Singapore Australia Legal Forum 2016 Speakers
Ms. Indranee Thurai Rajah S.C., Senior Minister of State
Ministry of Law, Government of Singapore
Keynote Address Speaker & Guest-of-Honour Dialogue Speaker
Ms. Indranee Rajah read law at the National University of Singapore where she graduated with an Bachelors of Law (Second Upper Honours) in 1986, and was admitted to the Singapore Bar in 1987.
Ms. Rajah joined the Singapore office of Freshfields, in 1987 as a legal associate. A year later, she joined the Litigation department of Drew & Napier. She was made a junior partner of the firm in 1992, and admitted as a full equity partner in 1994. Her practice as a dispute resolution lawyer included cross-border disputes, corporate and commercial disputes and international arbitration.
Ms. Rajah was appointed Senior Counsel by the Chief Justice of Singapore in January 2003.
Since 2001, Ms. Rajah has concurrently served as the Member of Parliament for the Tanjong Pagar Group Representation Constituency (GRC). She chaired the Government Parliamentary Committees (GPC) for Law & Home Affairs (2004 to 2006), as well as Defence and Foreign Affairs (2006 to mid-2009). She was also a Deputy Speaker of Parliament from 2006 to 2011.
In October 2012 she left her role as Deputy Head of Drew & Napier's Dispute Resolution Department and joined the government On 1 November 2012, Ms Rajah assumed the position of Senior Minister of State for Law and Education.
The AUSLSS is very grateful to Ms. Rajah for agreeing to be our Singapore Guest-of-Honour at this Inaugural Singapore Australian Legal Forum.
The Honourable Chief Justice Chris Kourakis, Chief Justice of South Australia,
Supreme Court of South Australia
Guests-of-Honour Dialogue Speaker
The Honourable Chief Justice Chris Kourakis currently serves as the ninth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of South Australia.
A graduate of The University of Adelaide, His Honour was admitted to practice in 1982, where he articled at Johnston Withers McCusker. After spending several years at the Legal Services Commission and then at a suburban practice, He joined the independent bar in 1989 until 2003 during which he took silk in 1997.
After his time at Chambers his career again turned toward public service, taking on the role of Solicitor-General from 2003 to 2008. His Honour's commenced his judicial commission in 2008 with his appointment as a Justice of the Supreme Court and on 25 June 2012 succeeded John Doyle AC QC as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of South Australia.
Chief Justice Kourakis is recognised as one Australia’s leading law reformers in the area of civil litigation processes and the modernisation of court infrastructure. He is playing a pioneering role in introducing technology to the South Australian Supreme Court in order that the administration of justice can become more efficient and accessible for ordinary citizens.
Most recently His Honour was conferred a Degree of Doctor of Laws honoris causa by Flinders University in April 2015.
The AUSLSS is very grateful to the Honourable Chief Justice to have come all the way from Adelaide, South Australia to be our Australian Guest-of-Honour for this Inaugural Singapore Australian Legal Forum.
PANEL SESSION 1:
THE ASSIMILATION OF AUSTRALIAN LAWYERS & GRADUATES INTO THE SINGAPOREAN LEGAL FABRIC
Mr. Andrew Tan
Deputy Director (Policy Development and Security), Policy Development Division
Ministry of Home Affairs
Bachelors of Law, Flinders University, 2007
Andrew read law at Flinders University, in Adelaide South Australia till 2007 and has been working in the Singapore legal service since 2008 after completing then Graduate Diploma in Singapore law as well as the Practical Law Course (Bar exams) which is now colloquially called the Part A and Part B exams organised by the Singapore Institute of Legal Education.
Andrew is presently seconded to the Policy Development Division (“PDD”) of the Ministry of Home Affairs (“MHA”). Broadly speaking, he is involved in the formulation, and implementation, of policies. This may entail driving legislative amendments, or operational changes within MHA.
The PDD supports the MHA by reviewing existing policies to ensure continued relevancy and by implementing new policies through administrative or legislative means in anticipation of future changes. The policies under the PDD’s purview include Singapore’s policies on criminal justice, human rights, security, immigration affairs and rehabilitation.
Prior to assuming his present position as Deputy Director at the Ministry of Home Affairs, he spent 4 years as a Deputy Public Prosecutor and 1 year as a Justice Law Clerk in the Supreme Court of Singapore.
Ms. Christine Low
Associate, Peter Low LLC Advocates & Solicitors
Bachelors of Law, The University of Queensland, 2011
Christine read law at the TC Beirne School of Law at the University of Queensland in Brisbane till 2011 and was admitted in the Supreme Court of Singapore as an Advocate & Solicitor in 2014. Christine has been a key member of the Peter Low LLC team and has been involved in the firm's high-profile interest litigation and criminal litigation. Christine also handles corporate and commercial advisory matters for private clients and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)..
Christine believes in giving back to the community and volunteers with various Community Legal Clinics. Christine has also been invited to conduct seminars on divorce and family matters for non-profit organisations.
Christine also enjoys working with youths. From 2012 to 2014, Christine volunteered as a Panelist – and subsequently qualified as Senior Panelist – with the National Youth Council’s Young Change Makers Scheme (YCM), which allowed her the opportunity to work with, mentor and positively impact youths in their pursuit of projects that benefit the community.
