Saturday, October 22, 2005

What can I say?

What can I say?

Judge Rajah disallows proceedings to be in open court
21 Oct 05

The judge presiding over the case of the four protesters versus Minister Wong Kan Seng and Police Commissioner Khoo Boon Hui has refused to allow the proceedings to continue in an open court.

Instead he has directed both parties to present their submissions on 28 Oct 2005 whereupon he will decide on whether to accede to the Attorney-General's (AG) application to strike out the protester's Originating Motion.

In his arguments Mr M Ravi, lawyer for the Applicants, said that an open hearing would allow the press to report the case so that the public can be informed of the arguments. Mr Ravi quoted the late judge, Lord Denning:

... a newspaper reporter is in every court...He notes all that goes on and makes a fair and accurate report of it. He supplies it for use either in the national press or in the local press according to the public interest it commands. He is, I verily believe, the watchdog of justice. If he is to do his work properly and effectively we must hold fast to the principle that every case must be heard and determined in open court. It must not take place behind locked doors. Every member of the public must be entitled to report in the public press all that he has seen and heard. The reason for his rule is the very salutary influence which publicity has for those who work in the light of it.

Despite this, the judge decided that the hearing should continue in chambers.


At 3:06 PM, October 30, 2005, Blogger Thrasymachus said... any case, I think Ministers in Singapore receives immunity...and Dr Chee and gang knows that...

Maybe it is just another publicity stint by Dr Chee to show the world the "oppressive" side of Singapore...

When World Bank, WTO and IMF comes to town for conference, I bet Dr Chee will join in the "fun" by saying why is foreign protestors allowed but when 4 singaporean groupies gathered, get arrested...


At 6:12 PM, October 30, 2005, Blogger at82 said...

To Trasy:

From what I know Dr Chee and gang are not asking for any compensation and/or that Mr Wong to resign. They are just seeking a declaration that Mr Wong and Commissioner of Police had acted "in an unlawful and unconstitutional manner" when the group was ordered to disperse for causing a "public nuisance".

Even it is just a publicity stunt; there is still no reason for the proceedings to be held behind closed court. If the PAP govt had done nothing wrong, they should not object to have the proceedings held in open court.

I mean what is there to hide if you had done nothing wrong? Isn’t better to expose Dr Chee and gang in the open court and destroy what little reputation they had left? Where is the much-vaunted transparency of the PAP govt. when they are being accused of acting "in an unlawful and unconstitutional manner"?

Frankly I do not think much of the “protest” staged by Dr Chee and gang. However I am concern about how independent our judicial system is.

The fact that most if not all of the legal proceedings of major political cases are held behind closed courts do not brood well for Singapore’s judicial independence and transparency.


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