Lawyers: Slippery slope if NRD can openly defy court decision

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, July 31 — Any government agency’s refusal to abide by legal court rulings would damage the rule of law, said lawyers.

Judgment says the NRD director-general had overstepped his powers in relying on a 1981 fatwa. Pic drawn from FMT News.

The legal practitioners all disapproved of the National Registration Department’s (NRD) rebuff of a decision allowing illegitimate Muslim children to bear their biological fathers’ names, saying this was blatantly contemptuous of the Court of Appeal.

Short of securing a stay of the ruling, they insist the agency must observe the appellate court’s decision despite contesting the outcome.

“The NRD’s decision to disregard the decision of the CoA is illegal and in contempt. There is no justifiable excuse as to why the decision of the CoA is not immediately adhered to,” Datuk Geethan Ram Vincent told Malay Mail Online when contacted. Read more

AICHR to hold programme on human rights law on March 13-15

Source: The Sun Daily

aichr-300x236PUTRAJAYA: The Asean Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) will organise a judicial colloquium on the sharing of good practices regarding international human rights law in Kuala Lumpur from March 13 to 15.

The Foreign Ministry, in a statement, today said the three-day programme would involve panel discussions and working group sessions on, among others, the role of the judiciary in the promotion and protection of human rights and effective access to justice and remedies in the context of the Sustainable Development Goal 16.

The colloquium will also discuss the challenges and opportunities in the application of the rule of law and human rights and the future of judicial cooperation in human rights protection in Asean. Read more

Constitutionalism and rule of law — Shad Saleem Faruqi

Source: The Star Online

BY SHAD SALEEM FARUQI

Shad Saleem Faruqi - file pic

Shad Saleem Faruqi – file pic

Rights without remedies are like lights that do not shine and fires that do not glow

THIS year will be the sixtieth anniversary of our Federal Constitution. It is appropriate, therefore, to ask whether our Constitution has become the chart and compass and sail and anchor of our endeavours, or whether its supremacy is a legal myth.

At the very outset it needs to be noted that constitutionalism is not like a lamp you can switch on. Constitutionalism takes decades to develop roots. Much depends on the nature of the society the Constitution seeks to regulate and transform, the extent of the changes sought to be wrought and the existentialist realities on the ground.
Read more

Public Forum on Rule of Law and Police Accountability

The Bar Council is renewing its call to the Malaysian Government to establish an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (“IPCMC”), as was recommended by the Royal Commission to Enhance the Operation and Management of the Royal Malaysia Police in its report published in May 2005.

This talk entitled “Rule of Law and Police Accountability”, organised by the Bar Council Task Force on IPCMC, will feature Steven Perian, QC, a Malaysian barrister based in the the UK. More information about the speaker can be gleaned from the accompanying flyer-cum-registration form.

Details of this public forum as follows:

Date: Tuesday, 6 December 2016
Time: 6.00pm to 8.00pm
Venue: Raja Aziz Addruse Auditorium, Straits Trading Building, Unit 2-02A, 2nd Floor, 2 Leboh Pasar Besar, 50050 Kuala Lumpur
Programme: please refer to accompanying flyer-cum-registration form

Admission is free but advance registration is required. Please respond to the organiser using the accompanying flyer-cum-registration form, or register online.

bc-publicforum-ruleoflaw-dec2016

Political Intimidation of the Malaysian Bar Has No Place under the Rule of Law — Malaysian Bar

Source: Malaysian Bar

Logo-majlis-peguam-malaysia-malaysian-bar-councilPress Release

Political Intimidation of the Malaysian Bar Has No Place under the Rule of Law

The Malaysian Bar is outraged by statements reportedly made on 23 and 24 October 2016 by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan (“Minister”), that the Government is looking at blacklisting companies that support the pro-democracy movement BERSIH.[1]

The Minister is further reported to have said that “[w]e will also (blacklist) the law firms [who have contracts with government-linked companies, who support BERSIH].… I urge government-linked companies not to directly engage the services of these law firms”, and that the Government “would also look at lawyers who are involved in the movement”.[2]

The comments attributed to the Minister are shocking, and are a manifestation of a further decline in the level of understanding of the rule of law.  To advocate that law firms and Members of the Bar be punished for professing and practising the principle of the independence of the legal profession is to hold the legal profession to ransom and to blatantly disregard the rule of law.

The action proposed by the Minister is clearly unconstitutional, as it reeks of prejudice and would contravene the protection against discrimination set out in Article 8 of the Federal Constitution.  In addition, Article 5 protects the right to life, which includes the right to a livelihood.  Any attempt to victimise lawyers or law firms would impinge upon this fundamental right.  Read more

STATEMENT: Dire Need for Institutional Reforms to Uphold the Rule of Law and for Effective Checks and Balances

STATEMENT DATED 18 APRIL 2016

DIRE NEED FOR INSTITUTIONAL REFORMS
TO UPHOLD THE RULE OF LAW AND FOR
EFFECTIVE CHECKS AND BALANCES

1. HAKAM is gravely concerned with the seemingly increasing disregard for the fundamentals of democracy by the Federal Government and key institutions of the nation.

