Walter Woon

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Walter Woon
7th Attorney-General of Singapore
In office
11 April 2008 – 10 April 2010
Appointed by S. R. Nathan
Preceded by Chao Hick Tin
Succeeded by Koh Juat Jong (acting)
Sundaresh Menon
Solicitor-General of Singapore
In office
2 July 2007 – 10 April 2008
Appointed by S. R. Nathan
Succeeded by Koh Juat Jong
Nominated Member of Parliament
In office
7 September 1992 – 15 December 1996
Appointed by Wee Kim Wee
Personal details
Born Walter Woon Cheong Ming
(1956-09-12) 12 September 1956 (age 57)
Singapore
Nationality Singaporean
Alma mater National University of Singapore (LL.B., 1981),
University of Cambridge (LL.M., 1983)
Occupation Professor of law
Religion Roman Catholic
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Woon (Chinese: ; pinyin: Wēn).

Walter Woon Cheong Ming (Chinese: 温长明; pinyin: Wēn Chángmíng; born 12 September 1956) is a Singaporean lawyer, academic, diplomat and politician. He is currently professor of law at the National University of Singapore Faculty of Law and the Dean of the Singapore Institute of Legal Education. His expertise is in company law and securities regulation. Educated at NUS and St. John's College, Cambridge, he joined the teaching staff of the NUS Faculty of Law in 1981 and later served as Sub-Dean and Vice-Dean. He was Legal Adviser to the President of Singapore and Council of Presidential Advisors from 1995 to 1997, and was appointed as professor of law in 1999.

Woon was a Nominated Member of Parliament between 1992 and 1996. He became the first Member of Parliament since 1965 to have a Private Member's Bill become a public law in Singapore – the Maintenance of Parents Act, which was passed in 1995. Between 1997 and 2006, Woon served in a number of diplomatic capacities, including Ambassador to Germany (1998–2003) with an accreditation to Greece (2000–2003), and Ambassador to Belgium with concurrent accreditation to the European Union, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and the Holy See. Woon was appointed Second Solicitor-General in 2006 and Solicitor-General the following year. He served as Attorney-General between 2008 and 2010, and then returned to academia.

Early life and education[edit]

The Old Library of St. John's College, Cambridge

Woon, a Peranakan,[1] was born on 12 September 1956 in Singapore[2] to schoolteachers. He was a head prefect at Pasir Panjang Primary School (which his father became principal of years later)[3] and a prefect while at Raffles Institution.[4] Following his A-levels he was considering business administration, but ended up accepting a scholarship from DBS Bank to study law instead. According to Woon in an April 2008 interview, "When I went for the scholarship interview, the interviewer said, 'We looked at your results and you look like you might be a lawyer; would you like to do law?' I said, 'Fine, if you want to give me the scholarship to do law, I'll do law'. I didn't plan to do law."[5]

He earned his Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) from the National University of Singapore (NUS), graduating in 1981 with first class honours. That same year, he also topped the postgraduate practice law course, winning the Aw Boon Haw and Aw Boon Par Memorial Prize.[6] He joined the teaching staff of the NUS Faculty of Law that year, focusing his teaching and research on company law and securities regulation. In 1983 he graduated with a Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree with first class honours from St. John's College, Cambridge, which he completed on a Commonwealth Academic Staff scholarship.[7][8]

Career[edit]

Academic[edit]

Woon was called to the Singapore Bar in 1985. The first edition of his book Company Law was published in 1988.[9] The same year he became a Sub-Dean of the NUS Faculty of Law, then served as Vice-Dean from 1991 to 1995. On 1 February 1999 Woon was appointed a professor of law.[7] In November 1990, Woon appeared before the Parliamentary Select Committee on the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore (Amendment No. 3) Bill (Bill No. 23/90) to make representations on the proposed introduction of an elected President for Singapore. He took the view that since the elected President should be politically neutral, Cabinet members should only be eligible to stand for election five years after leaving politics.[10]

Never afraid to speak his mind, in July 1991 in an interview by The Straits Times Woon commented: "We effectively don't have a Constitution. We have a law that can be easily changed by Parliament, and by the party in power because the party is Parliament. The changes themselves might not be controversial, but it is unsettling how flexible the Constitution is, unlike, say, in the United States."[11] In reply, Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong pointed out that past changes to the Constitution had been made only with a two-thirds parliamentary majority and not done lightheartedly, as the intensive discussions and the two-year gestation period of the Elected President Bill proved. He affirmed that the Constitution had to evolve to reflect the changing needs of the people, and that it could not be assumed that the Constitution, drafted in 1965, would be the best Constitution for always and should be frozen in time. "So to say that because the Government in power changes the Constitution there is no Constitution is ridiculous, to put it mildly."[12]

