Zainun Ali appointed member of UN’s judicial integrity network

Justice Zainun Ali is known for her courage and integrity. (Twitter pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: Federal Court judge Zainun Ali, 65, has been appointed to the Global Judicial Integrity Network of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

The UNODC said she would be one of 10 members of the new advisory board that will help to identify priority challenges and emerging topics in judicial integrity, and assist in addressing these challenges as they arise.

“The Global Judicial Integrity Network is an initiative of paramount importance in strengthening judicial integrity and preventing corruption in the justice system,” according to Dimitri Vlassis, chief of the UNODC Crime and Corruption Branch.

In a statement, Chief Justice Raus Sharif said: “This appointment is a fitting endorsement of our country and the Malaysian judiciary, in which the independence of the judges is indispensable to impartial justice under the law.”

Zainun was appointed judicial commissioner in August 1996 and named a Federal Court judge on April 4, 2012, becoming only the fifth female judge in the country to be accorded the honour.

She is known for her courage and integrity.

She was one of the judges on the apex court which ruled that a 1988 amendment to the Federal Constitution to check the powers of the judiciary was contrary to the basic structure of the supreme law of the land.

Reading the judgment, Zainun said the amendment undermined the principle of separation of powers and independence of the judiciary.

Zainun also sat on the Federal Court bench which voided the unilateral conversion of Hindu mother M Indira Gandhi’s three children to Islam by her ex-husband without her consent and without the children’s presence.

In the landmark ruling on Jan 29, the apex court ruled that the consent of both parents was needed to convert a minor, putting to rest years of anguish and tussles over unilateral conversion of children.