‘Judges must be coura­geous’

New Straits Times - - News -

KUALA LUMPUR: Sul­tan of Perak Sul­tan Nazrin Muiz­zud­din Shah has called on Fed­eral Court and Court of Ap­peal judges to write dis­sent­ing judg­ments if they dis­agree with the ma­jor­ity of the bench.

He said judges should speak dis­sent where nec­es­sary.

“Some judges may hold strong le­gal and moral con­vic­tions, yet fail to share their con­cerns in their judg­ments. Some­times, they re­main silent in def­er­ence to the judg­ments of oth­ers; out of con­cern that their com­ments may be dis­missed or what they have to say might be con­sid­ered unim­por­tant.”

Sul­tan Nazrin said, how­ever, the bench and ju­di­cial de­ci­sion-mak­ing pro­cesses could eas­ily han­dle the ram­i­fi­ca­tions of a di­ver­gent opin­ion on any given is­sue.

“Some­times, the dis­sent­ing voice is trans­formed into law. A clas­sic case is that of Brown v Board of Ed­u­ca­tion 347 US 483 (1954) when the United States Supreme Court gave weight to the spirit of Jus­tic e Har­lan’s dis­sent­ing voice in Plessy v Fer­gu­son 163 US 537 (1896).

“As a result, then-chief jus­tice War­ren held that racial seg­re­ga­tion in pub­lic schools con­sti­tuted a vi­o­la­tion of the US con­sti­tu­tional guar­an­tee of equal­ity of rights,” he said in his spe­cial ad­dress at the launch of the book Jus­tice Above All, Se­lected Judg­ments of Tun Arifin Zakaria With Com­men­taries here yes­ter­day.

He said judges should be free to

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