BA MPs should consider substantive motion of censure against judges for inordinate delays in writing grounds of judgement or delivering judgment

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya, Friday): The proposal by Appeals Court judge Justice Datuk Shaikh Daud Ismail for a law compelling judges to write their grounds of judgment on time to stop delay in criminal appeals should be supported and extended to all cases.

Judges who fail to write judgments within three months should be regarded as having infringed the Judges’ Code of Conduct and open to disciplinary action.

The maxim “Justice delayed is justice denied” should extend to “Judgments delayed is justice denied”.

Former DAP MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Guan Eng, had been convicted of offences under the Sedition Act and Printing Presses and Publications Act, and had served his two consecutive 18-month sentences, disqualified as a Member of Parliament and deprived of his civil and political rights - but after 15 months, he is still waiting for the Federal Court to hand down the grounds of judgment as to why he should be jailed and disqualified as a Member of Parliament.

I hope the Chief Justice of the Federal Court Tun Mohd Eusoff Chin can take note as well as the necessary action to ensure that Guan Eng is not further denied justice without  the Federal Court’s grounds of judgment.

Another glaring case of “judgment delayed is justice denied” is the inordinate delay of  the Federal Court to  deliver judgment on the defamation suit of journalist  M.G.G. Pillai  when the appeal was heard more than two years ago.

If these two cases continue to be unresolved, Barisan Alternative MPs should seriously consider introducing a substantive motion of censure against the judiciary when Parliament reconvenes next month.

This will be an appropriate subject-matter to be discussed at the Round Table Conference on “Constitution, Parliament and Rule of Law” which would be declared open by former Lord President, Tun Mohamad Suffian at Hotel Crystal Crown, Petaling Jaya on Sunday, 23rd January 2000, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman