Litigation & Court Procedure

CJ proposes 20- Minute Time limit for Lawyers to submit in Court of Appeal, Federal Court

Date: 26 November 2018; Type: Legal News; Source: Bernama

PUTRAJAYA, Nov 26 (Bernama) - Chief Justice Tan Sri Richard Malanjum has proposed to set a time limit of 20 minutes to be given to lawyers to make their submissions orally at the appellate court and Federal Court level. He said it could be made a practice direction for lawyers if the Attorney-General's Chambers and the Bar agrees to it. He said since written submissions have been prepared, lawyers should only highlight the important points to the judges at the time given.

"What we need is a submission that is very effective and brings out your "killer points" first instead of bringing it last. They like to use the smaller points first and leave the best for the last, that is not the way in the court. You don't save the best for last. You serve the best first," he said.

Malanjum said just because submissions were lengthy it did not mean that the lawyer had won the case, adding that it was important for lawyers to catch the attention of the judge in the first five minutes or else, he might have lost the case.

"Time is precious, there were cases lately that were delayed because lawyers were making lengthy submissions. It is a waste of time to allow lawyers to submit hour after hour," Malanjum said in his speech at the oath taking and allegiance ceremony of nine judges who were respectively elevated to the Federal Court and Court of Appeal.

He said judges should also try not to interrupt lawyers when they were making their submission in court, instead judges should give them a chance to speak, adding that judges were paid to listen and should not "cut them off".

He said setting time limit for submissions would enable to get the cases moving on as fast as possible.

At the ceremony, four judges who were elevated to the Federal Court, took their oath of office and allegiance before the Chief Justice. They were Datuk Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, 59, Datuk Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim, 59, Tan Sri Idrus Harun, 63, and Datuk Nallini Pathmanathan, 59.

Justice Nallini is the first Indian woman to be elevated to the Federal Court.

Meanwhile, five judges promoted to the Court of Appeal took their oath of office and allegiance before Court of Appeal President Tan Sri Ahmad Maarop. They are Datuk Lau Bee Lan, 63, Datuk Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah, 61, Datuk Yew Jen Kie, 65, Datuk Nor Bee Ariffin, 62, and Datuk Has Zanah Mehat,61.

In his speech, Malanjum also said promotion should not be a factor when writing judgments.

"Once a judge is appointed, his job is to be a judge and not to take care of his career so that he can be promoted higher and higher," he said.

He said judges were supposed to deliver justice and do a good judgment.

Malanjum also said Court of Appeal judges should respect the findings of facts made by trial court in cases where it sits as the apex court.

He said the trial court, as a first instance court, has the advantage of the audio visual of the trial, adding that only findings of facts that were plainly wrong should be overturned.

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