Nominated Member of Parliament[edit]

Parliament House, December 2005

Woon was a Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) for three terms, from 7 September 1992 to 6 September 1994, from 7 September 1994 to 6 September 1996, and from 7 September 1996 till 15 December 1996 when Parliament was dissolved for the 1997 general election.[13]

In 1992 at the start of the Government's annual Speak Mandarin Campaign, the Minister for Information and the Arts George Yeo said in a newspaper article that the rising use of English by Chinese Singaporeans was a "disturbing trend" as "[w]e become very exposed to Western cultural influences via books, magazines and films. Some influences are good. Others are harmful, especially to the structure of the family."[14] This provoked Woon to respond that "[t]he subliminal message being sent is that those who speak English are dangerous to society and that the wider use of English threatens the social fabric of Singapore". He deplored this view because good values were neither Asian nor Western: "Why should we confine ourselves to one or the other? Singapore isn't a Western society. It isn't an Asian society. It is a cosmopolitan society." He noted that "[t]he emancipation of women, the rule of law, the equality of citizens irrespective of race, language or religion, the right to representative government: These are values we have adopted from the 'decadent' West."[15]

In September 1992, Woon was appointed to the select committee to review the Companies (Amendment) Bill (Bill No. 33/92) which proposed, among other things, that scripless trading in securities listed on the Stock Exchange of Singapore be authorised so that share transfers can be made through computerised book entries.[16] He was a director of Intraco Ltd. (1989–2000) and Natsteel Ltd. (1997–2001), both listed on the Stock Exchange.[2][7]

On 23 May 1994, Woon moved a Private Member's Bill which was eventually passed by Parliament on 2 November 1995 as the Maintenance of Parents Act.[17] The Act, which entitles parents at least 60 years old and unable to maintain themselves adequately to apply to a tribunal for their children to be ordered to pay maintenance to them, was the first public law that originated from a private member's bill since Singapore's independence in 1965.[18] In its 5 December 1994 issue, Time magazine picked Woon as one of 100 young world leaders, the only Singaporean to make the list.[19]

From 1995 to 1997, Woon was Legal Adviser to the President of Singapore and Council of Presidential Advisors.[7] During this time, he represented the President as junior counsel before the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore Tribunal in Constitutional Reference No. 1 of 1995,[20] which involved the interpretation of provisions of the Constitution of Singapore touching on the ability of Parliament to curtail the President's discretionary powers.[1]

Diplomat[edit]

The Embassy of Singapore in Berlin in Philip-Johnson-Haus on Friedrichstraße

Between September 1997 and September 2006, Woon was seconded to the Foreign Service. He was Singapore's Ambassador to Germany from 6 February 1998 to July 2003,[21] and was concurrently accredited to Greece from March 2000 to July 2003. He then served as Ambassador to Belgium (from 22 August 2003)[2] with concurrent accreditation to the European Union, the Netherlands (from 22 October 2003),[22] Luxembourg and the Holy See.[7][23] In this capacity, he represented Singapore together with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Law S. Jayakumar at the funeral mass of Pope John Paul II in the Vatican City on 8 April 2005,[24] believed to be the largest gathering of heads of state in history.[25] In 2006, the Vatican made Woon a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St. Gregory the Great,[26] which is conferred on Roman Catholic men and women in recognition of their service to the Church, unusual labours, support of the Holy See, and the good example set in their communities and country.

Solicitor-General and Attorney-General[edit]

Woon was appointed to the post of Second Solicitor-General on 3 October 2006,[27] and Solicitor-General on 2 July 2007.[28] In 2007, he was also made a Senior Counsel. Between January 2007 and 31 March 2010, he was a member of the Advisory Board of the School of Law of the Singapore Management University.[29] In February 2008, Woon was appointed by the Ministry of Finance to chair a steering committee to review the Companies Act.[30]

Woon became Attorney-General on 11 April 2008.[31] Three months into the job, he created some controversy when delivering an off-the-cuff speech at the launch of the Law Society of Singapore's Public and International Law Committee. He said:

[W]hen it comes to implementation [of human rights], there will be arguments about where the lines are to be drawn. And when there are new so-called rights, then there has to be debate – is it really a right? ... Just because some Western societies have accepted it, doesn't make it a human right. ... Many of these fanatics think: 'We've decided that this is human rights, therefore when Singapore does something, we're entitled to criticise them.' I say rubbish. You want to do it in your society, do it in your society. Don't come and tell us you draw the line for the rest of the world."[4][32]

