Sunday September 6, 2009Yes, currently, we may have faith and confidence in the current Chief Justice Tan Sri Zaki, who we all know is a learned man, having had no experience as a judge and yet was appointed directly as Federal Court judge in September 2007 and given a quintuple jump as Chief Justice in a matter of 13 months, and who in spite of having been a former UMNO Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Pemilihan and a former Disciplinary Committee Chairman, is a fair man and will not be involved in any UMNO-type cases.
Judges ordered out
KUALA LUMPUR: Two judges to go, two court staff members sacked and some demoted.
This is the disciplinary action taken so far as the Chief Justice sets new standards to weed out the “grossly inefficient”.
Justice Tun Zaki Azmi is sending out a strong message to the judges and court staff - shape up or ship out.
He has been monitoring their performance since he became the head of the judiciary last year.
Zaki confirmed, in an interview, that two High Court judges had been asked to leave the judiciary on their own accord.
A good man.
One whose years in the private sector exposed him to the shortcomings of the courts and now being in a position to make things right, has done so.
For example, when he was the president of the Court of Appeal, in a matter of two and a half months, he sorted out 50,000 files (volumes) and reduced the number of clerks assigned to handle the files from 13 to only two.
A man willing to make changes.
So, maybe his decision to encourage two "grossly inefficient" judges to retire should be lauded and supported by us. Rid the deadwood! Retire them early.
what if we had a corrupt Chief Justice?
Just because Tan Sri Zaki is a man of integrity does not necesarily mean that his successor would be one too.
what if we had a corrupt judge who was beholden to his masters who raised him up from nowhere to become CJ?
what if this corrupt CJ wanted to send a signal to all the judges that they are to toe the line? to toe HIS line?
what if this corrupt CJ tells the other judge, watch me in action, and know that this could happen to you too
Art Harun, who is a lawyer, blogged about this too here.
Judges are well protected under the law. And it is not any insignificant law at that. They are protected by no less than our Federal Constitution. Under Article 127 for instance, the conduct of a Judge cannot even be discussed by Parliament without a notice of a substantive motion being given by not less than a quarter of the total number of Parliamentarians. Also, a Judge cannot be dismissed except by His Majesty the King upon a recommendation by a tribunal established under Article 125.Yes, Tan Sri Zaki is correct. The judiciary needs to be revamped.
Such is the protection accorded to Judges. This is necessary in order to prevent the Executives (the Government) from interfering with the Judiciary by asserting powers of dismissal or transfer at its own whims and fancies. Nevertheless, with compliant cohorts, 1988 has proven that despite such protection, the system could still be breached!
It is therefore imperative that any decision to remove any Judges, whether by reasons of misbehaviour or wrongdoings, must be done, and ONLY be done, in accordance with the procedure enshrined in the Federal Constitution. It does not speak volume for us to say that the procedure would be too expensive, time consuming or cumbersome. It is there for a reason.
But the procedures are stated out in the Federal Constitution.
We may today have this wise, intelligent and full of integrity Tan Sri Zaki making this decision to clean it up, but it may set a precedent for a crooked greedy corrupt CJ to invoke in the future.