Thursday December 11, 2008
Bill will see appointments of judges and Chief Justice
Reports by LEE YUK PENG, LOH FOON FONG and ZULKIFLI ABDUL RAHMAN
THE Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) Bill, tabled for first reading at the Dewan Rakyat, will see not only appointments of High Court judges but also that of other senior judges including the Chief Justice.
The Bill will take effect at a date to be determined later.
The commission will be chaired by the Chief Justice and will comprise the President of the Court of Appeal, Chief Judge of Malaya, Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak and four others to be appointed by the Prime Minister.
The Bill, among other things, spells out the function of the commission, which is to appoint individuals as superior court judges.
The successful candidates would be chosen based on their experience, integrity and firmness as well as the ability to deliver judgment on time.
They must also be fair, of good morality and diligent in managing cases, the Bill says.
All judicial commissioners appointed prior to the Bill taking effect could file their applications with the commission if they wish to be selected as High Court judges.
The Bill states that a member of the commission would first hold office for two years and is eligible for reappointment for another term.
He will receive an allowance, the amount of which is to be determined by the Prime Minister.
The Bill states that any member of the commission related or connected to any candidate being considered for selection shall disclose to the commission the nature of his relationship.