In mid-May, Woon commented that an acquitted person may not be guilty in law, but guilty in fact. Two months later, without referring directly to these remarks, Judge of Appeal V.K. Rajah wrote in a judgment that such comments could undermine confidence in the courts' verdicts and the criminal justice system, which was based on the doctrine of the presumption of innocence.[33] The Minister for Law K. Shanmugam was asked in Parliament on 25 August 2008 to clarify the Attorney-General's comments. Shanmugam described the presumption of innocence as an "important and fundamental principle" which the Government was "absolutely committed to upholding". Nonetheless, it was "entirely possible for a person to have committed acts which amount to a crime and yet, there may be no conviction", as the trial process was designed to prove guilt and not innocence. He added: "It is for the courts, and the courts alone, to exercise judicial power and decide the question of guilt, in a trial."[34]

With effect from 20 May 2008, Woon was appointed a director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore.[35] He also served on the Presidential Council for Minority Rights between 2008 and 2010.[26]

The Attorney-General's Chambers are located in The Adelphi on Coleman Street

Woon was the first Attorney-General in more than ten years to personally appear in court. On 28 July 2008, he argued before the Court of Appeal that a woman who had manipulated her teenage lover into killing her husband should be given a life sentence.[36] The Court held that a life sentence was inappropriate due to the defendant's psychiatric condition, and affirmed the nine-year jail term imposed by the High Court.[37] Woon elected to take proceedings against Tang Wee Sung, chairman of the company C.K. Tang which owns Tangs department store, for the illegal purchase of a human organ – a kidney – in the first case of its kind in Singapore.[38] The decision to do so was criticised by Dr. Lee Wei Ling, Director of the National Neuroscience Institute and daughter of Minister Mentor and former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, in an article published in The Straits Times on 5 September 2008.[39] Woon replied, pointing out a number of misconceptions she held as to the facts and the law, and emphasising that the prosecution had been brought as no one was above the law.[40] Subsequently, in response to further comments by Dr. Lee,[41] he wrote an extended article entitled "Wrong Facts and Faulty Logic" that appeared in The Straits Times on 18 September 2008.[42]

He also prosecuted a number of contempt of court cases, including suits against Dow Jones Publishing Company (Asia), Inc. for material published in The Wall Street Journal Asia;[43] against US-based lawyer Gopalan Nair for comments on his blog;[44] and against three Singapore Democratic Party supporters, John Tan Liang Joo, Isrizal bin Mohamed Isa and Muhammad {{{2}}} Syahmi bin Sariman, who wore T-shirts bearing the image of a kangaroo dressed in a judge's gown outside the Supreme Court Building.[45] On 15 March 2010, in one of his last cases before his term of office ended, he defended the constitutionality of capital punishment in Singapore before the Court of Appeal in an appeal by a man sentenced to death for drug trafficking.[46]

At the third annual Singapore Children's Society Lecture entitled "Changing Social Mores: Protecting Children from Themselves?" on 31 October 2009, Woon expressed the view that prosecuting teenagers from having underage sex with each other served little purpose. "It's basically kids having sex ... What do you do if the couple think they're in love? It's less easy if the girl consents. ... The judges cannot do very much by themselves. Sending them [the teenagers] to jail per se will not make them reflect on their lives. That is the last thing that is going to happen. But good or ill, this is the framework that we have."[47]

Woon established a new division in the Attorney-General's Chambers for the prosecution of cases in the Subordinate Courts of Singapore to enhance the development of criminal litigation skills, and recruited a number of young and talented lawyers into the Singapore Legal Service. In 2008 he hosted the International Association of Prosecutors Conference in Singapore. He also assisted in the setting up of the Centre for International Law at NUS to improve international law expertise in Singapore and the region. He was Singapore's alternate representative on the High Level Task Force for the Drafting of the ASEAN Charter, a key constitutional document for ASEAN, which was signed in November 2007.[7] Subsequently, he co-authored a book entitled The Making of the ASEAN Charter (2009).[48]

Woon stepped down as Attorney-General on 10 April 2010 after a two-year term. In a media interview, he said that the post "was not a job I really wanted or enjoyed. I did it because I was asked to do the job. So I did my best under the circumstances with what I had."[49] When asked whether he had "annoyed the powers that be", he said:

It's not unlikely that I have. Look, to be fair, nobody called me in the middle of the night to say you must do this, you must do that. ... Whether or not they're happy with me – this one you've got to ask PM [Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong]. This is a mutual parting of the ways. Best to leave before you outstay your welcome, although I think amongst some people, I've already outstayed my welcome.[49][50]

