Courts shouldn’t interfere in parliamentary matters

By Zedeck Siew, The Nut Graph

The judiciary should not function as a court of appeal for matters of Parliament, as this would violate core democratic doctrines, a constitutional lawyer said today.

Speaker V Sivakumar's legal battles in relation to the Perak political crisis is "best proof that parliamentary matters should not be heard by the courts", said Tommy Thomas at a Bar Council forum entitled Perak Crisis: Constitutional, Legal or Political?.

Styling the conduct of the Federal Court as "terribly unsatisfactory" from the plaintiff's perspective, Thomas argued that the Sivakumar's treatment by the court was "a reaffirmation of the doctrine that [the legislature and judiciary] must remain separate."

Thomas referenced the recent Federal Court rulings against Sivakumar regarding his suspension of Menteri Besar Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir and his executive council members, and the resignation of three now-independent state assemblypersons.

Tommy Thomas "This is a total disregard for the separation of powers," Thomas said.

The lawyer also revealed that the Sivakumar had reasons for "substantive complaints", owing to the fact the plaintiff had been initially denial choice of counsel, and that the cases had been hurried.