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‘Delivering Justice, Renewing Trust’: An Analysis of the 2008 Reforms to the Judicial Appointments and Accountability Systems in Malaysia
In order to distinguish essays and pre-prints from academic theses, we have a separate category. These are often much longer text based documents than a paper.
posted on 12.01.2017by Richard Say Keow Foo
Public confidence in
the systems for appointing judges and ensuring judicial accountability is vital to maintaining confidence in an independent judiciary.
This thesis examines the reforms which were made to the judicial appointments and
accountability systems in Malaysia as part of the ‘Delivering Justice, Renewing Trust’ reforms in 2008.
The reforms were implemented for the purpose of restoring public trust and confidence in
the Malaysian judiciary’s independence and integrity, following a period of two decades
during which that trust and confidence had been severely eroded due to the actions of
both the government and elements within the judiciary. The thesis aims to identify the
systemic weaknesses in the pre-reform appointments and accountability systems which enabled that
outcome to occur. It then analyzes the reformed systems to evaluate their effectiveness in
remedying those systemic weaknesses, in re-establishing an independent judiciary which has the
necessary capacity to exercise decisional independence when performing the judicial function,
and also in ensuring that any failure in judicial independence and integrity can be dealt
with properly. The thesis considers whether the reforms can ultimately satisfy public confidence
that they have sufficiently strengthened the conditions for judicial independence and
integrity for the future. No previous scholarship has undertaken such an analysis and this thesis
aims to make a modest first contribution to evaluating the reforms.