Lawyers in the dark over grounds of judgment in landmark cases

(The Malaysian Insider) KUALA LUMPUR, May 15 — The lawyers for several landmark cases related to the Perak political crisis are still in the dark over the grounds of judgment and are urging the judges concerned to write them for the sake of public interest and future reference.

The lawyers for Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin had written to the Federal Court requesting the grounds of judgment for the March 23 decision of the Federal Court to send their lawsuit against Datuk Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir back to the Kuala Lumpur High Court.

Their request for grounds of judgment was rejected with the reason being that the Federal Court had allowed the preliminary objection.

It is understood that the lawyers for Perak Speaker V. Sivakumar had also written to the Federal Court requesting the grounds of judgment pertaining to the declaration that it has the jurisdiction under Article 63 of the Perak constitution to hear the case concerning the three assemblymen who had defected to Barisan Nasional as well as the case where the speaker had suspended Zambry and his six state executive councillors.

However, no grounds of judgement have been forthcoming as of today.

Lawyer Edmund Bon, who is acting as counsel for Nizar, wrote in a blog entry at yesterday that litigants are entitled to understand why they had lost or won especially since they may wish to file an appeal or to review the decision after analysing the reasons.

He added that lawyers and academics are interested in how the facts of the case were interpreted, and how the submission of counsel and finer legal points were dealt with.

As the cases were of public interest, he points out that the public should be able to read and examine for themselves the grounds of judgment in order to better understand how laws are applied.

Bon contrasts the situation with the recent Kuala Lumpur High Court's decision to declare Nizar as the rightful mentri besar of Perak and points out that the judge, Justice Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahim, had already written two grounds of judgment.

"Judicial precedent plays an important role in the development and application of the law in Malaysia as it provides future guidance for the courts, legislature and government," says Bon.