Mr. Randeep Singh Koonar
State Counsel/DPP, Criminal Justice Division
Bachelors of Law (First Class Honours), Australian National University, 2012
Randeep read law at the Australian National University in Canberra till 2012. He is currently a State Counsel and Deputy Public Prosecutor for the Criminal Justice Division of the Attorney General's Chambers. Randeep was admitted to the Supreme Court of Singapore in 2015.
Prior to assuming his present position as a State Counsel/Deputy Public Prosecutor he spent 2 years as as a Justice Law Clerk in the Supreme Court of Singapore. He later joined Straits Law Practice LLC as a practice Trainee and later associate and joined the AGC in September 2015.
THE FUTURE OF LAW: HOW TECHNOLOGY IS CHANGING THE FACE OF LAW
Mr. Derek Austin
Director, Nuance Communcations Inc.
Derek has been with Nuance Communications Inc. for more than a decade. Nuance prides itself on reinventing the relationship between people and technology and is extending its technologies beyond speech recognition into applications of artificial intelligence. Derek loves working with companies that use innovative technology to improve personal and organisational productivity. His focus at Nuance has been Dragon speech recognition software, a product particularly valued by the legal fraternity. Derek is originally from Brisbane and is now based in Sydney, Australia. He has lived in the UK, France, Hong Kong, and Taiwan during his career. Derek holds an MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management, a postgraduate Diploma of Computer Science, and BA (Hons) in Psychology from the University of Queensland.
PANEL SESSION 3:
A WELLNESS DOCTRINE FOR THE LEGAL PROFESSION
Ms. Marie Jepson
Co-Founder & Executive Director, Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation
B.A. Dip Ed (UNE), Dip Spec Ed, M.Ed. (UNE), Grad Dip M.H.T.P. (Monash), Grad Dip Counselling (ACAP), M. Autism Studies pending, Griffith Lifeline Counsellor, ASSIST, and MHFA Instructor.
The Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation (TJMF), is an independent volunteer, charitable organisation, created in memory of Tristan Jepson, a former University of New South Wales law student, young lawyer, comedian and son of George and Marie Jepson. Tristan suffered from severe clinical depression and took his own life, just four weeks after his 26th birthday, on the 28th October, 2004.
The Foundation was founded by Marie and her husband, George Jepson, in August 2008 and is an independent volunteer, charitable organisation, with the goal of decreasing work related psychological ill-health in the legal community and to promote workplace psychological health and safety. It strives to create greater awareness of depression and anxiety amongst the legal fraternity.
Since its inception, TJMF has established itself as a reference point and facilitator of information in the area of depression and anxiety in the legal profession. It aims to raise awareness, improve education and build effective models of support which focus on mental health wellbeing within the legal education system and the legal profession. The organisation has gone from strength to strength in receiving the support of the entire legal community – law students, barristers, solicitors, academics, legal support staff. Other sectors, such as members of the medical and insurance fraternity and the research community have also offered support and information to the Foundation.
Marie works tirelessly on all of TJMF's initatives, which include promoting the Psychological Wellbeing : Best Practice Guidelines for the Legal Profession (released in 2014) the annual TJMF keynote lecture, facilitating collaborative forums for TJMF's signatories to the Guidelines in Sydney and Melbourne.
Prior to her work on the Foundation, Marie was devoted to the teaching profession, with more than 25 years of experience. As a senior executive she was committed to staff, student and parent wellbeing. She developed and implemented innovative programs, focused on empowering students through skill development.
The AUSLSS is very grateful to Ms Jepson to have come all the way from Sydney, New South Wales to lend her expertise to the topic at this Inaugural Singapore Australian Legal Forum.
Mr. Jerome Doraisamy By Remote Access From Sydney
Solicitor in New South Wales Australia/ Author of The Wellness Doctrine
Bachelor of Law (LLB) and Bachelors of Art in Communication, Social Inquiry, University of Technology Sydney, 2012
Jerome is a lawyer from Sydney, New South Wales with close connections to family and friends in Singapore. He attended St Aloysius' College and then the University of Technology, Sydney (not a Singapore approved university of law), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts in Communication (Social Inquiry). Over the course of his legal career he has worked in a range of fields, from commercial practice to academic research to a major federal government inquiry.
The Wellness Doctrines is Jerome's first book. This book examines the prevalence, causes and effects of psychological distress, anxiety and depression for law students and young lawyers in Australia in a manner never before seen – thematic discussion inspired by personal stories, first-hand accounts and case studies of over 45 legal professionals and health experts. It is hoped that this book will serve as a “survival guide” of sorts for new law students, incoming and current legal graduates, and other young lawyers.
This is not to say that law school and the first few years of working as a lawyer is an experience that requires survival; rather, it is an experience to be relished and one in which a person can and should thrive. Interviews have been conducted with mental health experts, current students, law graduates and young solicitors, managing partners, academics and the commissioner of a national legal body. These interviewees shared their own experiences, what they witnessed in their friends and colleagues, what they think can be done to improve the culture of law school, so that the legal profession and the people within it can retain a sense of their duty to society: to serve the community in the most just, efficient and productive manner possible. This can only be attained if a lawyer takes a holistic approach to the study and practice of law, and such an approach could be best achieved if one recognises it from an early point in their legal career.
The AUSLSS is very grateful to Jerome for speaking at the panel remotely from Sydney, New South Wales.