Param Cumaraswamy: CEP meeting judges totally unacceptable

  • Nation
  • Monday, 11 Jun 2018

PETALING JAYA: The incident where the chairman of the Council of Eminent Persons (CEP) summoned two top judges to see him to discuss their resignation is a worrying trend and totally unacceptable, said former UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers Datuk Param Cumaraswamy (pic).

"Constitutionalism and the rule of law are really undermined by the conduct of the council member.

"It is absolutely unacceptable conduct of the senior member of the CEP. If this whole thing about the conduct of the CEP member is allowed to go on unchecked, the council is going to be in a collision course with the Cabinet and its ministers.

"We need to stop such an eventuality," the senior lawyer said when contacted on Monday (June 11).

Chief Justice Tun Md Raus Sharif and Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin allegedly went to meet to Tun Daim Zainuddin when summoned to his office.

The Malaysian Bar and the Advocates Association of Sarawak (AAS) had challenged the appointments of Md Raus and Zulkefli as both judges were beyond the mandatory retirement age of 66 years and six months when appointed.

The case is being heard in the Federal Court by a seven-member Bench.

Param also cited the case of Datuk A. Kadir Jasin who came under fire for his recent views on the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

Kadir has since resigned as the Media and Communications head of the council.

"This CEP should be dissolved. It is not a legal entity. It was set up administratively without any proper terms of reference. As far as we know, there was just a public announcement that it was set up and it was done way before the Cabinet was formed," said Param.

He added that the most worrying part was that the council quickly established more committees once it was announced.

"Something must be done to stop things from going on in this manner. Something must be done to stop further damage," he said.

Prior to this, some other senior lawyers and retired judges had commented and expressed their grave concerns on the issue of the two top judges meeting Daim.

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