Pakatan backs calls to curb PM’s power to appoint, promote judges

Source: The Malaysian Insight

The Malaysian Insight

The current laws do not oblige the prime minister to give any reason if he rejected judges nominated by the Judicial Appointments Commission, which gives the perception that Malaysia’s judiciary lacks independence. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, December 12, 2017.

THE power of the prime minister to influence the appointment and promotion of judges is too strong and needs to be curbed to protect the independence of the judiciary, said Pakatan Harapan parties.

DAP said the matter should be included in its election manifesto.

PKR’s N. Surendran said the prime minister has the power to appoint judges as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong was required to act on the advice of the prime minister under the federal constitution.

“Article 122B as it stands, gives the power to appoint judges to the prime minister. This is because by virtue Article 40(1), the (Yang di-Pertuan) Agong is bound by the prime minister’s advice.” Read more

Ex-judge: Malanjum can assume top post only if CJ declines

Source: FMT News

PETALING JAYA: The current Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Richard Malanjum can only be elevated if Chief Justice Raus Sharif declines to remain in office from Aug 3, a retired judge said.

Gopal Sri Ram said the Judicial Appointments Commission could propose to the Conference of Rulersto then appoint Malanjum to the top judicial post.

“It is a simple process,” he said, adding that Court of Appeal president Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin could be acting chief justice until Sept 27 for Malanjum’s elevation to be finalised.

The other option, he said, was for the court to declare Raus’ appointment as unconstitutional, in which case a fresh appointment has to be made. Read more

Groups upset over lack of female appointments to JAC

Source: The Star Online

Datuk Kuthubul Zaman Bukhari - Pic from the Star.

Datuk Kuthubul Zaman Bukhari – Pic from the Star.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Prime Minister’s appointments to the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) fell short of the Government’s 30% quota for women, said several civil society groups.

The JAC comprises nine members: four are automatic – the Chief Justice, President of the Court of Appeal, Chief Judge of Malaya and Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak; and five are appointed by the Prime Minister – four eminent persons and one Federal Court judge.

The eminent persons and Federal Court Judge’s posts, which were vacant for 66 days, were filled on April 17 and all five were men.

The Society for the Promotion of Human Rights (Proham) chairman Datuk Kuthubul Zaman Bukhari said the body was concerned that there was not a single woman among the four eminent persons. Read more

AG, Bar associations yet to be consulted on new JAC appointments

Source: The Star Online

KUALA LUMPUR: The two-year term of the four eminent persons on the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) ends on Thursday but the Prime Minister has not consulted any of the three Bar associations or the Attorney General on their replacements.

Under the JAC Act 2009, the appointments are made “after consulting”  the Bar Council, the Sabah Law Association, Advocates Association of Sarawak, the Attorney General of the Federation, the Attorney General of a State legal service or any other relevant bodies.

According to the Act, eminent persons can serve for a maximum of two years and the current team, first appointed in 2013, are in their second term, ending Feb 9.

They are Tan Sri Haidar Mohd Noor, Tan Sri Sulong Matjeraie, Datuk Tee Ah Sing and Datuk T. Selventhiranathan.

This time, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak did not consult the Bars as he did previously.

The Star reported on Jan 21, 2013, that Najib had suggested six names for the four eminent persons post. Read more