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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Judicial appointments committee must be independent of PM - Rulers


The Conference of Rulers wants the Judicial Appointments Committee (JAC) to be free of influence from the prime minister.

In a decree, the Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan Tuanku Muhriz Tuanku Munawir, who chaired the 260th Conference of Rulers today, said that the structure of the JAC needed to be reviewed.

The JAC is responsible for appointing judges to the judiciary. Under the current arrangement, five of the committee members are appointed by the prime minister, while the remaining four slots are filled by sitting judges.

Tuanku Muhriz (above) said in order to ensure that the JAC is free to carry out its responsibilities, the five slots to be appointed by the prime minister should instead be entrusted to other institutions such as the Bar Council, Sabah Law Society, Advocates Association of Sarawak and Parliament's Select Committee.

"This way, the JAC's membership is more balanced, and would not carry the interests of any groups," the monarch said.

Tuanku Muhriz also proposed that the government, current JAC members, legal bodies and other stakeholders review the structure of the JAC.

However, the Negeri Sembilan ruler did not specify what kind of changes should be made.

Tuanku Muhriz said if reforms to the JAC are made, it would be a more effective body, which would also ensure that judges are appointed from among individuals who are good-natured, transparent and fair. - Mkini

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