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‘Delivering Justice, Renewing Trust’: An Analysis of the 2008 Reforms to the Judicial Appointments and Accountability Systems in Malaysia
thesisposted on 2017-01-12, 00:59 authored by 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.