‘Judges must be courageous’
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