Judiciary should forge good relationship with media

PUTRAJAYA: Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria today advised the judiciary to forge a good relationship with the media so that the public are able to get the accurate information and exposure about any legal cases.

He also reminded the judiciary to communicate clearly in highlighting legal issues or while passing judgment in every case.

"The best way to reach out to the public is through the media," he said in his speech after the swearing in of a Federal Court judge and 11 High Court judges at the Palace of Justice here.

Arifin explained that in the era of technology, a judge's judgment could be circulated and spread to the public quickly via social media, hence making it vulnerable to criticism, including from the media, academicians and politicians.

As such, he said it was a judge's duties to resolve any problems using their creativity.

"We (judges) shouldn't simply follow the judicial precedents without making complete and perfect analysis.

It (analysis) is the only way we can produce sound and mature judgment to achieve fair and just decision," he said.

Arifin said judges were bound by judicial ethics to defend any criticised judgment, so it was the responsibility of every judge to ensure that every judgment was correct and did not deviate from the principles of law.

He stressed that a good criticism would provide a positive public perception to the judge, but a negative criticism could cause the public to remain sceptical of the judiciary.

However, the chief justice said as long as the decision was in accordance with the principles of law, judges should not be afraid of any criticisms.

He also reminded all judges to always respect and uphold the Federal Constitution, the laws and the decisions of higher courts.

The chief justice said an excellent judge was the one who constantly maintains order or decency and prudence in carrying out his duties and responsibilities.

At present, he said the judiciary comprised 12 Federal Court judges, 27 Appeals Court judges, 63 High Court judges and 26 Judicial Commissioners. At the event, Appeals Court judge Datuk Dr Prasad Sandosham Abraham, 65, took his oath of office and loyalty as the Federal Court Judge, while 11 Judicial Commissioners were appointed as High Court judges, effective Jan 30.

The 11 newly-appointed High Court judges were Datuk Azimah Omar, 54, M.Gunalan, 59, Lim Chong Fong, 54, Datuk Nordin Hassan, 53, Datuk Azmi Ariffin, 56, Noorin Badaruddin, 50, Collin Lawrence Sequerah, 56, Azizul Azmi Adnan, 47, Mohamed Zaini Mazlan, 49, Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali, 49, and Azhahari Kamal Ramli, 53. — Bernama