He subsequently clarified that when he said he had outstayed his welcome he had been "thinking more about the people I prosecuted rather than anything else", and that "I was kidding, I was being facetious".[51]

Return to academia[edit]

The National University of Singapore Faculty of Law at the University's Bukit Timah Campus, which Woon rejoined full-time in 2010

Woon returned to academia at NUS, and was appointed the first Dean of the Singapore Institute of Legal Education (SILE), a company incorporated by the Singapore Academy of Law on 18 January 2010 to manage the postgraduate practical training of graduates from local and overseas universities seeking admission to the Singapore Bar, training contracts, and continuing legal education for practising lawyers.[52] He has denied any intention to enter politics – "Why would I leave one hot seat to jump into another hot seat? I've said for years that I would want to go back to my natural habitat eventually. Why wouldn't anyone believe me?" – although when asked if he had forever ruled out a political career, he said: "Forever is a long time but definitely not now."[53] Subsequently, he reiterated in a Today interview: "I am not a politician and I am not interested in politics and have no desire to go into politics. I do not know why people do not believe me when I say so. I have said it a thousand times but people do not seem to believe me."[54]

Woon is currently Chairman of the Singapore International Law Society (since 2006), Judge Advocate General (since 2007), and President of the Goethe Institute Singapore (since 2010).[26]

Fiction writing[edit]

Woon won a consolation prize for a short story called The Body in Question which he submitted for the 1985 National Short Story Writing Competition.[55] In 2002, he published his first novel, The Advocate's Devil.[56] This was followed three years later by The Devil to Pay (2005). Both books are crime novels set in 1930s Singapore with Dennis Chiang, an English-educated Peranakan lawyer, as the protagonist. Woon has said that fiction writing was "something I did on the side when I got tired of writing non-fiction".[1] A reviewer of The Advocate's Devil commented: "That the author is a lawyer first and promising novelist second is most glaring in the language used in Devil. ... This must be the first made-in-Singapore whodunnit that needs to be read with a dictionary at hand." Although the protagonist Chiang's "view of human beings other than himself is patronising at best" and might leave readers with a "rather sour aftertaste", the novel's "light touches of romance and compassion do much to lift the storyline" and had "masterful pacing".[57]

Selected works[edit]

Non-fiction[edit]

Articles[edit]

  • "Precedents that Bind – A Gordian Knot: Stare Decisis in the Federal Court of Malaysia and the Court of Appeal, Singapore", Malaya Law Review 24, 1982: 1–25 .
  • "Ultra Vires and Corporate Capacity in Singapore", Singapore Academy of Law Journal 1, 1989: 52–67 .
  • "Some check is better than no check: Walter Woon reflects on opposition politics in Singapore", The Straits Times, 29 November 1990 .
  • "Protecting the Minority Shareholder", Singapore Academy of Law Journal 4, 1992: 123–132 .
  • "The Scripless Trading System in Singapore", International Journal of Law and Information Technology 1 (1), 1993: 77–89, doi:10.1093/ijlit/1.1.77 .
  • "Regulation of the Securities Industry in Singapore", Pacific Rim Law and Policy Journal 4, 1995: 731–755 .
  • "Crime and Punishment: The Problems of Sentencing", Singapore Law Review 27, 2009: 1–11 .

Book chapters[edit]

  • Woon, Walter ([1980?]), "Protection of Shareholders and Investors", Papers on Duties & Liabilities of Company Directors in Public Listed Companies, Singapore: Professional Resources Agency  .
  • Woon, Walter; Chew, Margaret; Tjio, Hans (1986–), "Securities Regulation in Singapore", in Rosen, Robert C. [et al.], International Securities Regulation, [Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.]: Oceana Publications, ISBN 978-0-379-20825-2  .
  • Woon, Walter (1994), "Nominated MPs: Some Check is Better than No Check [ch. 3]", in da Cunha, Derek, ed., Debating Singapore: Reflective Essays, Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, pp. 15–18, ISBN 978-981-3016-82-8 
  • Woon, Walter (1997), "Securities Regulation [ch. 7]", in Chong, Amelyn, ed., The Business Guide to Singapore, Singapore: Butterworth-Heinemann Asia, pp. 138–164, ISBN 978-981-00-6793-9 .
  • Woon, Walter (1997), "Singapore", in Tan, Poh-Ling, ed., Asian Legal Systems: Law, Society, and Pluralism in East Asia, Sydney: Butterworths, ISBN 978-0-409-31008-5 .
  • Woon, Walter (1999), "The Applicability of English Law in Singapore [ch. 6] and The Doctrine of Judicial Precedent [ch. 8]", in Tan, Kevin Y[ew] L[ee], ed., The Singapore Legal System (2nd ed.), Singapore: Singapore University Press, pp. 230–248 and 297–323, ISBN 978-9971-69-212-4 .

