Justice Debbie Ong Siew Ling was appointed Judge of the Appellate Division on 1 November 2022. She was appointed Judicial Commissioner in 2014 and High Court Judge on 30 September 2017, and Presiding Judge of the Family Justice Courts on 1 October 2017.
Justice Ong earned her Bachelor of Laws from the National University of Singapore (NUS) in 1989 and Master of Laws at the University of Cambridge in 1991. She was admitted as an advocate and solicitor in Singapore in 1990.
Her legal career began as an academic at NUS’s Faculty of Law in 1989, specialising in family law. While teaching, she also assisted the Family Courts as a court mediator and the Supreme Court as amicus curiae. In addition, she served as Chairperson of the Centre Governance Committee of the Tampines Family Service Centre, and Resource Consultant for the Law Society’s Family Law Practice Committee.
She was a member to various boards and councils, such as the Review Board constituted under the Children and Young Persons Act and the Advisory Board of “Marriage Central” constituted under the National Family Council. She is a member of the International Advisory Board of the Child and Family Quarterly Journal (United Kingdom), the Family Justice Rules Working Party, the Family Law Reform Working Group and the SAL’s Publications Committee. She currently chairs the SAL's Learning and Professional Development Committee.
Justice Ong published the book entitled International Issues in Family Law in Singapore in January 2015, and has contributed numerous articles in local as well as international scholarly journals.
As Presiding Judge of the Family Justice Courts, Justice Ong is a specialist judge responsible for much of the recent legal jurisprudence in family law. Justice Ong co-chaired the inter-agency Committee to Review and Enhance Reforms in the Family Justice System and currently oversees the implementation of various reforms and the building of a problem-solving family justice system.
Her accolades include winning the Singapore Academy of Law Merit Award and Legal Aid Bureau Amicus Award in 2013.