Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Council to streamline court sentences? Jangan marahkan nyamuk kelambu dibakar!

Recently there have been a few decisions meted out by the Malaysian Courts on Statutory Rapes that have caused much concern by the Malaysian public read here and here.

The Gomen which is on overdrive listening mode at some grouses of the Malaysian public is looking to form a council to streamline court sentences, read here.

I think forming a council to oversee a Judge's decision making  is akin to 'marahkan nyamuk  kelambu dibakar'. While I do not agree on some of the decisions made by our Judges, I do understand that our Learned Judges are independent and they do not make decisions on their whims and fancies, they make decision on the Law made available to them.

What does a Judge in a Court of Law do?

The judge presides over court proceedings from the "bench," which is usually an elevated platform. The judge has five basic tasks:
  • to preside over the proceedings and see that order is maintained;
  • to determine whether any of the evidence that the parties want to use is illegal or improper;
  • in jury trials, to give the jury instructions about the law that applies to the case and the standards it must use in deciding the case before it begins its deliberations about the facts in the case;
  • in "bench" trials (cases tried before the judge, without a jury), to determine the facts and decide the case; and
  • to sentence convicted criminal defendants.

This here is part of our constitution:
Source here
I think there are enough safeguards to ensure fair sentencing/decision making as there are procedures to appeal a Judge's decision from the Magistrate Court - Session Court - High Court - Appeals Court right up to the Federal Court. 

A Council to streamline sentencing is just so wrong and out of place in a Parliamentary Democracy consisting of the Executive, Legislative and the Judiciary...All must be independent.

Let the Judges continue to do the sentencing as they see fit based on the Laws available to them.

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