In praise of Malaysian lawers

Former chief justice Tun Zaki Azmi said “like it or not, it is the duty of lawyers to uphold justice”.

“As a practising lawyer, you have to distinguish between your personal or public emotions and politics,” he said. “You cannot assume the accused is guilty and should not get a fair defence.”

Zaki said lawyers had always been the first to say that a person is presumed innocent unless proven otherwise.

He questioned why the lawyers were acting the way they were.

Malaysian Bar Council president Lim Chee Wee was surprised that the accused rapists were unable to obtain legal representation despite an “independent and strong Bar in a modern democracy such as India”.

“Assuming the same ethical standards apply, a lawyer is obliged to act unless he is embarrassed, in a position of conflict or does not possess the necessary skills or relevant experience,” he said.

“A lawyer must never be equated, identified or associated with his or her client’s cause.”

Asked if the decision could have been made due to fear of reprisals, Lim said lawyers must never be intimidated.

“We are the last frontier of justice and everyone needs legal representation to ensure due process is satisfied,” he said.

Damn right matey, damn right.

To the point that I\’ve still got troubles with the Nuremburg trials, based as they were on retrospective law.

9 comments on “In praise of Malaysian lawers

  1. The irony of this coming from Malaysia – which is hardly know for its fair handed approach to cases like Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy trials – is a bit rich.

    But it does high light the decline of India from the standards left by the British. Notice they flew this poor woman to a hospital in Singapore. That is a shameful admission that no Indian hospital was up to it. Now they are being lectured on the rule of law by UMNO stooges. How the mighty are fallen.

    In 1949 who would have predicted either?

  2. “The irony of this coming from Malaysia – which is hardly know for its fair handed approach to cases like Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy trials – is a bit rich.”

    To be fair, the Malaysian bar have been quite vocal on this and really are quite out spoken on these issues. Not always that effective, but they do seem be one of the ‘good guys’ in Malaysia. Quite a contrast to those in Singapore.

  3. Yes, Nuremburg was many things, justice it was not. The Germans were accused of stuff the Russians were still doing. And of course much of what the Germans had done was not illegal until after the event.
    Laws not necessarily followed in war either – poison gas/chemical weapons being illegal before WW1 and used many times in the 20th century.

    I’m guessing the accused in India will get killed in reprisal for the rape. Whether it is the right people may be more open to question, whether its justice is also going to be open to question at this rate.

  4. Well, yes, Nuremberg. In some countries it’s even a criminal offence to question that court’s decisions. Remarkable. Theoretically, in Germany it’s illegal to say “I think Speer was as guilty as heck and should have been hung too”.

  5. Capital punishment exists under the law, but is very rarely carried out in India. Only two people have been executed since 1995, only one of who was an ordinary criminal. (The other was one of the 2008 Mumbai terrorists). We will see what happens in this case. If a punishment is carried out because of the public notoriety of a case when it would not have been carried out with less publicity, I have a problem with that. We will see what happens, though.

  6. Martin Davies – “And of course much of what the Germans had done was not illegal until after the event.”

    I think pretty much everything the Nazis did, like murdering six million Jews, was kind of illegal at the time. Invading Poland may not have been a crime, but murder was.

    “Laws not necessarily followed in war either – poison gas/chemical weapons being illegal before WW1 and used many times in the 20th century.”

    And we ignore much of the laws of the sea and incinerated women and children in their homes. A good thing we won.

    “I’m guessing the accused in India will get killed in reprisal for the rape.”

    So I am. But the Indian system has become so badly it hardly matters. Everyone must know there is zero chance of them ever being hanged for any crime at all.

  7. “Like it or not, it is the duty of lawyers to uphold justice”. No it’s not. It’s the duty of lawyers to uphold the law.

  8. Pingback: A Link to the Past 12/1/2013 « In Defence of Liberty

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