DAVID MARSHALL PROFESSORSHIP (1993)
It was said, “Marshall never loses.” David Saul Marshall, Singapore’s first Chief Minister and later diplomat, was a criminal lawyer par excellence.
Tall, handsome, with the finely modulated voice of a Shakespearean actor, Mr Marshall was a formidable performer in court. Famous trial lawyer Mr Harry Elias said, “To have seen David in action was to be treated to an exercise of utmost exhilaration. To take part in a case with David was an adventure.”
To Mr Marshall, law was a calling. He said, “Justice is a meld of law and humanity”. He worked tirelessly even for hardship cases, where he was paid nothing or a token fee. On trial days,he would rise at 2am to prepare. He once said,“I’ll give a dollar to anybody who knows more about my case…than I know….”
Mr Marshall was born in Singapore to a Jewish family from Iraq. He received his LLB degree from the University of London and Barrister-at-Law from the Middle Temple. His strong sense of social justice led him into the political arena. He resigned as Chief Minister after 14 months, but many of his ideas were built upon by successive governments, such as meet- the-people sessions and multilingualism. He passed away in 1995.
NUS established the David Marshall Professorship to honour an exceptional lawyer.
The Professorship enables the Faculty to engage eminent professors to co-operate in research and education with other faculty members and share their expertise. They bring their unique perspectives and insights to legal education as well as to Singapore and its ever-growing regional and international role. The appointment is done by the Dean of the Faculty of Law and is usually on a short-term and full-time basis.
The David Marshall Professorship was supported by generous gifts from the Far East Organization, Lee Foundation, Lien Foundation, Reuben Meyer Trust Fund, as well as other companies and individuals.