2. That the situation is critical is evident given the increasingly strident and combative tone that the Government and institutions have adopted in dealing with, and rejecting, widespread criticism over the manner in which matters of national importance and public interest have been dealt with. Without intending to define or limit the nature of these matters, HAKAM views with concern the manner in which the following matters have, or have not, been addressed:

2.1 Race relations and increasingly contentious and divisive ethno-religious issues. The direct impact on the social and economic environment can no longer be ignored. It is no coincidence that an increasing number of Malaysians are looking for more fulfilling lives elsewhere;

2.2 The administration of justice. It is no longer possible to brush aside the obvious signs of a significant loss of public confidence in institutions involved in this vital aspect of the democratic framework of this nation. Internationally recognised indexes conclusively show that Malaysia is no longer perceived as a country that upholds the Rule of Law. The efficacy of these public institutions is made possible only by the fact that stakeholders continue to have confidence in them;

2.3 Free and fair elections. This needs no explanation; and

2.4 Corruption and illicit capital out-flow. This has hurt and continues to hurt all Malaysians, irrespective of race, religion and background.

3. The dismissiveness of the Government and its reliance on a legal framework that it has harnessed to suppress legitimate dissent on matters that affect all Malaysians, regardless of their backgrounds and political leanings, clearly point to the interest of the nation having been made subservient to political interests. Read more

STATEMENT: Dire Need for Institutional Reforms to Uphold the Rule of Law and for Effective Checks and Balances

pdfSTATEMENT DATED 18 APRIL 2016

DIRE NEED FOR INSTITUTIONAL REFORMS
TO UPHOLD THE RULE OF LAW AND FOR
EFFECTIVE CHECKS AND BALANCES

 

1. HAKAM is gravely concerned with the seemingly increasing disregard for the fundamentals of democracy by the Federal Government and key institutions of the nation.

2. That the situation is critical is evident given the increasingly strident and combative tone that the Government and institutions have adopted in dealing with, and rejecting, widespread criticism over the manner in which matters of national importance and public interest have been dealt with. Without intending to define or limit the nature of these matters, HAKAM views with concern the manner in which the following matters have, or have not, been addressed:

2.1 Race relations and increasingly contentious and divisive ethno-religious issues. The direct impact on the social and economic environment can no longer be ignored. It is no coincidence that an increasing number of Malaysians are looking for more fulfilling lives elsewhere;

2.2 The administration of justice. It is no longer possible to brush aside the obvious signs of a significant loss of public confidence in institutions involved in this vital aspect of the democratic framework of this nation. Internationally recognised indexes conclusively show that Malaysia is no longer perceived as a country that upholds the Rule of Law. The efficacy of these public institutions is made possible only by the fact that stakeholders continue to have confidence in them;

2.3 Free and fair elections. This needs no explanation; and

2.4 Corruption and illicit capital out-flow. This has hurt and continues to hurt all Malaysians, irrespective of race, religion and background.

3. The dismissiveness of the Government and its reliance on a legal framework that it has harnessed to suppress legitimate dissent on matters that affect all Malaysians, regardless of their backgrounds and political leanings, clearly point to the interest of the nation having been made subservient to political interests. Read more

Najib’s RM2.6 billion donation is clearly corruption, forum told

Source: The Malaysian Insider

At least two present laws presume it a corruption for any public official to receive money in his personal accounts, panellists say at a forum in Petaling Jaya last night. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Kamal Ariffin, February 18, 2016.

At least two present laws presume it a corruption for any public official to receive money in his personal accounts, panellists say at a forum in Petaling Jaya last night. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Kamal Ariffin, February 18, 2016.

There is a clear cut case of corruption when Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak received the RM2.6 billion donation, as public officials are not supposed to receive gratuity, a forum was told last night.

Under at least two present laws, a public official who receives money in his personal accounts is presumed to have received it for corrupt purposes, said two prominent lawyers Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan and Hanipa Maidin.

In Najib’s case, the Umno president did not voluntarily declare the RM2.6 billion when it was put into his personal accounts in March 2013, more than a month before the 13th general election, said Hanipa, who is also Sepang MP. Read more

Twin Mega-Scandals – The End to Rule of Law?

“Twin Mega-Scandals – The End to Rule of Law?”
Date/Time: 17/2/16 (Wed) 8pm
Dewan Sivik MBPJ, Jalan Yong Shook Lin, PJ

As we celebrate Chinese New Year, Malaysia remains helplessly paralysed from the 1MDB and RM2.6 billion scandals.

Malaysians can find no closure because the country’s laws and institutions, founded to protect us, have been abused to protect those in power. Have the culprits gotten away scot free? Are we at the end of the road? Or will Malaysians be able to redeem ourselves?

The speakers include Lim Kit Siang, Rafizi Ramli, Hanipa Maidin, Ambiga Sreenevasan, Tony Pua, Gobind Singh and Cynthia Gabriel. Admission is free, so please “SHARE”!

Let Malaysians show those in power that all is not forgotten, our resolve remains stronger than ever to remove the corrupt from destroying this country.

 

Forum report: Najib’s RM2.6 billion donation is clearly corruption, forum told [18 Feb 2016]