Books[edit]

Fiction[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Rajan Chettiar (April 2003), "Roving ambassador", Singapore Law Gazette, archived from the original on 1 January 2006, retrieved 17 April 2010 .
  2. ^ a b c Appointment of Singapore's Ambassador to The Kingdom of Belgium and Singapore's Ambassador to The Federal Republic of Germany, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 5 August 2003, archived from the original on 16 April 2010, retrieved 16 April 2010 .
  3. ^ Ravi Veloo (11 October 1992), "The calm behind the storm", The Straits Times .
  4. ^ a b Lydia Lim (4 July 2008), "'Human rights' label often abused", The Straits Times (reproduced on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website), archived from the original on 13 April 2010 .
  5. ^ K.C. Vijayan (17 April 2008), "Walter Woon, the 'accidental' lawyer", The Straits Times .
  6. ^ Professor Woon Cheong Ming Walter (consultant), Yeo-Leong & Peh LLC, 2003, archived from the original on 14 July 2012 .
  7. ^ a b c d e f Advisory Board member: Professor Walter Woon, SC, Singapore Management University, 27 June 2008, archived from the original on 25 May 2008, retrieved 13 April 2010 .
  8. ^ "Alumni News: Singapore" (PDF), Johnian News (24), Michaelmas Term 2008: 3, archived from the original on 20 April 2012, "St John's hosted its first alumni event in Singapore on Tuesday 2 September at The Arts House – Singapore's first court house and former parliament house. ... Professor Walter Woon (LLM 1983), Attorney General of Singapore, toasted the College and spoke of his appreciation of the all-round education that he received at St John's and its individual approach to the teaching of every student." 
  9. ^ Walter C.M. Woon (1988), Company Law, Singapore: Longman Singapore Publishers, ISBN 978-9971-89-959-2 .
  10. ^ "Elected President should sever all links with political parties", The Straits Times, 16 November 1990 . The report of the Select Committee was published as Report of the Select Committee on the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore (Amendment No. 3) Bill (Bill No. 23/90) [Parl. 9 of 1990], Singapore: Printed for the Government of Singapore by the Singapore National Printers, 1990 .
  11. ^ Sumiko Tan (6 July 1991), "Stand up and be quoted", The Straits Times: 28 .
  12. ^ "Not a Charter? Ridiculous!", The Straits Times, 8 July 1991: 22 .
  13. ^ Tan Soo Khoon (Speaker of Parliament), "Nominated Members of Parliament (Announcement by Mr. Speaker)", Singapore Parliamentary Debates, Official Report (14 September 1992), vol. 60, col. 175; Tan Soo Khoon, "Nominated Members of Parliament (Announcement by Mr. Speaker)", Singapore Parliamentary Debates, Official Report (31 October 1994), vol. 63, col. 598; Tan Soo Khoon, "Nominated Members of Parliament (Announcement by Mr. Speaker)", Singapore Parliamentary Debates, Official Report (1 October 1996), vol. 66, col. 562. See also Anna Teo (2 September 1992), "Two leading businessmen among six to be NMPs", Business Times (Singapore) ; "Six people selected to be NMPs", The Straits Times, 2 September 1992 ; Chua Mui Hoong; Ng Wei Joo; Maria Siow (2 September 1992), "Group made up of diverse individuals and ideas", The Straits Times ; Chua Mui Hoong; Ng Wei Joo; Maria Siow (2 September 1992), "The six chosen ones – who they are and what they hope to do", The Straits Times ; Zuraidah Ibrahim (8 September 1992), "Six new NMPs officially appointed", The Straits Times ; Tan Sai Siong (3 July 1994), "NMP scheme a success thanks to Walter Woon and Kanwaljit Soin", The Straits Times .
  14. ^ G. Pierre Goad (28 October 1992), "Singapore's language drive stirs an energetic debate over values", The Asian Wall Street Journal: 1 .
  15. ^ Walter Woon (13 September 1992), "Good values can be passed on in any language", The Straits Times . George Yeo responded in Yeo (20 September 1992), "Values are passed on by ideas as well as emotions", The Straits Times .
  16. ^ "9 MPs picked for panel to review Companies Bill", The Straits Times, 30 September 1992 . The Select Committee's report was published as Report of the Select Committee on the Companies (Amendment) Bill (Bill No. 33/92) [Parl. 2 of 1993], Singapore: Printed for the Government of Singapore by the Singapore National Printers, 1993 .
  17. ^ Maintenance of Parents Act (Cap. 167B, 1996 Rev. Ed.).
