In September 1996, when the Supreme Court and the Singapore Academy of Law started a pilot project to resolve disputes through mediation, Mr Goh who was then a Supreme Court judge, was appointed its chairman. With the success of the pilot, Mr Goh became the first chairman of the Singapore Mediation Centre (SMC) when it was launched in 1997. As SMC chair, he continued to play a key role in overseeing the growth and development of mediation services in Singapore until 2003.

At the 10th anniversary of SMC in 2008, former Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong recalled that Mr Goh was the best choice for that role as he was an “approachable, friendly and unassuming judge who is Mr Affability himself.” CJ Chan remembered that Mr Goh was not one to issue orders to obey but in his own humble way managed to persuade lawyers from small and large firms to do ‘national service’ to mediate at low rates of remuneration. Under Mr Goh’s persuasion, many commercial bodies also agreed to mediate their disputes under the auspices of SMC. 

Mr Goh was a SAL Senate member from 1991 to 2009 and continued to be an active participant in SAL events over the years. Many of us who knew and worked with Mr Goh know that he was a true gentleman. We have lost a highly respected member and he will be greatly missed.

“It is heartening to observe people from diverse backgrounds and groups with different interests coming together to offer their services and expertise to the Singapore Mediation Centre. Through these efforts, we have been able to accomplish more than what we aimed for.”

Mr Goh Joon Seng

Chairman of SMC (1997 – 2003)

SAL Senate member (1991 - 2009)