Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon has been conferred the Negotiation and Conflict Management Group (NCMG) Special Recognition Award 2019 for his contributions in promoting access to justice through the development of alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”). Chief Justice Menon received the Award at the NCMG Peace Awards Dinner held in Abuja, Nigeria on 14 November 2019, from His Royal Highness Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II.
2. Founded in 1996, NCMG International is an independent, not-for-profit non-governmental organisation founded in Nigeria and currently headquartered in Geneva. It seeks to promote ADR mechanisms as the default means of conflict management, with a view to the progressive advancement of economic emancipation in Africa and world peace. The NCMG Special Recognition Award honours individuals and organisations with a track record of exemplary leadership, selfless service and commitment to the overall improvement of humanity. Awardees are selected by the NCMG Peace Awards Committee and Global Board of Governors for the meaningful change they have brought to society.
3. Chief Justice Menon was recognised for his exemplary leadership, selfless service and commitment to developing ADR and promoting access to justice. The Peace Awards Committee recognised Chief Justice Menon’s contributions in improving and modernising the civil justice system in Singapore and in strengthening Singapore’s position in the world as a leading centre for international commercial dispute resolution. The Special Recognition Award 2019 was also presented posthumously to the late Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr Kofi Annan.
4. Previous recipients of the Special Recognition Award include Justice Kayode Eso, the founding chairman of NCMG International; Dr Ameyo Stella Adadevoh, who identified the index patient in the Ebola outbreak in Nigeria in 2014; and Mr Gamaliel Oforitsenere Onosode, a businessman known for his philanthropy and contributions to the public and private sectors.
5. On being conferred the Award, Chief Justice Menon said, “I am deeply humbled and immensely honoured to be conferred the NCMG Special Recognition Award. The Award has been received by some truly remarkable humanitarians who have made it their life’s work to serve humanity, and I for one would not have counted myself amongst their number. The NCMG has worked hard over the last two decades to promote the use of ADR in Nigeria and elsewhere in Africa. This is a worthwhile mission that ties in with my belief that ADR is not only an effective and accessible means for the resolution of disputes but is also indispensable in the effort to restore and build lasting peace in societies riven by conflict.”
6. In his remarks at the Peace Awards Dinner, Chief Justice Menon also spoke of his belief that the law carries the promise of a better day because of its ability to safeguard the vulnerable, empower the disadvantaged, restrain the powerful, and keep the peace. The Chief Justice explained that for these reasons, it has been his personal mission during his time as Chief Justice to promote access to justice, so that the light of that promise might be brought to as many as possible.
7. While in Abuja, Chief Justice Menon attended the NCMG ADR Conference where he delivered the keynote lecture, titled “Technology and the Changing Face of Justice”, to an audience comprising substantially of members of the Nigerian judiciary, legal practitioners and civil servants.
14 NOVEMBER 2019