CJ: Clearing of case backlog to go on despite lawyers' protest

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 19 Mar 2011

PUTRAJAYA: The judiciary will continue to step up its efforts in clearing the backlog of cases despite protests by the Bar Council.

Chief Justice Tun Zaki Azmi said it had been successful in clearing the backlog of cases, bringing down the disposal of civil suits to just nine months.

“This is a target which we have been able to achieve.

“However the administration of justice is a continuously evolving process which needs constant nurturing,” he told 77 Malaysian and 12 Singaporean judges while opening the inaugural joint Malaysia-Singapore Judicial Conference with his counterpart Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong on Saturday.

Zaki made the comment in his speech after the Bar Council passed a near-unanimous no-confidence motion at its 65th annual general meeting against his introduction of key performance indicators (KPI) to quickly clear court cases.

It had been reported that the new Bar president Lim Chee Wee would be meeting Zaki soon on behalf of the Bar to demand that the KPI measures be removed.

The Bar Council had said that the did not agree with the KPI because it did not serve justice to hurry court trials.

One lawyer close to the council have described some judges as having “injudiciously expedited cases at their discretion”.

Zaki admitted that he had been “besieged with complaints of justice hurried being equivalent to justice buried.”

“But inefficiency in the administration of justice and delay in the expeditious disposal of cases cannot be condoned,” he said.

He alluded to Singapore’s experience when it encountered “a large and embarrassing backlog” in the 1990’s before reducing the time taken for disposal of a civil suit from five years in 1991 to two years in 1999.

Later, Zaki refused to answer reporters’ requests for comments in response to the Bar Council’s vote of no-confidence.

He only said that Lim would be issuing a press statement on the matter later.

Related Stories: Bar passes no-confidence motion against Chief Justice’s KPI measures Bar council wants KPI reviewed

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