Sultan Nazrin: Justice must be served without fear or favour

Transparency in the judiciary reflects an authoritative justice system without fear or favour, says Sultan of Perak Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah.

(Sinar Daily) – He said the role of a judge was crucial in the judicial system and that they acted as a symbol in upholding the credibility and authority of the judicial institution.

A judge must avoid any form of doubt and they must be free from external influences or pressures, he added.

“In the judicial system, the judge is an important character and carries a huge responsibility and acts as a symbol in upholding the credibility and authority of the judicial institution.

“History has proven that the Prophet SAW recognised and gave freedom to Muaz bin Jabal who was sent as a representative for Yaman to conduct his own ijtihad (reasoning) with his knowledge in sentencing if the matter was not in the Quran or Sunnah.

“The Prophet SAW did not influence Muaz’s thinking in his ijtihad nor interfere in his judgement,” he said citing a quranic verse on the matter.

Sultan Nazrin said this in his speech at the launch of the Perak Syariah Journal, today.

He said his late father Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah once said in a speech during the launching of the 14th Malaysian Laws Conference that “the (mere) existence of courts and judges in every ordered society proves nothing; it is their quality, their independence and their powers that matter”.

“Thus, for the sake of justice and as the head of Islam who is responsible in Islamic affairs, I fully support the principle of the independence of the syariah judiciary in the state (Perak),” he said.

He said the writing of the grounds of judgment was one of the most important tasks performed by judges that would be the basis to determine the competency of a judge.

He said thoughtful and high-quality grounds of judgement will be a guide and reference for legal practitioners.

Sultan Nazrin added that strong support and justification for an issue and assessment as well as the correct application of law and legal principles will guarantee the credibility of judges and elevate the justice system itself.

“If the basis and support of the judgement are weak, the appellant has the right to argue that the judge had erred in his judgement and apply for their case to be re-evaluated in a higher court,” he said.

He said in establishing a credible syariah judicial institution, judicial officers needed to be trained, equipped with skills and exposed from time to time so that their knowledge and ability to interpret the syariah law would be enhanced.

He said training and research development facilities also needed to be improved and as there was a need for an infrastructure that was in line with the latest technological developments.

Sultan Nazrin also congratulated the Perak Syariah Judicial Department for producing the Perak Syariah Journal.

He said he hoped that it could be used as a reference by judges and legal practitioners.