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Australian Journal of Asian Law

Abstract from Volume 1 No 2 (1999)

The Malaysian Judiciary: Erosion of Confidence

Wu Min Aun is Professor of Law and Director of the Centre for Southeast Asian Law, Northern Territory University, Darwin.

Over the past decade in Malaysia, the executive has sought to restrict judicial power, and has subjected the traditional doctrine of judicial independence to much stress. Other recent developments have compounded this problem and badly affected the reputation of Malaysia's judges. The image of the judiciary has been tarnished and public confidence in the impartiality of judges has been eroded. This article discusses the events that caused this crisis in public confidence. These include executive perceptions of the judicial function, the sacking of the highest judicial officer and two superior court judges, judicial misbehaviour, the 'poison pen' letter scandal, and a general negativity toward the judicial role emerging from the trial of Anwar Ibrahim, former Deputy Prime Minister and now Malaysia's foremost dissident.

(1999) 1(2) Asian Law 124

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