Justice Chao Hick Tin was appointed a Senior Judge on 5 January 2018 and sits in the Court of Appeal.
He obtained his Bachelor of Laws and Master of Laws from University College, London in 1965 and 1966 respectively. He was called to the English Bar in 1965 and admitted as an advocate and solicitor in Singapore in 1971. In 2013, he was elected as a Bencher of Middle Temple.
Justice Chao spent more than five decades in the public service. He began his career as a State Counsel in the Attorney-General’s Chambers in 1967 and rose to the position of Senior State Counsel in 1979. He joined the Supreme Court as a Judicial Commissioner in 1987 and was appointed a High Court Judge in 1990. He was subsequently elevated to a Judge of Appeal in 1999. In 2006, he was appointed the 4th Attorney-General and was appointed Senior Counsel in 2007. He returned to the Supreme Court in 2008 as a Judge of Appeal and Vice-President of the Court of Appeal, a position he held until his retirement on 28 September 2017.
During his judicial tenure, Justice Chao also served as the Vice-President of the Singapore Academy of Law (SAL) and Chairman of its Corporate Development and Services Cluster. In addition, he was President of the Industrial Arbitration Court from 1993 to 1999, Chairman of the Singapore Mediation Centre from June 2003 to May 2006, and President of the ASEAN Law Association from Dec 2003 to November 2006.
He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (Darjah Utama Bakti Cemerlang) in the National Day Awards of 2008 for his special contributions to the Pedra Branca dispute.
Justice Chao is one of the founding members of the ASEAN Law Association. He was also the first commander of the Volunteer Special Constabulary, holding the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police.