  18. ^ Sue-Ann Chia (11 March 2010), "Know the past to tackle the future", The Straits Times: B14 . The first ever Act since 1965 originating from a private member's bill was the Roman Catholic Archbishop Bill introduced by P. Selvadurai and Chiang Hai Ding in 1974 and passed the following year as the Roman Catholic Archbishop Act (now Cap. 375, 1985 Rev. Ed.). This was a private act, not a public one: Chia, ibid. See also Walter Woon (28 June 1994), "Honor thy father and mother – or else", The Wall Street Journal: A18 ; "Govt gives backing to Parents Bill", The Straits Times, 27 July 1994 ; Walter Woon (11 August 1994), "Family matters", Far Eastern Economic Review: 30 ; "Parents maintenance bill passed", The Straits Times, 3 November 1995 .
  19. ^ "Walter Woon makes Time list of 100 young world leaders", Business Times (Singapore), 29 November 1994 .
  20. ^ [1995] 1 S.L.R.(R) [Singapore Law Reports (Reissue)] 803.
  21. ^ "Walter Woon named envoy to Germany", The Straits Times, 7 January 1998 ; Yang Razali Kassim (20 January 1998), "Switching from critic to diplomat", Business Times (Singapore) ; "Walter Woon on envoy role", Business Times (Singapore), 20 January 1998 ; "Helping the world to understand S'pore better: Walter Woon on his role as envoy", The Straits Times, 21 January 1998 .
  22. ^ MFA press statement: Appointment of Singapore's Ambassador to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 20 October 2003, archived from the original on 16 April 2010, retrieved 16 April 2010 ; "New envoy to Holland", The Straits Times, 21 October 2003 .
  23. ^ Pope John Paul II (12 December 2003), Address of John Paul II to H.E. Mr. Walter Woon, new Ambassador of Singapore accredited to the Holy See, The Vatican: Holy See, archived from the original on 6 November 2005, retrieved 17 April 2010 .
  24. ^ Extraordinary missions representing states and international and supranational organizations in the funeral mass of His Holiness John Paul II, The Vatican: Holy See, 8 April 2005, archived from the original on 19 February 2008, retrieved 18 April 2010 .
  25. ^ Pope John Paul II buried in Vatican crypt: Millions around the world watch funeral, CNN, 9 April 2005, archived from the original on 16 March 2008, retrieved 18 April 2010 .
  26. ^ a b c Academic profiles: WOON Cheong Ming, Walter, S.C., Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore, archived from the original on 17 August 2010, retrieved 20 April 2012 .
  27. ^ K.C. Vijayan (25 September 2006), "Walter Woon joins A-G's Chambers as Solicitor-Gen", The Straits Times ; Professor Walter Woon appointed Second Solicitor-General of Singapore, WWLegal.com, archived from the original on 13 April 2010, retrieved 13 April 2010 .
  28. ^ Sara Lim (10 April 2008), "Nathan makes key legal appointments", Business Times (Singapore) .
  29. ^ Advisory Board, Singapore Management University, 13 April 2010, archived from the original on 18 April 2010, retrieved 18 April 2010 .
  30. ^ Now the Companies Act (Cap. 50, 2006 Rev. Ed.): see MOF reviewing Companies Act for greater accountability and transparency, Channel NewsAsia, 20 February 2008 ; "Revision to Companies Act will not have overly prescribed rules", The Straits Times, 4 March 2008 .
  31. ^ Ben Nadarajan; Chong Chee Kin (10 April 2008), "Walter Woon takes over as A-G tomorrow: Outgoing A-G Chao Hick Tin to resume Judge of Appeal post" (PDF), The Straits Times, archived from the original on 21 April 2008 ; Leong Wee Keat (10 April 2008), "S'pore gets first female Solicitor-General; Koh Juat Jong takes over from Walter Woon, who is new AG", Today: 6 ; Ansley Ng (12 April 2008), "'Groomed' to be AG; Hands on and on his feet, that's Walter Woon", Today: 6 .
  32. ^ See also Chong Chee Kin (31 May 2008), "A-G cautions against human rights becoming a 'religion' with fanatics", The Straits Times ; "Do not confuse politics with the law: Singapore's new Attorney-General", Today, 30 May 2008: 8 ; Constance Singam (6 June 2008), "Human-rights 'fanatics' is what S'pore needs [letter]", The Straits Times ; Walter Woon (9 June 2008), "Human rights key to good governance but ... [letter]", The Straits Times ; Walter Woon (9 June 2008), "'No one solution': A balance has to be struck between individual rights and overall good of society", The Straits Times .
