Thursday, 10 April 2008

Set up Judicial Commission - Perak Regent

Raja Dr Nazrin Shah (pic left) said the time was right to review the way judicial appointments and promotions were made.

The Regent of Perak said the many calls for a more transparent mechanism, one that was in line with other developed countries, should be given serious attention.

Addressing a conference of Malaysian judges here, he noted that there was merit in the suggestion for the establishment of a judicial commission to make recommendations to the prime minister, who in turn, consults the Conference of Rulers.

Saying Malaysia needed nothing short of a judicial renaissance, the Regent of Perak called for serious attention to be given to the suggestion of setting up the commission as there were many calls for a more transparent mechanism, one that was in line with other developed countries.

Raja Nazrin said he was happy to note that in the recent years, there had been a greater willingness on the part of the Prime Minister to consult the Conference of Rulers in a meaningful way.

"This is very much in keeping with the spirit of the Constitution and I believe, leads to the building up of further confidence in the judiciary," he said Wednesday when addressing 90 judges from the Federal Court, Court of Appeal and High Court on the first day of the Judges Conference.

Raja Nazrin also said that the present climate presented the judiciary with an excellent opportunity to press on with much needed changes as a judicial renaissance was one of the most important requirements for continued economic, scientific and technological progress.

He said he agreed with the views of many that the most basic first step to be taken was to ensure that judicial power was vested again in the judiciary to the position that it had in the Constitution from the time of Merdeka until 20 years ago.

"Unless this is done, the doctrine of the separation of powers, which underscores our democracy, will remain effectively muted," he said.

Raja Nazrin said many seem to have forgotten that the judiciary was a powerful and constructive force in nation building as the courts had unfettered powers to interpret the Federal Constitution, to construe laws and to declare any law or administrative action that was inconsistent, to be void.

He said laws, once enacted, were sterile unless they were properly interpreted and therefore it was the responsibility of the courts to ensure this.

"Preserving and protecting the Constitution requires judicial courage. Judges need to display the necessary courage when interpreting our supreme law, the Constitution," he said.

Raja Nazrin added that until judicial power was reinvested in the judiciary, it would be difficult to convince anyone that Malaysia was a nation governed by the rule of law.

"With the positive mindsets now in place, I am sure that the executive and legislature will continue to view the judiciary in a proper and balanced perspective.

"The judiciary, filled with men and women of great insight into the law will, I am confident, exercise its oversight to ensure that the exercise of power is not exceeded, that correct processes are adhered to and that outcomes are just," he said.

Raja Nazrin also said judicial renaissance was essential with the current low regard for the judiciary being regrettable as it was once greatly admired with the country's judgments quoted across the Commonwealth and the judges held in high esteem for their wise and fair rulings.

"It goes without saying that recent revelations of improprieties in the judiciary have been extremely damaging, not the least eroding the public's image of, and confidence in, the system of justice in this country," he said.

Raja Nazrin urged judges to be sensitive to the spirit of the Federal Constitution as it bestowed and protected the rights of all citizens and provided a basis for peace and harmony.

Without it, we are all in danger of heading down the path of sectarianism and victimisation," he said, adding that the courts should therefore be thoroughly objective and uncompromising on constitutional questions.

Source: The Star

1 comment:

Dhahran Sea said...

With due respect to Raja Dr. Nazrin, I thought the timing of his remarks could be seen/contrued as leaning for a particular group, considering the current political situation of country, especially with AAB&Co. in such dire straits and hitting back at anything to do with TDM, DSAI & Ku Li (with Zaid Ibrahim echoing and playing similar notes). Instead of having the moderating effect, it could have the opposite impact?