Sunday, 31 July 2016

Chief Justice calls for separation of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission, it was a conflict of interest for the AG to have influence over the Subordinate Courts.

Saturday, 30 July 2016 | MYT 5:43 PM
CJ calls for separation of Judicial and Legal Service Commission

KUALA LUMPUR: The Chief Justice called for separation of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission, saying it was a conflict of interest for the Attorney General to have influence over the Subordinate Courts.

The Attorney-General was currently on the panel of the Commision which oversaw the Subordinate Courts that consisted of Sessions Courts judges and magistrates, plus the legal service which includes Deputy Public Prosecutors and Senior Federal Council.

Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria (pic) suggested instead the Chief Registrar should lead the judical services while the Attorney General lead the legal services.

He called it a "conflict of interest" to have the AG lead both, as the AG was under the executive, while judicial officers were under the judiciary.

The three pillars of Government - the legislative, executive and judiciary - are required to be separated to ensure each one's independence.

"If the AG continues to lead both services, I worry it would create a negative perception of the judiciary's independence; an opinion many parties share," said Arifin in a speech at the Judicial Officers Conference here.

During a press conference after, he told reporters that people that disagreed with a judgement might say the magistrates were toeing the line with the AG's chambers as they were effectively the same body.

"Imagine if a senior officer from the AGC or even the AG himself was prosecuting. Lagi menggeletar (they'll be even more nervous)," he said.

Chief Registrar Datin Latifah Mohd Tahar told reporters the papers had been handed to the Commission and might be decided on within the year.

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