Give fair hearing to all quarters, urges Chief Justice

Raus Sharif said more women judges had been promoted on merit and one day all top positions may be held by them.

PUTRAJAYA: Judges must give a fair hearing to all quarters involved in court cases although they have a targeted period to resolve any particular case, said Chief Justice Raus Sharif.

He said judges must always be patient and prepared to give an opportunity to all quarters to submit their statements and debate their cases.

“Don’t deny their rights to submit statements and we should also not deny the counsel or the deputy public prosecutors and lawyers from the Attorney-General’s Department from presenting their cases,” said Raus in his speech at the oath taking and swearing-in of Federal Court judges, Court of Appeal judges and High Court judges.

He said the judges must also be very patient in hearing court cases with an open mind and without prejudice to any group.

“According to Socrates, a Greek philosopher, there are four judgment qualities that a judge should have, namely to hear courteously, to answer wisely, to consider soberly and to decide impartially,” said Raus.

“I have great hopes that all judges in the country have and will improve their basic judgment qualities. This is crucial in the efforts of the judiciary to seek a positive public perception of the judges,” he said.

In his speech, Raus also urged that the judges always endeavour to raise the quality of their written grounds of judgment so that public confidence in the judiciary could be maintained and strengthened.

He said it was very important that judgments of the judges achieved a high quality because they were not only read in Malaysia but the whole world following the launch of an online portal, which included the grounds of court judgment, recently.

Earlier, Raus said the number of women judges in the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court had been increased to five women judges out of the 16 Federal Court judges and 12 women judges out of the 25 Court of Appeal judges following the appointments today.

He said the appointment and promotion of the women judges was not to fill up any quota but was instead based on their merit and performance.

“If this trend continues, I can imagine that in the very near future, one of the four top posts in the Malaysian judiciary would be held by a woman. In fact, it is not impossible that all the four positions would be filled by women judges,” said Raus.

At the ceremony, 14 judges took their oath of appointment and loyalty after they were appointed and promoted as Federal Court, Court of Appeal and High Court judges.

Three Court of Appeal judges who were appointed as Federal Court judges were David Wong Dak Wah, 64, Rohana Yusuf, 61 and Mohd Zawawi Salleh, 62.

Meanwhile, High Court judges Stephen Chung Hian Guan, 64, Hanipah Farikullah, 58 and Kamaludin Md Said, 59, were promoted as Court of Appeal judges.

Eight judicial commissioners were confirmed as High Court judges namely SM Komathy, 59, Ab Karim Ab Rahman, 61, Wong Kian Kheong, 54, Choo Kah Sing, 50, Ahmad Bache, 59, Mohd Firuz Jaffril, 49, Mairin Idang @ Martin, 63 and Alwi Abdul Wahab, 51.