has been appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister and will serve as judicial commissioner for a year after being sworn in at a ceremony at The Istana on April 10.
Current deputy registrar Teh Hwee Hwee will succeed Mr Hoong as Supreme Court registrar after being appointed by the President on the recommendation of the Chief Justice.
With more than 34 years of experience in both the judiciary and legal service, Mr Hoong is the most senior legal service officer, having joined the Legal Service in 1984.
His previous appointments include Supreme Court assistant registrar, magistrate and district judge in the then Subordinate Courts as well as chief executive of Singapore Land Authority from from May 2009 to March 2015.
Mr Hoong currently sits on the Singapore Academy of Law's LawNet Management Committee and is also a member of the National Heritage Board. He was awarded the Public Administration Medal (Gold) in 2015.
Ms Teh, who succeeds him, is also the divisional registrar of the Court of Appeal, divisional registrar of the Singapore International Commercial Court (SICC) and a district judge.
A National University of Singapore law graduate with a master's from Harvard, Ms Teh started her career in the Singapore Legal Service in 1992 as one of the first women appointed to the post of an assistant registrar of the Supreme Court.
Since then, she has held various other appointments, including in the Attorney-General's Chambers, before returning to the Supreme Court and becoming senior assistant registrar in 2009 and deputy registrar three years later.
She was also the first executive director of the Singapore Mediation Centre when it was set up in 1997 and led its early development.
More recently, she was heavily involved in the establishment of the SICC after its launch in 2015, and continues to play a key role in its development as its divisional registrar.
Ms Teh was conferred the Public Administration Medal in 2012.
Mr Phang Hsiao Chung , who is currently senior assistant registrar of the Supreme Court, will succeed Ms Teh as Deputy Registrar.
Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon thanked Mr Hoong for his "invaluable contributions" as registrar.
"He has not only done an excellent job in hearing cases, he has also successfully helped steer many of the Court's reforms and initiatives, such as the management of cases in the High Court and appeals in the Court of Appeal as well as improvements to the practice and procedures in corporate insolvency and restructuring cases.
"I look forward to working with Vincent in his new appointment as a Judicial Commissioner of the Supreme Court."
He added: "While we will miss Vincent at the helm of the Registry, I have every confidence that Hwee Hwee will be an outstanding replacement for him."
With the appointment of Mr Hoong as a judicial commissioner, the Supreme Court will have a total of 20 judges, including four judges of appeal and the Chief Justice, plus seven judicial commissioners, four senior judges and 16 international judges. A judicial commissioner has the powers of a judge and is appointed for a specific period determined by the President.