PUTRAJAYA: Chief Justice Tan Sri Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat has expressed gratitude to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for supporting judicial freedom.
She said the Prime Minister had given the nod for promotion of judges, as proposed by the Judicial Appointment Commission (JAC).
“In accepting the JAC’s proposal, the Prime Minister has supported and respected the freedom of judiciary as stipulated under Section 2 of the JAC Act 2009,” she said.
Tengku Maimun said this during the elevation of nine judges at the Palace of Justice here on Thursday (Dec 5).
In accordance with the Act, the JAC proposed the names of suitably qualified persons to be appointed as judges in higher courts for the Prime Minister’s consideration.
She said the JAC had observed the selection procedure, in accordance with Section 22 and Section 23 of the JAC Act 2009.
According to Section 23, a judge would not be eligible for elevation, if there were three or more judgments pending, or there was a delay of more than 60 days in submitting written grounds of judgment, among others.
“I would like to inform that according to the selection procedure stipulated under section 13(6) of the JAC Act, every member of the commission has a right to one confidential vote.
“The Chief Justice or member of the Commission presiding the meeting could only make the deciding vote, if there are equal number of votes.
“Therefore, the decisions on elevations are made collectively based on confidential votes,” she said.
She also called on judges to uphold the principles of separation of power, judicial freedom, and the supremacy of the law.
“As judges, we are constantly exposed to baseless criticism.
“But as Lord Dyson had said what is not fair or reasonable is to impugn the motives of judges, or ascribe them to prejudices,” she said.
She also called on judges to abide by both procedural and substantive laws and mind the grounds of judgment, as justice should not only be done, but it should manifestly and undoubtedly be
seen to be done.
“The public conforms to the decisions of the judiciary because they respect the concept of judicial power and the judges who exercise such power.
“Therefore, the trust and confidence of the people in the judicial system to deliver impartial justice comprises the very foundation of the judiciary,” she said.
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