  33. ^ XP v. Public Prosecutor [2008] 4 S.L.R.(R) 686 at para. 98, High Court: "The question for the court in every case is not whether it suspects the accused has committed the crime but whether the Prosecution has proved beyond any reasonable doubt that he has indeed committed it. It is trite that courts can never convict on the basis of suspicion and/or intuition. Such is the conclusion demanded by and enshrined in that cardinal principle, the presumption of innocence, upon which is founded the most elemental rule of the criminal justice system: that the Prosecution must establish guilt beyond any reasonable doubt. Objective and not subjective belief is the essential touchstone of guilt, and there is simply no place for subsequent speculation or implication that an acquitted accused may be 'factually guilty'." See also K.C. Vijayan (12 July 2008), "Judge: No question of 'factual guilt' after acquittal: Justice V.K. Rajah takes issue with Govt's position on guilt and innocence", The Straits Times .
  34. ^ K.C. Vijayan (26 August 2008), "Govt defends A-G's stand on acquittals: Law Minister reiterates that 'not guilty in law' does not mean 'innocent'", The Straits Times .
  35. ^ "Walter Woon named to MAS board", The Straits Times, 21 May 2008 .
  36. ^ Woon represented the State four times in court when he was Second Solicitor-General and Solicitor-General: Selina Lum (28 July 2008), "A-G to make rare court appearance today: He is expected to seek life term for woman who got teen to kill hubby", The Straits Times ; Selina Lum (29 July 2008), "A-G seeks life for woman who plotted hubby's killing", The Straits Times ; "When the chief prosecutor of the state goes to court to personally argue a case ...", Today, 2 August 2008: 6 .
  37. ^ Public Prosecutor v. Aniza bte Essa [2009] 3 S.L.R.(R) 327, Court of Appeal. The High Court's decision was reported as Public Prosecutor v. Aniza bte Essa [2008] 3 S.L.R.(R) 832.
  38. ^ Tang was convicted of agreeing to pay for the supply of a kidney and sentenced to a fine of S$7,000; and for making false statements in a statutory declaration, for which he received one day's imprisonment and a $10,000 fine: Public Prosecutor v. Tang Wee Sung [2008] SGDC 262.
  39. ^ Lee Wei Ling (5 September 2008), "Why mete out even a 'token sentence'?", The Straits Times .
  40. ^ "Tang case: No one is above the law" (PDF), The Straits Times (reproduced on the Attorney-General's Chambers website), 9 September 2008, archived from the original on 13 April 2010, retrieved 13 April 2010 .
  41. ^ Lee Wei Ling (10 September 2008), "Why a jail term shouldn't have been sought", The Straits Times .
  42. ^ Walter Woon (18 September 2008), "Wrong facts and faulty logic", The Straits Times . A longer version is available on the website of the Attorney-General's Chambers as Walter Woon (18 September 2008), Justice, Compassion and Prosecutorial Discretion (PDF), Attorney-General's Chambers, archived from the original on 13 April 2010, retrieved 13 April 2010 .
  43. ^ Attorney-General v. Hertzberg Daniel and others [2009] 1 S.L.R.(R) 1103, High Court. The submissions tendered by the Attorney-General's Chambers may be accessed at Walter Woon (31 October 2008), Attorney-General v. Hertzberg Daniel: Attorney-General's Submissions (PDF), Attorney-General's Chambers, archived from the original on 16 April 2010, retrieved 16 April 2010 . See also Sue-ann Chia (5 November 2008), "A-G draws the line on freedom of speech", The Straits Times ; Zakir Hussain (5 November 2008), "AG asks for deterrent fine for newspaper", The Straits Times ; Leong Wee Keat (5 November 2008), "25 years of axe-grinding; WSJA counters: Newspapers don’t wage such campaigns", Today: 6 ; Zakir Hussain (26 November 2008), "WSJ Asia publisher fined $25,000", The Straits Times ; Leong Wee Keat (26 November 2008), "Heaviest fine for contempt of court", Today: 1 .
  44. ^ See Media background brief: Contempt of court proceedings against Gopalan Nair (PDF), Attorney-General's Chambers, 12 November 2008, archived from the original on 16 April 2010, retrieved 16 April 2010 , and the Attorney-General's submissions to the court at Jeffrey Wah Teck Chan (12 November 2008), Attorney-General v. Gopalan Nair: Submissions of the Attorney-General (PDF), Attorney-General's Chambers, archived from the original on 16 April 2010, retrieved 16 April 2010 .
  45. ^ Attorney-General v. Tan Liang Joo John and others [2009] 2 S.L.R.(R) 1132, High Court: see Media background brief: Contempt of court proceedings against Tan Liang Joo John, Isrizal bin Mohamed Isa and Muhammad Shafi'ie Syahmi bin Sariman, Attorney-General's Chambers, 27 November 2008, archived from the original on 16 April 2010, retrieved 16 April 2010 .
  46. ^ Yong Vui Kong v. Public Prosecutor [2010] 3 S.L.R. 489, C.A. The submissions tendered by the Attorney-General's Chambers may be accessed at Walter Woon (5 March 2010), Yong Vui Kong v. Public Prosecutor: Respondent's Arguments (PDF), Attorney-General's Chambers, archived from the original on 13 April 2010, retrieved 13 April 2010 . See also Afua Hirsch (15 March 2010), "Heroin smuggler challenges Singapore death sentence: Lawyers for Yong Vui Kong argue country's policy of mandatory execution in drug cases is a breach of human rights", The Guardian ; "Death row appeal: Apex court reserves decision", The Straits Times, 16 March 2010 ; Ong Dai Lin (16 March 2010), "'Clemency not matter for judiciary': Court metes sentences within parameters set by Parliament: AG", Today: 2, archived from the original on 1 May 2010 .
  47. ^ Shuli Sudderuddin (1 November 2009), "When teens have consensual sex ...: Such cases involving teens who are in love are hard to prosecute, says Attorney-General", The Straits Times .
  48. ^ Statement from the Prime Minister's Office, Prime Minister's Office, 3 March 2010, archived from the original on 13 April 2010, retrieved 13 April 2010 .
  49. ^ a b Zakir Hussain; K.C. Vijayan (13 April 2010), "Longest two years of my life", The Straits Times: A1 & A6 . See also K.C. Vijayan (4 March 2010), "A-G Walter Woon to step down", The Straits Times ; Zul Othman (4 March 2010), "AG Walter Woon to step down in April", Today, archived from the original on 17 April 2010 ; Leong Wee Keat (13 April 2010), "They don't call me late night to tell me who to prosecute", Today: 1, archived from the original on 13 April 2010 ; Leong Wee Keat (13 April 2010), "They were the longest two years of my life: Former AG Walter Woon", Today: 4, archived from the original on 13 April 2010 ; Leong Wee Keat (13 April 2010), "The hardest part was finding good people", Today: 4, archived from the original on 13 April 2010 .
  50. ^ See also P.N. Balji (19 April 2010), "An opportunity missed?: What Walter Woon's interview says of change in Singapore", Today: 12, archived from the original on 19 April 2010, retrieved 19 April 2010 .
  51. ^ Eugene Wee; Tay Shi'an (23 April 2010), "What's the story, Prof Woon?: Former Attorney-General Walter Woon answers rumours that have been swirling around him on his exit", The New Paper: 2–4 ; "I was just kidding, says Walter Woon", Weekend Today, 24–25 April 2010: 6, archived from the original on 24 April 2010 . For comment, see M. Lukshumayeh (26 April 2010), "Enough already, Mr Woon: Former AG's comments beg even more questions", Today: 11, archived from the original on 26 April 2010 .
  52. ^ Professor Walter Woon appointed first Dean of the Singapore Institute of Legal Education, Singapore Academy of Law, 3 March 2010, archived from the original on 13 April 2010, retrieved 13 April 2010 .
  53. ^ Kor Kian Beng (6 March 2010), "Politics? Not now", The Straits Times .
  54. ^ Conrad Raj (27 May 2010), "Former AG to shake up how criminal law is taught: Walter Woon on injecting realism into law studies, luring top lawyers into academia", Today: 4, archived from the original on 29 May 2010 .
  55. ^ Tess Wong (19 August 2002), "Turning to a life of crime", The Straits Times . The National Library holds an unpublished microfilm copy shelved at NL27697.
  56. ^ "Advocate of Baba culture", Business Times (Singapore), 17 August 2002 .
  57. ^ Cheong Suk-Wai (14 September 2002), "A Devil of a murder tale", The Straits Times .

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Jason Leow (17 July 1997), "I did it because I believed in it", The Straits Times .
  • Chua Mui Hoong (3 November 2006), "Is Walter Woon still as vocal after going global?", The Straits Times .
Preceded by
Chao Hick Tin
Attorney-General of Singapore
11 April 2008 – 10 April 2010
Succeeded by
Sundaresh Menon
Preceded by
Unknown
Solicitor-General of Singapore
2 July 2007 – 10 April 2008
Succeeded by
Koh Juat Jong