When the case first reached the courts, a Judicial Commissioner gave judgments that defy understanding. To have a Judicial Commissioner and not a senior High Court judge presiding over this novel constitutional case was indeed disappointing.
Hearings were not in open court but in chambers. The Speaker of the Perak Assembly was declared to be a public servant despite indisputable legal evidence that he is exempted from such a definition.
The Speaker was not allowed to be represented by private lawyers. He was not even allowed to represent himself!
There was an unbelievable ruling that no conflict of interest existed in the state legal adviser representing the unwilling Speaker against the state government!
These initial judicial missteps were fortunately corrected on appeal but they left a bad feeling and sullied the reputation of a hallowed institution whose resurgence we were all praying for.
Dr Shad Faruqi is Professor of Law at Universiti Teknologi MARA.
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