Seven judges in the running for 2 top posts

Seven judges in the running for 2 top posts


Seven judges in the running for 2 top posts

PETALING JAYA: At least seven Federal Court judges could be in the running to occupy the soon-to-be vacantCourt of Appeal president and Chief Judge of Malaya posts, the second and third most senior administrative positions in the judiciary.

Court of Appeal president Rohana Yusuf will retire in November, and Chief Judge of Malaya Azahar Mohamed will leave office in October.

Both have turned 66, the mandatory retirement age for judges, but have been given a six-month extension by the Yang di Pertuan Agong.

The seven, according to seniority, who could be considered for promotion are Nallini Pathamanathan, Abdul Rahman Sebli, Zabariah Mohd Yusof, Hasanah Mohammed Hashim, Mary Lim, Harmindar Singh Dhaliwal and Rhodzariah Bujang

Nalini, Rahman, Zabariah and Hasnah will retire in 2025, Lim late next year, and Harmindar in 2024. Rhodzariah will retire in 2027.

According to procedure, a nine-member Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC), chaired by Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, will meet to propose the names to be sent to the prime minister’s office.

As required under Article 122B of the Federal Constitution, the King appoints judges acting on the advice of the prime minister after consulting the Conference of Rulers.

A retired judge said the selection criteria, including integrity, competency, experience, the ability to make timely judgments and good writing skills, will be taken into account.

“Of course, seniority is a factor that will be considered to hold any administrative post,” said the judge, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The judge, who is learned in the appointment process, said the JAC Act also makes provision for the prime minister to request for two more names to be selected for his consideration.

Former Federal Court judge Gopal Sri Ram said there is a possibility of current Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim being appointed the Court of Appeal president, and Rhodzariah, a Sarawakian, filling his present position.

“East Malaysian judges should not be marginalised just because two of them could hold senior administrative posts,” he said.

Sri Ram said the other women judges – Nallini, Zabariah, Hasnah and Lim – could be considered for the Chief Judge of Malaya position.

“However, at the end of the day, the decision is with the JAC, and the Chief Justice is the best to decide who is the best candidate for each position,” he said.

Former Malaysian Bar president Salim Bashir said the prime minister must give reasons if he asked for additional names other than those given by the JAC.

“If the names are rejected, the prime minister’s office must give an explanation for the public to know,” he said.

Salim said this is because the JAC Act empowers the prime minister to appoint four eminent persons to sit in the commission to advocate the views of the public.

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Seven judges in the running for 2 top posts

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