Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria said today that he was not satisfied with the quality of judgments delivered by certain High Court judges.
Nevertheless, said the nation’s top judge, courses had been designed for the judges concerned to improve their quality of judgment.
“The fact that we have these courses all the time, shows that we are not really 100 per cent satisfied, but the level has improved. The quality has improved as we go along,” he said.
He said he monitored the high court judgments that were appealed against at the Court of Appeal.
“We discuss with the Court of Appeal..what do you think about this judge..; very general and very detailed sometimes, then we design courses for this group of judges,” he said on whether he was satisfied with the High Courts’ judgments.
He was asked the question at a cordial press conference after the launch by Sultan of Perak, Sultan Nazrin Shah, of his book titled, “Justice Above All,
Selected Judgments of Tun Arifin Zakaria With Commentaries”, at a hotel here.
The chief justice who will be retiring at the end of this month said at least two judicial commissioners (JC) had not being confirmed as High Court judges due to their non-performance.
He said for a JC to be promoted, one of the criteria was to be able to write a good judgment.
Arifin who is also Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) chairman, said the performance of JCs was also scrutinised by the JAC.
He said Federal Court judgments were also scrutinised by panel members before being delivered.
“How we account for our decision is through our judgment. We must be very articulate in the judgment. We deal with the facts, with the law, how do you apply the law to the facts,” he said.
Meanwhile, he said Court of Appeal judges were given three months to complete their judgments once an appeal had been filed in the Federal Court.
The judges would have to inform the Court of Appeal President if they exceeded the time frame.
Tun Arifin, who has served 25 years on the bench said magistrates, Sessions Court and High Court judges were given eight weeks to complete their written grounds once an appeal had been filed in the superior courts.
However, he said, for complicated cases, High Court judges would be given more time, beyond the eight weeks, but they would be monitored through statistics, on the number of cases they exceeded the eight weeks in a month.
Before ending the press conference, he thanked the media for their support throughout his tenure as Chief Justice.
“I am very happy and thank you for your support; I always maintain that the judiciary should always engage the press, because the press is the medium to reach the public. That is very important,” he said.
The media also took the opportunity to take photographs with the outgoing chief justice who kindly obliged.
Source : @ Bernama