The AG, judges and separation of powers — Gurdial Singh Nijar

Source: The SunDaily

BY GURDIAL SINGH NIJAR
(Deputy President, HAKAM)

THE chief justice of Malaysia, Tun Arifin Zakaria, has made a rather dramatic and long overdue proposal: that the Judicial and Legal Services Commission be separated. This commission, set up by the Federal Constitution, extends to all members of the judicial and legal service. The former comprises members of the judiciary – judges and magistrates; the latter are officers in the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) who fight cases on behalf of the government. The attorney-general (AG) is its head. He advises the government – the prime minister (PM), ministers, and government ministries and departments.

The commission is made up of heads of the judicial services as well as the AG. Its functions cover appointments, promotions, and transfers of members of both the judicial and legal services.

The CJ’s proposal means that the AG will not be part of a future separated Judicial Commission. This is significant. Under the present system the AG and its officers often appear before magistrates and judges who are far junior to them. A magistrate may be transferred to the AG’s Chambers. This could well affect the mind of the magistrate when deciding a case against officers from the AG’s Chambers. Read more

She is a he – even on paper

Source: The Star Online

A new chapter: Transgender activists celebrating outside the Court of Appeal in Putrajaya on Nov 7, 2014, when three Malaysian transgender women won a landmark bid to overturn an Islamic anti-crossdressing law. — AFP

A new chapter: Transgender activists celebrating outside the Court of Appeal in Putrajaya on Nov 7, 2014, when three Malaysian transgender women won a landmark bid to overturn an Islamic anti-crossdressing law. — AFP

REMEMBER that time your parents made you wear a shirt or dress to a function and you were uncomfortable the entire time – maybe it was scratchy or it was the wrong size or it was out of fashion.

Whatever it was, when you came home, you peeled that “outer skin” off.

Now, imagine living inside a female body 24/7 when you feel like a male or vice versa and not being able to peel your skin off.

Science has advanced so much one can reassign one’s gender surgically but the Legislature and Courts in many countries still refuse to let a person who has had a sex-change change his/her name/sex on a piece of paper if his/her chromosome was the same as at birth.

The High Courts in Malaysia have been unsettled on whether to recognise gender reassignment on an applicant’s birth certificate or MyKad the last 15 years, there are more decisions “against” than “for”.

In 2013, the Court of Appeal’s decision re Kristie Chan ruled in favour of “against” and it seemed to settle the law.

However, XYZ , who was represented by counsel William Lim and Muhammad Izzat Md Jonid, had a stab at it and on July 18, the Kuala Lumpur High Court scored one for the trans community.

XYZ, who was born a female, obtained a declaration that he was now a man. Read more

Still on Tier Two until we step it up

Source: The Star Online

IN her 15 years as Assistant United States Attorney in Georgia, Susan Coppedge prosecuted more than 45 human traffickers in federal cases involving transnational and domestic sex trafficking of adults and children, and labour trafficking. The prosecutions assisted more than 90 victims of trafficking.

It seemed only fitting that she was appointed Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons to lead the US’ global engagement against human trafficking in 2015. Freeing victims, preventing trafficking, and bringing traffickers to justice are the ultimate goals of the US government’s anti-human trafficking policy and its annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report.

“Coming on board the Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP office), the non-criminalisation of victims was very important to me. I’ve talked about that with every government I have travelled to meet with,” says Ambassador Coppedge who was in Malaysia recently to speak to our government officials about increasing efforts to combat human trafficking in the region.

She adds, labour trafficking is another issue she has been working hard to highlight around the world as “it is sometimes harder to find than sex trafficking cases and harder for law enforcement and judges to understand.”

In the recent 2016 TIP Report – which looks at the governmental efforts of 188 countries to confront and eliminate human trafficking – Malaysia remained in the Tier Two Watchlist. In her interview with Sunday Star, Ambassador Coppedge talks about how Malaysia can increase its efforts to curb human trafficking in the country while taking the victims’ experience into consideration. Read more

Perak police denies abusing two brothers

Source: The Malay Mail Online

IPOH, Aug 21 — The Perak police denied the news reports that two brothers who were detained in April to assist in an investigation were being abused while being remanded at the Ipoh district police headquarters.

The State Police Chief Datuk Seri Abdul Rahim Hanafi said the two brothers, N.Letchumanan, 19, and N.Vikram, 17, were remanded on April 20 for six days under Section 307 of the Penal Code for attempted murder.

Abdul Rahim explained they both were re-arrested on April 26 for investigation on the offense of rioting under the Section 148 of the Penal Code.

“On May 22, the two suspects who are members of the ‘Kongsi Gelap 36’ were again detained under Section 3(1) Prevention of Crime Act (Poca) 1959 for being involved in violent crime and were remanded for 60 days for investigations,” he said in a statement here tonight. Read more