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Curious case of the judge’s curious remark

Thu 2012-May-10 @ +08 10:30:35 am

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.

» Defamation, legal mumbo-jumbo, and press freedom

  1. Prem Das permalink
    Thu 2012-May-10 @ +08 11:17:15 am 11:17

    The only party who has ‘local standi’ is the appellant himself. It is HIS duty to take on the genius judge for himself and for the society at large.

    Why would a man learned in the ways of the law even think such a thing let alone utter it in open court.
    The mind boggles.

  2. Fathima Idris permalink
    Thu 2012-May-10 @ +08 11:50:09 am 11:50

    On what basis did you come to the conclusion that the judge when he remarked that “in view of the conduct and attitude of the appellant” was referring to the Appellant’s conduct outside Court and not in respect in which the Defence was conducted?

    Your report seems to confuse matters rather than clarify it. However you can be excused because the level of court reporting in this country has much to be desired.

    You report that “the previous lawyer had admitted ………for not filing on time”. Does this mean that a Defence was filed but out of time and not accepted by Court or does it mean no Defence was filed at all.

    If no Defence was filed, did the Appellant seek leave to file out of time?

    Shouldn’t you in fairness clarify all these issues before you criticise the Court?

    • uppercaise permalink*
      Thu 2012-May-10 @ +08 12:41:07 pm 12:41

      Perhaps you would care to read the actual report, and learn the difference between a news report, which this isn’t, and the reflective comment above.

    • Prem Das permalink
      Thu 2012-May-10 @ +08 19:50:46 pm 19:50

      I must confess the lady has a point.

      Since I was not privy to what transpired in court, I do not have the luxury of comment.

  3. casper permalink
    Thu 2012-May-10 @ +08 19:49:35 pm 19:49

    Yes, this judge certainly fails the smell test and unfortunate for M’sian, he is but one in a school of fish and wither justice for all who seek it.

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