AG's Chambers seeks to enhance access to courts in judicial review cases

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama):  The Attorney General's Chambers will repeal the requirement of the Rules of the Court 2012 in judicial review cases, said Tommy Thomas. 

The Attorney General said in a statement on Monday (July 23) that this is to promote the development of constitutional and administrative law in the courts, adding that the Attorney General's Chambers will engage with the Malaysian Bar and the Rules Committee on this. 

Thomas said the engagement will be about the repeal of the requirement under Order 53 Rule 3(3) of the Rules of the Court 2012 in judicial review cases that all cause papers be served on Chambers.

"The majority of judicial review cases concern employment disputes between employers and trade unions or individual employees, on the other, often emanating from awards of the Industrial Court," said Thomas.

“Such disputes are intrinsically private in nature and have no public element in them. For such cases, it is preferable to treat them like ordinary litigation by private parties which does not involve the government,” he added.

Thomas also said that the leave stage would be dispensed with even if the cases involved challenges of the decisions of the executive or statutory corporations, which would be in the public interest. 

“The Attorney General's Chambers will give effect to the letter and spirit of the two-stage procedure under Order 53. It is for the applicant to satisfy the Court on an ex-parte basis that the threshold has been satisfied," he said. 

“There is, however, one exception. In cases where the Attorney General's Chambers will represent the respondent at the inter-partes stage, we reserve the right to appear by counsel at the leave stage. Likewise, if we are invited by the court to assist it,” added Thomas.

He said the Attorney General's Chambers also recognised the importance of promoting judicial review as a means of developing public law.

“To that end, we shall not seek costs in the event it succeeds in judicial review proceedings unless exceptional circumstances warrant it," said Thomas. - Bernama 

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