Friday, August 17, 2007

Help busy judges to speed up work

Help busy judges to speed up work

KUALA LUMPUR: Judges presiding over lengthy criminal trials should be excused from hearing other cases to allow them time to complete their written judgment.

Lawyer M. Kulasegaran said this would give judges sufficient time and peace of mind for the task at hand.

"In the meantime, a relief judge could be sent to hear cases in that court," he said.

Kulasegaran said some judges were so meticulous in arriving at decisions that they did their own research before arriving at conclusions.

"They may do so as submissions by parties are sometimes inadequate and incomplete. However, by going the extra mile, they may delay the writing of judgments."
He also suggested that judges be given the freedom to hand-pick competent research officers and stenographers to assist them.

"These people can help the judge in writing judgments in the shortest time possible."

Lawyer Hisham Teh Poh Teik suggested that court rules be amended to allow appellants in criminal cases to submit appeals using notes of evidence and reasons in point form.

"But for the time being, it is still better for a judge to give reasons for his decision. He could elaborate later in the event of an appeal."

Hisham said this was important as it would enable the losing party to decide on what grounds they could lodge an appeal.

"Should the parties appeal and there are no written grounds, the appellate court could hear the appeals by relying on the summarised points when the decision was handed down."

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