Wednesday, May 31, 2006


CJ Tun Ahmad Fairuz Abdul Halim speaking to newsmen
Is three Judges better than one? This question is begging for an answer.

The Chief Justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz speaking to reporters after launching a “2-day Seminar on Combating Corruption in the Criminal Justice System” conducted by ACA” said the move will help reduced the chances of bribery as against one judge handling a trial and making a decision.
He cited the example of Indonesia where the high court has three judges hearing a case.
He stated “It will be good….it takes three heads to get together to do corruption and it will be a very expensive thing to bribe all the three judges.”
He acknowledged he had received a few complaints (via letters only) against some judges and hope that the ACA (Anti Corruption Agency) will get very reliable evidence on those judges.

If we look at the 2005 Transparency International - (CPI) Corruption Perceptions Index, the annual survey by the Berlin-based organization Transparency International, Iceland is perceived to be the world's least corrupt country, and Bangladesh and Chad are perceived to be the most corrupt.
The index defines corruption as the abuse of public office for private gain, and measures the degree to which corruption is perceived to exist among a country's public officials and politicians. It is a composite index, drawing on 16 surveys from 10 independent institutions, which gathered the opinions of businesspeople and country analysts.

Malaysia is currently place on the 39 spot and Indonesia way down at 140 with a CPI of 2.2. Of all the countries we have to look to Indonesia. So what would be the possible conclusion with more than one judge sitting in a trial - it would be MORE EXPENSIVE to get away with murder, rape etc. and MORE EXPENSIVE in seeing justice is done.
In the first place if the right caliber of judges is elevated, ONE JUDGE is MORE THAN ENOUGH and it would save so much in terms of cost.

See today's NST report below

From NST 31 May 2006

Justice for sale: Are some judges corrupt?
Koh Lay Chin and Azira Shaharuddin
KUALA LUMPUR: He has heard the whispers, has read the poison-pen letters, and is even willing to let the Anti-Corruption Agency to come up with some dirt.

But so far there is no evidence to back innuendoes and talk that any of his fellow judges are corrupt, said Chief Justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim yesterday.
His comments will certainly spark a fresh debate on an issue that has dogged the legal fraternity for years.
Speaking to reporters after opening a seminar on combating corruption in the criminal justice system, Ahmad Fairuz said he had not received any official complaint on corrupt judges but received several poison-pen letters on the issue.
"We have sent letters to the ACA and we did conduct our own investigations, but there was no credible evidence. The problem with corruption is that the corrupt cover their misdeeds very well," he said.
"Those judges who did it, they will feel it."
When asked how many complaints he had received, Ahmad Fairuz said he
had only a few.
"I have received only a few complaints against judges. Normally, a few can malign the whole judiciary, so I’m hoping the ACA will get very reliable evidence on these judges," he said, adding that he has been receiving complaints since his appointment as chief justice in March 2003.
He said even if only a few judges were corrupt, the entire system would be affected.
"If the judiciary is corrupt, the prosecutors will be frustrated, the defence will be frustrated and everyone will be frustrated. There will be no one to turn to. Only the judiciary can take care of the people.
"We cannot afford to have members of the judiciary who are corrupt and I think the ACA is looking into it."
Earlier in his speech, he said not much could be done on complaints made by letter writers who hide behind pseudonyms.
To accept such letters as representing the truth would really make a mockery of justice, he said.
"The careers of the subjects of those letters would suffer unjustly and unfairly. The only word I can use to describe such writers is ‘cowards’."
Ahmad Fairuz also proposed that more than one judge should preside
over trials to prevent corruption among judges.
"I’m not saying that the more judges (there are) on the bench there is no possibility of corruption.
"If they all conspire to be corrupt, then it will be very sad for the
He said it would help to reduce the chances of bribery, as against one judge handling a trial and making a decision.
"If corruption has to take place, it takes three heads to get together for corruption. It is very expensive to bribe all three judges."


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