Would it be constitutional and proper for Raus to continue to be appointed as “additional judge” in August 2020 to extend his tenure as Chief Justice for another three years?
In reply to the question whether he should have declined re-appointment as Chief Justice under circumstances where the weight of legal and informed opinion are quite united in regarding it as unconstitutional, Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif said the issue does not arise.
He said: “Why should I decline? Because the government is of the view that the government needs our services...so they went through the process.”
Raus cannot be more wrong, as he knows that his claim that his re-appointment as Chief Justice is constitutional though unprecedented is open to challenge.
A chief justice of a country should not act like a “cantakerous litigant” arguing over every possible point of law, however far-fetched or ridiculous.
Raus’ defence that his re-appointment is because of what the government wants ignores the doctrine of the separation of powers and the need for the Judiciary to maintain integrity, independence and propriety as important judicial values separate from what the Executive-of-the-day wants.
Furthermore, Raus’ response can be easily shot down as the Chief Justice of Malaysia for the next three years would have ignored and violated the Bangalore Principles of Judicial Conduct 2003, which established standards for ethical conduct for judges, particularly on independence, impartiality, integrity, propriety, equality, competence and diligence.
Is Raus going to be the first Chief Justice in the world to repudiate and renounce the Bangalore Principles of Judicial Conduct 2003, which had been endorsed by the United Nations to ensure that a “judiciary of undisputed integrity” is the “bedrock institution essential for ensuring compliance with democracy and the rule of law”?
Raus’ understanding of what is constitutional and the judicial values of independence, impartiality, integrity and propriety are so dubious, shallow and shocking that he should answer the simple question:
“Would it be constitutional and proper for Raus to continue to be appointed as ‘additional judge’ in August 2020 to extend his tenure as Chief Justice for another three years?”
What is Raus’ answer to this question?