Hornbill Unleashed

August 4, 2017

Bar approves boycott of CJ and COA president in social events

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:01 AM

The Malaysian Bar has resolved to boycott Chief Justice Md Raus Sharif and Court of Appeal president Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin from their social functions.

Members of the Bar are also encouraged to decline social invitations from them.

This resolution is part of a motion that was proposed by the Bar and approved by a “resounding majority” in its extraordinary general meeting in Kuala Lumpur today.

“The Bar resolved that as a sign of protest we will decline social invitations from the judiciary and similarly we will not extend our invitations to them in respect of our social functions.

“But that, let me make it very clear, does not mean that we do not engage with the judiciary.

“We will still continue to engage with the judiciary in respect of all official matters,” Bar president George Varughese said in a press conference after the EGM today.

The Bar convened for the EGM today to address what it described as the “blatantly unconstitutional” appointment of Md Raus and Zulkefli as additional judges.

“There is nothing personal against the persons itself,” Varughese said, stressing that they are merely protesting the appointments.

When asked whether they would be attending the Legal Year event, he said that is not a social event.

“I believe that is an official event in the legal calendar so that is something which the Bar in all likelihood will still participate in.

“Unless the Bar Council is subsequently asked not to do so, we will still continue to attend all official functions,” he said.

The motion, as submitted by Varughese, is to “uphold the supremacy of the federal constitution and defending the independence and integrity of the judiciary”.

He said that out of the 993 members who attended the EGM today, only less than 10 members abstained or voted against the motion.

The EGM required a quorum of 500 members. There is currently over 16,000 members of the Bar.

This resolution regarding the boycott of social events involving the CJ and COA president is the sixth out of eight resolutions contained within the approved motion.

This particular resolution stated that “so long as they remain in office as Chief Justice and President of the Court of Appeal after they attain 66 years and six months, Md Raus and Zulkefli shall not be invited to any social function of the Malaysian Bar or Bar Council, and members of the Bar are encouraged to decline social invitations from them, or inviting them”.

In the motion, Varughese cited Article 125(1) of the constitution which stipulates that “a judge of the federal court shall hold office until he attains the age of 66 years or such later time, not being later than six months after he attains that age, as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may approve”.

“There is no provision in the federal constitution, and it is thus unconstitutional, for a serving chief justice or a serving president of the Court of Appeal to continue to hold the positions of chief justice and president of the Court of Appeal beyond the prescribed age limit of 66 years and six months,” the motion read.

Aside from this resolution on social events, the Bar also resolves that the appointment of Md Raus and Zulkefli as additional judges, and to continue the hold the position of chief justice and president of the Court of Appeal respectively, beyond the age limit of 66 years and six months to be unconstitutional, null and void.

Varughese also said that the Bar intends to file a legal challenge against Md Raus and Zulkefli’s appointment and that it has resolved to urge the Chief Judge of Malaya Ahmad Maarop to advise the Agong to appoint retired judges as additional judges specifically to preside this challenge.

Source : Malaysiakini by Geraldine Tong



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