Circular 19/12: Dealing with the Issues and Problems Faced by Members in Court

An Overview

As in the past year, the primary focus of the Johore Bar Committee would be on resolving the various problems faced by members in court. We expect this year to be even more hectic as apart from the usual complaint of trials being rushed through at an alarming speed and often with scant regard to justice, and issues pertaining to the Electronic Filing System (EFS) and the Court Recording and Transcription (CRT) System, new challenges will be posed with the implementation of the amendments to the Subordinate Courts Act 1948 and the introduction of the Rules of Courts 2012 to replace the Rules of the High Court 1980 and the Subordinate Courts Rules 1980.

Courts Liaison and Public Relations Sub-Committee

The Johore Bar Committee has established a very strong sub-committee, comprising of 17 members to attend to court issues and problems. In keeping with a long-standing tradition of the Johore Bar, the Chairman of the Johore Bar Committee would be chairing this sub-committee. Mr. Hardip Singh of M/s Terang, Manjit, Azmi & Hardip Singh has been appointed as the Deputy Chairperson of the sub-committee. The full composition of the sub-committee is as follows:

1. S. Gunasegaran (Chairperson)

2. Hardip Singh (Deputy)

3. Ms. J. Chandrika

4. Ms. Mary Jesmal Periera

5. Yoong How Kiat

6. Ms. K. Meneka

7. Pn. Nas Idalina Nasruddin

8. Ms. Santhi Balachandran

9. Jayaperakash s/o Jayadevan

10. Ms. M. Punitha

11. Pn. Suzana Binti Sudin

12. K. Vijay Kumar

13. Bustaman Menon bin Abdul Hamid Menon

14. Lim Chon Sin

15. Tee Yee Koon

16. Ms. Vasanthi Vadiveoo

17. Ms. K. Kalpana

The sub-committee proposes to meet at least six times during the year to discuss and to deal with the problems and complaints referred to us.

Members facing any difficulty in court or who are unhappy with anything concerning the administration of justice are encouraged to direct your complaints directly to the Johore Bar Committee, preferably in writing. Or if you so desire, you may fill up and submit to the Johore Bar Secretariat, the complaint forms that are available at the Johore Bar Secretariat, the Bar Room at the old Court Complex in Jalan Air Molek or at the Johore Bar Website.

Further, if any member faces any difficulty in court that requires immediate action, and which cannot wait till the Committee meets to consider it, he may refer the matter to the following members of the sub-committee for speedy action to be taken.


1. Ms. Mary Jesmal Periera and Mr. Lim Chon Sin – for Criminal Cases

2. Ms. Santhi Balachandran and Puan Nas Idalina Nasruddin – for Bankruptcy, Banking and Foreclosure matters.

3. Ms. M. Punitha, Puan Suzana Binti Sudin and Ms. K. Meneka – for Running Down matters.

4. Ms. J. Chandrika – for Divorce and Matrimonial matters.

5. Mr. J. Jayaperakash and Mr. K. Vijay Kumar – for E-filing and CRT system.

The said persons have been authorised to take up the matter immediately with the appropriate Judicial Officer or Registrar, as the case may be, for resolution, and if the matter is not resolved immediately or within seven (7) days, depending on the nature of the problem, the Chairman would refer the matter to the Senior Judge of the High Court for his intervention.

Johore Bar Forum on Court Matters

We propose to hold at least three forums during the year for members to articulate their grievances. The tentative dates for the said Forum are as follows:

1st Forum – 7th May 2012;

2nd Forum – 6th August 2012; and

3rd Forum – 5th November 2012

If there is a need or call from members further forums may be held.

Meetings with the Senior Judge of the High Court in Johor Bahru

The Committee plans to meet the Senior Judge of the High Court in Johor Bahru on a regular basis to discuss and resolve the issues referred to us. Four such meetings have been planned for the year. The tentative dates for the said meetings are as follows:

1st Meeting – May 2012;

2nd Meeting – August 2012;

3rd Meeting – November 2012; and

4th Meeting – January 2013

Meetings with the Judge of the High Court in Johor Bahru in charge of the Criminal Courts

In order to cater to the needs of the Criminal Bar, we plan to hold at least two dialogue sessions with the Judge of the High Court in Johor Bahru in charge of the criminal courts. The tentative dates for the said dialogue sessions are as follows:

1st Session – June 2012; and

2nd Session – September 2012.

Mediation in Accident Cases

The Judiciary is planning to introduce compulsory mediation in accident cases with a pilot project to be launched in Johor Bahru on 1st June 2012. A Joint Working Committee, chaired by Justice Vernon Ong Lam Kiat and comprising of members from the Bench, the Bar and PIAM is now working out the structure and mechanism for the said project. The Bar is represented by the following persons in the said Working Committee:

1. Datuk Khutubul Zaman bin SNS Bukhari

2. Ms. J. Chandrika

3. Ms. Mary Jesmal Periera

4. Mr. S. K. Lee

5. Ms. M. Punitha

6. Encik Azizi bin Mohd Sarit @ Ahmad Shaghir

Members of the Bar who have any views on the said matter may forward the same either directly to the Johore Bar Committee or to any of the members of the Joint Working Committee.

Conclusion

We have told you of our proposed course of action for the year. At the same time we are open to any suggestions and views from our members on the matter. Please let us know how we may serve you better.

S. GUNASEGARAN

CHAIRMAN

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