Monday, 8 February 2010

Tolling of the (Political) Bell

So who will the judiciary decide as Perak Menteri Besar tomorrow?

Will it be the current MB, who gained the seat through the help of three crossing-over State Assemblyman (and woman, of course), or the former, who represented the voted in faction pre-crossover?

The jaded amongst us will probably laugh and pity the naivety in the very premise of the question above, but I sincerely believe that we have to continue having some faith in the system.

Without this system, anarchy rules even though it disguises itself as something resembling peace and order.

Isn’t it?

Central to this is the issue that is the sanctity of the law, the very arbiter of fairness to everyone regardless.

Judges – from the Magistrates to the Registrars right up to the Justices and Judges – judge based solely on the available legal provisions, rightly or wrongly.

They may cite their legal opinions on the morality of provisions, but they cannot go against the law.

During my school of law days, I would usually read the dissenting judgment in much more greater detail.

Put this to the vanity / pomposity / pride of going against the established set; very youthful in essence.

One of those judges who somehow seem to love to dissent was the late Lord Denning (1899 – 1999), but he was also someone whose judgment is readable and not like some olden day scripture or something.

(According to Wiki, Lord Denning fell behind Lord Keith in terms of dissenting judgment while at the House of Lords. Okay… I didn’t know that when I was gobbling up the words of the latter’s written judgments.)

Dissenting judgments are fun to read because they tended to outline the other side of the argument, and most of the time, it is often done because the judge thinks that unfairness has occurred and that the law should be interpreted another way to correct this.

That notwithstanding, dissenting judgments still operate within their legal boundaries of the law.

Peripheral perhaps, and most probably the case, but still confined within what is provided by the law.

Which is why judgments and decisions that provide little in legal reasoning will bound to raise questions.

Of biasness. Of impartiality. Of unfairness.

Put it in black and white – even those judgment without a single dissenting panel – and the fairness equation is back on as the aggrieved will know exactly why.

It should never be just: Appeal dismissed with cost. FULLSTOP.

So, to whom shall the bell of (political) justice toll? Nizar? Zambry?

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