Date: 28Mar 2017

The judiciary – lacking the power of the sword or the purse string – is nevertheless viewed as the bedrock of constitutional rule in democratic countries. Despite the occasional political storms swirling around it, its accepted role as a neutral umpire is never subverted. The story in many Asian countries is vastly different. This Lecture will explore the varied experience of the judiciary in selected Asian countries and the many challenges confronting it as the courts and judges seek to perform their role in society in accordance with their judicial oath. The Lecture will also highlight the importance of judicial independence and discuss the lessons that can be learned from crises which have afflicted the judiciary in the Asian region.

Emeritus Professor Hoong Phun (HP) Lee, from 1995-2014, held the Sir John Latham Chair of Law at Monash University, where he had also served as the Deputy Dean and Acting Dean. Professor Lee’s many publications include Constitutional Conflicts in Contemporary Malaysia (2nd ed, OUP 2017), The Australian Judiciary (2nd ed, CUP 2013) and Judiciaries in Comparative Perspective (CUP 2011). He is currently co-editing a book on Asia-Pacific Judiciaries: Independence, Impartiality and Integrity (forthcoming, CUP). He was awarded the Australian Press Council Medal in 2011. In 2015, he was appointed Emeritus Professor of Law at Monash University.