Almost all the courts in Sabah and Sarawak managed to dispose of their cases within the timelines prescribed, said Sabah and Sarawak Chief Judge Richard Malanjum.
He said overall the courts in Sabah and Sarawak at all levels performed well last year.
“But it does not mean that the Judges, Judicial Commissioners, judicial officers and staff should now rest on their laurels. There is room for improvement.”
He said this at the Opening of the Sabah and Sarawak Legal Year 2017, here, today.
Also present were Chief Justice Arifin Zakaria, Federal Court Judge Azahar Mohamed and Appeal Court Judge David Wong Dak Wah.
Malanjum added, one troubling issue confronting the courts in Sabah and Sarawak was the increasing number of self-representing litigants, both in criminal and civil cases.
“I think it is not so much scarcity of lawyers. Rather, it is the prohibitive costs when lawyers are involved. The Rule of Law must not only be said, it must be carried out and respected as well.
“Justice is not the domain of the rich and powerful. So, perhaps legal practitioners need to think about this matter seriously especially towards those who are not well to do but deserve legal assistance,” he said.
He noted that some of the litigations were in nature, of public interest, such as those related to the environment and the right to life or livelihood.
“There is much personal satisfaction to gain when justice is done to the downtrodden and defeating human greed of the rich and powerful who might think that degrading the environment and abusing their powers are their prerogatives,” he said.– Bernama