Saturday, January 22, 2011

Is The Sub Judice Rule Outdated?

It is rather unfortunate that once a matter is before the court, it is sub judice and you cannot comment on it on pain of contempt.

Take for example, the ongoing Bi-Anne child custody case before the court that has been going on for sometime now. I am sure many people would like to give their two cents worth on the case especially in light of the plight of the parties concerned, especially that of the child.

But if you did, you would put yourself in trouble.

To me, the sub judice rule is outdated.

Judges are supposed to be learned people, who are supposed to decide based on law and facts of the case. They are not supposed to be easily influenced by outside factors including the opinions of others.

And if they are unable to do so, they shouldn't be on the bench anyway.

And anyway, there are always going to be different opinions. Should a judge be shielded for fear that he or she might be unduly influenced?

In these days of the cyber world, like it or not, no one, including judges, can be shielded from the mass of information and opinions out there. Nor is it desirable. Ultimately, judges must decide based on the law and facts of the case before them and, like I said before, if they are unable to do so, they shouldn't be on the bench in the first place.

Of course, ultimately, a judge's decision however reasoned, based on law and facts before him or her is still the judge's personal interpretation of the law and facts of the case. Which is, like it or not, an opinion, however brilliant or flawed, in the final analysis.

So, do you think that the sub judice rule is outdated? Give your two cents worth. But be careful, do not comment on a case pending before the court or you could get into trouble. 

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Kluang's Little Bangsar

Kluang's Little Bangsar
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