‘Rule of law must reign supreme’

New Straits Times - - NEWS / NATION -

KUALA LUMPUR: Demo­cratic states must en­sure that the rule of law is em­bed­ded into their na­tions as this will help to main­tain or­der while un­der­pin­ning eco­nomic well­be­ing.

Former Eng­land and Wales Lord chief jus­tice Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd said many na­tions had ben­e­fited when they main­tained the in­de­pen­dence of its ju­di­ciary.

He said na­tions that en­sured that their ju­di­ciary func­tioned in­de­pen­dently from the ex­ec­u­tive had with­stood great tur­bu­lances in their his­tory.

He said this was pos­si­ble with sup­port from other na­tional in­sti­tu­tions, such as the leg­is­la­ture, pub­lic pros­e­cu­tion ser­vice, po­lice and in­tel­li­gence ser­vices, which helped to pro­tect and strengthen the rule of law.

“It is uni­ver­sally ac­cepted that each state should be sub­ject to the

rule of law; that the ex­ec­u­tive gov­ern­ment should be ruled by the law and sub­ject to it.

“The rule of law re­quires com­pli­ance with and im­ple­men­ta­tion of law made by a leg­is­la­ture within an ac­count­able demo­cratic process, le­gal cer­tainty, pro­hi­bi­tion of ar­bi­trari­ness and abuse of power, ac­cess to jus­tice be­fore in­de­pen­dent courts and equal­ity be­fore the law,” he said at the Chan­cel­lor Tuanku Muhriz Lec­ture ti­tled “Whither the Rule of Law” at Univer­siti Ke­bangsaan Malaysia in Bangi.

Thomas said he chose this ti­tle for a lec­ture as he be­lieved there was a mis­con­cep­tion among some mem­bers of so­ci­ety that the rule of law was be­com­ing less im­por­tant.

While ad­mit­ting that some seg­ments of so­ci­ety in the United King­dom had taken the rule of law for granted, he said ef­forts should be

made by gov­ern­ments to en­sure that the rule of law was em­braced by all seg­ments of so­ci­ety in the process of na­tion-build­ing.

The Chan­cel­lor Tuanku Muhriz Lec­ture Se­ries fea­ture lu­mi­nar­ies who share their knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ences in pub­lic af­fairs, good gov­er­nance, in­tegrity and law.

The lec­tures are held to hon­our Yang di-Per­tuan Be­sar Ne­gri Sem­bi­lan Tuanku Muhriz Tuanku Mu­nawir, the UKM chan­cel­lor, for his con­tri­bu­tions in cor­po­rate gov­er­nance and his out­stand­ing ded­i­ca­tion in up­hold­ing higher ed­u­ca­tion.

This year’s lec­ture co­in­cided with Tuanku Muhriz’s con­fer­ment of the Hon­orary Fel­low­ship of Aberys­t­wyth Univer­sity, Hon­orary Doc­tor­ate of Law by the Univer­sity of South Wales and Hon­orary Fel­low­ship by the Royal Col­lege of Sur­geons of Ed­in­burgh.

PIC BY NU­RUL SYAZANA ROSE RAZMAN

Univer­siti Ke­bangsaan Malaysia Chan­cel­lor Yang Di-Per­tuan Be­sar Ne­gri Sem­bi­lan Tuanku Muhriz Tuanku Mu­nawir (cen­tre) and UKM Vice-Chan­cel­lor Pro­fes­sor Tan Sri Dr Noor Azlan Ghaz­ali (right) with Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd at the third in­stal­ment of the Chan­cel­lor Tuanku Muhriz Lec­ture Se­ries at Univer­siti Ke­bangsaan Malaysia in Bangi yes­ter­day.

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