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The Honourable Justice Judith Prakash, Singapore Court of Appeal's first permanent female judge, will deliver the 2019 Herbert Smith Freehills-Singapore Management University Asian Arbitration Lecture in Singapore on Wednesday 2 October.

Justice Prakash will speak on the relationship between the courts and arbitral proceedings, discussing why regulation is an essential aspect of the promotion of any jurisdiction as a place where disputes are resolved justly.

The lecture will be followed by a question and answer session led by Alastair Henderson, Herbert Smith Freehills' Singapore Managing Partner and Head of International Arbitration, Southeast Asia.

"Historically, Singapore courts have consistently followed a policy of minimal intervention in arbitral proceedings," said Alastair. "To the extent they have done this, courts have been praised as constructive promotors of arbitration."

"However, as arbitration gains momentum as a dispute resolution mechanism, is it correct to see courts that interfere in the arbitral process as interveners? Or is there an opportunity to for the courts' role in arbitral proceedings be properly characterised, as both a regulator and a promoter?"


Justice Judith Prakash was appointed as a Judge of Appeal on 1 August 2016, the first woman to be appointed as a permanent judge of the Singapore Court of Appeal. On 7 March 2017, she was appointed as a Judge of the Dubai International Financial Centre Courts where she serves on a part-time basis to hear appeal cases.

Justice Prakash graduated in law from the University of Singapore in 1974 and was admitted as an advocate and solicitor in Singapore the following year. She was in private practice until 1992, first as a shipping lawyer, before moving to practice commercial law in the areas of banking and finance and company law. She joined the Supreme Court as Judicial Commissioner in 1992 and became a judge in 1995. As a judge, she has sat on many cases involving arbitration issues, both at first instance and on appeal, and is one of the Supreme Court’s specialist arbitration judges.


Reporters and photographers/crew are welcome to cover the lecture, but must RSVP by 1700 on Friday 27 September to Peiling Huang at SMU.

The event will be held as follows:

Date:     Tuesday, 2 October 2019

Time:    1700–1830 (media registration from 1630)

Venue:   Mochtar Riady Auditorium, Level 5, SMU Administration Building, 81 Victoria Street, S188065

The Herbert Smith Freehills - SMU Asian Arbitration Lecture Series was established in 2010 and was made possible by a term fund contribution by Herbert Smith Freehills.  The objective of the Lecture Series is to promote collaborative forms of dispute resolution and access to justice and in so doing promote Singapore as the centre for dispute resolution in Asia, particularly in arbitration and mediation.

Established in 2000, Singapore Management University (SMU) is recognised for its high-impact multi-disciplinary research that addresses Asian issues of global relevance, and for its innovations in experiential learning. Through its city campus, SMU enjoys strategic linkages with business, government and the wider community in Singapore and beyond.  The SMU School of Law, which welcomed its first cohort in 2007, aims to nurture its students to become excellent lawyers who will contribute significantly to society.  Its graduates are trained with the ability to contextualise legal expertise and to think across disciplines and geographical borders.  The School offers a four-year full-time Bachelor of Laws programme, a five-year double-degree programme which combines law with Accountancy, Business, Economics, Information Systems or Social Sciences, a three-year Juris Doctor programme, a Master of Laws programme, as well as legal research and continuing legal education. The Law School has also set up a continuing legal education programme and two legal research centres.