What qualities should judges have?

Judges are the judicial equivalent of US Navy Seals. They are a select few. Their training is severe. Their work is unremitting. They have but three abiding qualities: to defend the Federal Constitution, to render justice; and to live with quiet honour. Should we not, as a nation, aspire for those qualities in our judges?

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Why are we mollycoddling our public figures?

Why are we mollycoddling our public figures? There is a weapon far deadlier than a nuclear bomb. Words are the most powerful weapons in all the world.  So much so that a cautionary note penned in 1885 reads: - ‘Every word is endowed with a spirit … One word may be likened unto fire, another unto light, and the influence which both exert is manifest in the world.’ It has been said that a ...

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Who said the Prime Minister is not a public officer?

Who said the Prime Minister is not a public officer? Two separate panels of the Court of Appeal did. One panel heard Mahathir’s appeal.  It delivered its decision in April of this year. The second panel of the Court of Appeal heard Tony Pua’s appeal and delivered its decision last week. Both Mahathir and Tony Pua had sued the then Prime Minister Najib for the tort of public misfeasance. Both lost. When they ...

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Do you have a constitutional right to travel?

We have all heard that there is a right to freedom of speech, the right to peaceful assembly, and the right to form associations: Article 10, Federal Constitution. Do you have a right to travel?  Is it guaranteed in the Constitution? Article 9 of the Constitution states that ‘… every citizen has a right to move freely throughout the Federation and to reside in any part thereof.’ So there it is: you can move ...

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The difference between a power and a right

A right is inherent. It does not have to be written down anywhere. For example, the right to life, the right to religious freedom, the right to speak freely, or the right to associate with anyone one chooses. Some writers refer to rights enshrined in the Constitution. These inalienable rights above are different, and far superior to constitutional rights. A power has its genesis either in constitutional law, common law or ...

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Can a court grant a gag order?

When former prime minister Najib Razak was charged in court two days ago, the High Court, in the exercise of its criminal jurisdiction and powers, granted an interim gag order. Najib’s lawyer argued that Najib should not be ‘tried by the media.’  The order sought to stop public discussions over the charges pending against Najib. The court said it would hear full arguments on the gag orders later.  It nonetheless granted ...

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