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Media Release: Valedictory Reference Convened to Honour Justice Andrew Phang

Justice Andrew Phang Boon Leong (潘文龙法官) will retire as Justice of the Court of Appeal with effect from 15 December 2022 after 18 years of distinguished service in the Judiciary. Justice Phang has been appointed as a Senior Judge of the Supreme Court from 2 January 2023 to 4 January 2024.  

2        To mark Justice Phang’s retirement and as a tribute to his contributions to the Bench, The Honourable the Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon has convened a Valedictory Reference in honour of Justice Phang[1]. This is the third time the Judiciary is holding an event of such prominence. The first was held in 1990 for retiring Chief Justice Wee Chong Jin. The honour was also bestowed on Justice Chao Hick Tin when he retired as Justice of Appeal in 2017.

3        Justice Phang received his Bachelor of Laws (First Class Honours) from the National University of Singapore in 1982. He subsequently received his Master of Laws and Doctor of Juridical Science degrees from Harvard University in 1984 and 1988, respectively, and was admitted as an advocate and solicitor in Singapore in 1990.

4        Prior to his appointment to the Bench, Justice Phang dedicated 23 years to academia. Justice Phang was appointed Judicial Commissioner of the Supreme Court on 3 January 2005 and was elevated to a Judge on 9 December 2005. He was appointed Judge of Appeal[2] on 28 February 2006 and subsequently appointed Vice-President of the Court of Appeal on 28 September 2017. In recognition of Justice Phang’s vast contribution to legal scholarship, President Halimah Yacob conferred the Meritorious Service Medal on Justice Phang in August 2022. Please refer to Annex A for the full biography of Justice Phang.

5        On Justice Phang’s retirement, Chief Justice Menon said, “I warmly congratulate Justice Phang on his completion of 18 distinguished years on the Bench. When he retires as Justice and Vice-President of the Court of Appeal on 15 December 2022, Justice Phang will have completed one of the most consequential tenures in the history of our Judiciary. The Meritorious Service Medal conferred by the President on Justice Phang earlier this year speaks volumes of his signal contributions to Singapore law and legal scholarship over the course of 40 years, first in academia where he has written extensively on contract law, and later as a Judge where his considerable experience has been an invaluable asset to the Bench. He will be missed by all on the Bench for his keen legal judgment, wise counsel, humanity and humility. On behalf of the Singapore Judiciary, I thank Justice Phang for his immense contributions to our courts and our law, and wish him a very happy retirement.”

6        Justice Phang said, “I am honoured and humbled by the generosity of Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon to mark my tenure of 18 years of full-time service as a Judge. Much of my work would not have been possible if not for the tremendous support of my wife, my family and colleagues and especially my late parents who have inspired me all my life. The faith and trust placed on me to serve society then as a law professor and more recently as a judge, is a constant reminder to myself that the law is a powerful tool for the good of society and we in Singapore are blessed to see this. I would also like to thank Chief Justice Menon for his friendship, encouragement and support this past decade.”

Issued by: Supreme Court

[1] A valedictory reference is a formal sitting of the full Supreme Court Bench to mark significant events and pay tribute to distinguished members of the Bench.

[2] Re-designated as Justice of the Court of Appeal from 2 January 2021.

Annex A

Biography of Justice Andrew Phang Boon Leong

Justice Andrew Phang was appointed Judge of Appeal (since re-designated Justice of the Court of Appeal) on 28 February 2006. He was appointed Vice-President of the Court of Appeal by Chief Justice on 28 September 2017.

Born in Singapore, he received his Bachelor of Laws (First Class Honours) from the National University of Singapore (NUS) in 1982. He pursued his postgraduate studies at Harvard University, where he was conferred his Master of Laws and Doctor of Juridical Science degrees in 1984 and 1988, respectively. In 1990, he was admitted as an advocate and solicitor in Singapore.

He taught at the NUS Law Faculty from 1982 to 2000 and was appointed Professor of Law in 1999. In 2000, he was appointed Professor of Law at the Singapore Management University (SMU), and a year later, became Chair of the Department of Law at SMU’s Business School. He was appointed Senior Counsel in 2004.

Justice Phang was appointed Judicial Commissioner of the Supreme Court on 3 January 2005 and elevated to a Judge on 9 December 2005, before his appointment as Judge of Appeal.

Justice Phang is the Vice-President of the Singapore Academy of Law and co-chaired the Legal Publishing and Knowledge Cluster. He is currently Advisor in the Legal Research and Publications Committee.

His extensive publications include the local edition of Cheshire, Fifoot and Furmston’s Law of Contract and (together with Professor [now Judicial Commissioner] Goh Yihan) Contract Law in Singapore (Wolters Kluwer Law and Business, 2012 and 2nd Ed, 2021).  He is also General Editor of, as well as a contributor to, The Law of Contract in Singapore (Academy Publishing, 2012 and 2nd Ed, 2022).  In addition to authoring and co-authoring, as well as editing and co-editing, several other books and monographs, he has contributed many chapters as well as forewords to other books.  He has published in the leading Commonwealth journals, and has, in fact, published in over forty local as well as international journals (in the UK, the USA, Canada, Australia, Brazil, South Africa, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore). 

In addition to over 260 publications (many of which have been cited in articles and books published both locally as well as overseas), he has also authored close to 400 judgments.  His judgments have also been published not only on LawNet and in the official Singapore Law Reports but also in many international law reports (including the All England Reports (Commercial Cases), Lloyd’s Law Reports, Law Reports of the Commonwealth, Fleet Street Reports, Construction Law Reports, Building Law Reports, Medical Law Reports and International Trust & Estate Law Reports).  Many of his judgments have also been the subject of academic commentary in local and international journals, as well as cited and/or discussed in many books and articles as well as leading textbooks both locally and internationally.

His judgments have also been referred to in both local courts as well as in courts internationally (including the UK Supreme Court, the High Court of Australia, the Federal Court of Malaysia, the Hong Kong Final Court of Appeal, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (on appeal from the Supreme Court of Mauritius), as well as the Court of Appeal of England and Wales, the New Zealand Court of Appeal, the Court of Appeal for British Columbia, and the Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa).


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