KUALA LUMPUR, 15 Dec 2008: The Judges’ Ethics Committee Bill 2008, which paves the way for the setting up of a committee to deal with judges who breached the Judges Code of Ethics, was tabled for first reading in the Dewan Rakyat today.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz tabled the bill, which paves the way for the setting up of the Judges’ Ethics Committee.
Under the bill, judges who committed a breach can be referred to the committee if the Chief Justice of the Federal Court feels that the breach need not be referred to a tribunal appointed under Clause (4) of Article 125 of the Federal Constitution.
The committee has jurisdiction in matters pertaining to the conduct of judges except in cases involving the removal of a judge from office under Clause (3) of Article 125 of the Federal Constitution.
The bill defines judges as judges of the High Court, Court of Appeal and Federal Court as well as the Judicial Commissioner.
The committee, comprising odd number of members, is headed by the Chief Justice of the Federal Court.
It comprises individuals who hold or have held office as the Court of Appeal president, Chief Judge of Malaya, Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak, Federal Court judge, Court of Appeal judge or High Court judge.
However, the committee’s proceedings must be held in camera as they are not a trial but an investigation into a breach of the Judges’ Code of Ethics.
The committee’s decision will be based on a majority and shall be final and conclusive, cannot be challenged, appealed, reviewed, nullified or questioned in any court on any ground.
No courts shall have the jurisdiction to entertain any application, query or proceeding on any ground pertaining to the committee’s decision.
Mohamed Nazri also tabled for first reading the Criminal Procedure Code (Amendment) 2008 while Entrepreneur and Cooperatives Development Minister Datuk Noh Omar tabled the Bank Kerjasama Rakyat Malaysia Berhad Bill (Amendment) 2008, also for first reading. — Bernama