Friday, November 02, 2007
posted by PabloPabla at 12:04 pm

Frankly, what's new? The Chief Justice, Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim, retired yesterday having reached his retirement age of 66. With no immediate replacement, the current Court of Appeal President Datuk Abdul Hamid Mohamad was made Acting Chief Justice until such time that a new Chief Justice is formally appointed. With all the publicity surrounding the immediate vacancy of the top judge post in this country, the public could be forgiven to think that this is the only vacancy in the whole judiciary at the moment. How wrong they are.

Ask any lawyer and they will tell you that there are vacancies across the board with some courts having no magistrate or judge for months. Don't believe me? Just take a look at the following Leave Schedule for lower courts in KL displayed on the KL Bar's website as of todate which shows vacancies at the Sessions Criminal No. 9, Sessions Civil No. 3, 5 and 10 and Magistrate Traffic No. 2 courts.

In Melaka, there are 2 High Courts sitting but there is only one Judge available for the past couple of months. Cases get postponed because there is no one available to hear them. Why was there a vacancy in Melaka? Well, the ex-High Court judge was transferred to KL and has since been promoted to a Court of Appeal judge. And yet, there has been no replacement. Litigants are left in the lurch. Due to the increasing number of cases which could not be heard due to the non-availability of a judge, cases are postponed.

In Kuantan, where there are 2 sessions court sitting, one has been designated to hear criminal cases whilst the other, civil cases. I was supposed to handle a trial in Kuantan yesterday but was informed that it would be postponed because my case was filed in the year 2005. The court is currently busy disposing pre-2004 cases. And so, if at all lucky, my case will be heard sometime end of 2008.

So, if you think it is just a problem with filling up the top judge post, you've been hoodwinked. The state of affairs in the judiciary as far as the availability of magistrates and judges to dispose cases is far worse and more urgent as there are hundreds, if not thousands of litigants left waiting.



At 8:19 pm, Blogger Wuching

when are you going to be a judge?


At 4:56 pm, Blogger pablopabla

wuching : I wouldn't want to lump myself with a group of people whom the public has lost confidence in its impartiality.