Curious case of the judge’s curious remark
A curious remark reported about the Nadeswaran defamation matter this week gives rise to reflection on how judges arrive at their decisions.
Justice Abu Samah Nordin, in delivering the appeal court decision against allowing R Nadeswaran more time to file his defence, said there was no justification to overturn an earlier High Court judgement — “in view of the conduct and attitude of the appellant”.
Malaysian Insider report
The judge didn’t like how Nades talks? Or how Nades behaves?
Nades can be belligerent, aggressive, dominating, even rude, when chasing a story. And that’s in the best of times. Or he can be charming, soft-spoken and reflective.
What, pray, has that to do with the price of fish, or in this case the price of a reputation?
No one is required to like Nades or any other journalist. No one is required to like the way we talk, speak, sit, stand, dress or think.
In a court of justice, however, one is required to believe that the worth of a justice system rests on the merits of one’s case and not the merits of one’s demeanour.
“I don’t like the way you talk” is pub talk. It’s bar-room belligerence. It shouldn’t be how judges talk.