Thursday, August 21, 2008

Merdeka_Countdown5: Is the Justice System fair and be seen as fair?

The Malaysian Constitution is an important document. ALL Malaysians should have a copy. Be familiar.

Laws are important. But laws are nothing until it is enforced. But the enforcers may abuse the law. The people suffer. They go to the Judges, the interpreters of the law.

The lawyers are the medium through which the people speak to the Judge in the court of Law. If the lawyers are cowed into fear, the people will lose their voice. Lawyers should not be cowed. Cowards should not be lawyers. It is not a business. It is a profession.

The lawyers will give their views. The Judge has the final call. He decides what the law is. But he has to listen to the lawyers first. And do his thinking based on what is before him. He has to be patient, kind, firm and most important of all humble. For cleverness is no substitute for arrogance. Only humility will allow the Judge to learn and make the right decision.

The Judge has to decide without fear or favour. Hence, a Judge must be protected from any threat or fear.

The Judge must learn the art of balancing many things. Don’t talk too little. Don’t talk too much. Otherwise, she will lose respect and the administration of law suffers. Hence, those who feel they cannot adapt to the position should voluntarily resign. It is a difficult position. Judgeship is an honorable responsibility. I have tremendous love and respect for some of the Judges that I have appeared before.

It is not about winning or losing. It is about getting a just and fair hearing.

As an aside, why are judges called “Yang Arif” which means “The Wise One” rather than “Yang Adil” which means “The Just One”? The former may be construed as presumptuous while the latter is at least a reminder to the Judge. Does anyone know the history?

To me, Raperas must forever be wary. They must safeguard the rule of law.

A retired judge introduced the song “Justice for all” by Dale Watson to me and said that if the justice system fails the people, the people will find their own justice. The anarchist then will abuse the breakdown in the system. Hence, a civilized society must put in place a just justice system. And it must be seen to be just. Enjoy the video.

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