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Valedictory Lecture by Emeritus Professor Ellinger


On 22 April, Prof Peter Ellinger delivered his valedictory lecture to an audience of over 300 people that included past students, colleagues and friends. Kicking off the lecture was former Chief Justice, the Honourable Mr Chan Sek Keong SC, who introduced the speaker with interesting insights on the subject and also shared more about Prof Ellinger’s illustrious background.

From left to right: The Honourable Mr Chan Sek Keong SC, Prof Ellinger and NUS Law Dean, Prof Simon Chesterman.

Titled “Banking Law and Practice”, the valedictory lecture traced the sources of banking law in the United Kingdom and in Singapore, and included reflections on the phenomenal growth of the financial sector in Singapore and in other leading banking centres.

The meaning of the words “banking” and “banking practice” was then considered. Modern developments were noted with an emphasis on the trend to separate the provision of credit from trade activities. In the discussion of “banking practice”, Prof Ellinger thought that developments were influenced by sociological and scientific factors. The effects of the use of printing, of the increased speed in communications, of photo-copy machines and of the electronic revolution were covered in some detail. The lecture then dealt, briefly, with the effects of such developments on litigation and documentation. The last part of the lecture attempted to predict future developments in banking law and practice. It was understood, however, that such predictions are basically speculative.

The evening was also marked with nostalgia as a tribute video of Prof Ellinger was screened, highlighting his career milestones, and interviews with former NUS Law Dean, Mrs Tan Sook Yee and Prof Ellinger’s former student, Justice of Appeal VK Rajah. They each shared their fondest memories of Prof Ellinger and also well wishes for his future.

Prof Chesterman presenting a gift from NUS Law to Prof Ellinger.

Professor Ellinger graduated from the Hebrew University with an M.Jur. in 1959, and was called to the Israeli Bar. Following four years of law practice in Tel Aviv, he went to Oxford for further studies and obtained his D.Phil. in 1964. His first position as a law teacher was at University of Singapore (1961 - 1966). Thereafter he held Chairs of Law at the Victoria University of Wellington (1967 - 1976) and at Monash University (1977 - 1986). In 1986, he accepted the post of a Professor of Law at National University of Singapore.

After his retirement, he was appointed Consultant at Rajah & Tann as well as a Professorial Fellow at the National University of Singapore. On 14 September 1998, he was constituted an Emeritus Professor. He has published books, chapters in leading commercial law texts and numerous articles in regional law reviews as well as in the United Kingdom, Australasia, North America and in Europe.

Professor Ellinger has specialised in commercial law with particular emphasis on banking law. Over the years, he has acquired an extensive experience in opinion work and drafting of documents. He has appeared as an expert witness in local and foreign courts, has delivered lectures and conducted seminars in his areas of specialisation and has some experience in commercial arbitration.

The team at Lawlink wishes Prof Ellinger a happy retirement and best wishes in his future undertakings!

A standing ovation for Prof Ellinger at the end of the event.


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