How to succeed at the Court of Appeal

Are there sure-fire techniques that make it easier to succeed in appeals?  Yes, there are. If appellate counsel don't practise the Rules of Minimalism, Detachment, or do not ask the right Questions of Law, they'd fail. If they argue at the Court of Appeal burdened with a blunderbuss, they'd fail - because they are kiasu: they shoot at any target, with everything they've got. Here are some techniques that ...

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Should judges condone inequitable behaviour of counsel?

How far should lawyers go to win a case? And how long should judges refuse to sanction counsel’s egregious conduct? Advocates and solicitors ( ‘lawyer’ and ‘counsel’ are used interchangeably) always must exhibit the highest level of professional conduct. They must always uphold the dignity of the profession and the interest of justice. Towards opposing counsel they must show candour, courtesy and fairness. No one should deceive a court, or his or ...

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Karpal and Kit Siang – two colossi

Someone asked me last week, ‘What did Karpal do for us? What did Lim Kit Siang?’ I blinked. I thought I didn’t hear it right. What did they do? The guy who asked was young. Too young. I attempted an answer and unaccountably slipped into melancholy. I began by saying... These men fought a long-drawn out battle against an implacable enemy—entrenched racism. They fought for the rule of law. They argued that the ...

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The deathly silence of dissent in our courts…

Dissent means disagreement between judges.  In a case comprising, say 3 judges, a dissent occurs when one judge distances himself or herself from the other 2 on grounds of legal principle. A dissent is not without its uses.  It may limit the majority decision in some way.  Or the dissent may bear a seed of a wonderful legal point waiting to germinate at some future time. A brilliant lawyer will water ...

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