Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Appointment of Judges


Posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at www.chedet.com on May 1, 2008 1:27 AM

1. The Prime Minister has announced that judges would be chosen by a Commission specially set up for this purpose.

2. No details have been made public as to the way the Commission would work.

3. Would the Commission actually appoint the judges or would it only recommend the names for the PM to approve or would the Commission recommend directly to the Agong for him to exercise his prerogative? Or would the Agong require the approval of the Rulers Conference? Or would the Conference of Rulers be merely consulted as is done now? Or would they be able to reject the candidate, and ask for new candidates or name new candidates of their choice?

4. It would be interesting to know the full details of the procedures, above all with regard to the role of the PM.
5. The appointment of judges is provided for in the Constitution. If changes are to be made in any way, they must be considered as in breach of the Constitution.

6. To make the changes legal, the Constitution has to be changed.

7. As everyone knows changes in the Constitution can only be made if two-thirds of the members of Parliament in session agreed with the proposed changes.

8. The Government does not have the necessary two-thirds majority. By itself it will not be able to change the manner with which the judges are chosen. It can only do so if the opposition supports it by at least nine votes.

9. Is the Government proposing to work with the opposition on this issue, and so display its weakness? Will there be a quid pro quo, a bargain with the opposition? It would be interesting to see how the PM proposes to deal with this.