KOTA KINABALU:. The Sabah Law Society (SLS) is delighted to learn about the appointments of former Federal Court Judges, Tan Sri Datuk Suriyadi Halim Omar and Datuk Dr Prasad Sandosham Abraham; former Court of Appeal Judge Datuk Stephen Chung Hian Guan; and the Dean of Universiti Malaya’s Law Faculty, Associate Professor Dato’ Dr Johan Shamsuddin Sabaruddin as new eminent members of the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) for a two-year term, beginning 4 September 2020.

It was reported that JAC had made a statement that Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had agreed to their appointment.

A statement released by Sabah Law Association (SLA) president Roger Chin said that although these newly appointed eminent members of JAC are certainly suitably qualified for the heavy duty, amongst others, of selecting appropriately qualified persons who merit appointment as judges of the superior court for the Prime Minister’s consideration, SLS was not consulted on the appointments even though the relevant legislation provides for consultation and this process should be complied with.

Pursuant to Section 5 of the Judicial Appointments Commission Act 2009 (the Act), the four eminent persons, who are not members of the executive or other public service, are to be appointed by the Prime Minister after consulting the Bar Council of Malaysia, the Sabah Law Association, the Advocates Association of Sarawak, the Attorney General of the Federation, the Attorney General of a State legal service or any other relevant bodies, according to him.

“SLS hopes that the consultative process will not be overlooked in future appointments to the JAC. ”

Sabah Law Society, Advocates Association of Sarawak and Malaysian Bar Council represent and regulate the bodies of practitioners who come into constant contact with the Judiciary and have an integral role in the administration of justice together with the Judiciary and are thus best placed to provide constructive and relevant feedback on who would be suitable to be appointed to the JAC, he stated.

SLS has said in the past and repeats the need and calls for more diversity in the constitution of the JAC and that in the future, it can be considered that representatives from the three Bars in Malaysia of Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsula Malaysia may be included on the JAC.- pr/BNN