Continuing on Mr Lee Kuan Yew's vision
“The acid test of any legal system is not the greatness or grandeur of its ideal concepts, but whether in fact it is able to produce order and justice in the relationships between man and man and between man and the State.”
- Lee Kuan Yew, 1962
Today, we have the rule of law and a fair and just legal system free of corruption due to Mr Lee’s efforts. As a young lawyer, Mr Lee devoted his time to working with unions and vulnerable groups, representing their interests to the British colonial government. Following his success in securing higher wages for the postal workers’ union in 1952, he quickly became legal adviser to more than 100 unions and associations, and played a role in resolving the Hock Lee bus riots, harbour workers’ unrest and nurses’ strike. In the 1960s, he negotiated two water treaties with Malaysia, and another in 1990, securing Singapore’s water supply for years to come.
Mr Lee established the Singapore Academy of Law (SAL) in 1988, tasking it to promote and provide continuous learning in the legal industry, and make Singapore’s legal industry globally competitive. In turn, SAL established the Singapore Mediation Centre (SMC) in 1997, to promote better and more natural ways of resolving disputes, providing mediation as an alternative to litigation - mediation being a less adversarial and more amicable solution. At SMC, we endeavour to build on Mr Lee’s vision of the legal system, by providing a host of quality alternative dispute resolution services to complement Singapore’s court system, providing access to justice for all in the process, and helping to put Singapore on the world map for premier legal services.
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April 2015 Issue. For past issues, read more here.