Saturday, 8 November 2014

Anwar Ibrahim : What does it mean that the court has reserved its judgment?


PUTRAJAYA, Nov 7 (Bernama) -- The Federal 
Court here Friday reserved judgment on the final 
appeal of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim against a 
sodomy conviction and five-year jail sentence.

Q : What does it mean that the court has reserved its judgment?
A : When a court reserves the judgment, it means the matter has been kept in abeyance for a while. This is done after all the parties have completed their arguments and all the written submissions have been filed in the court.

Q: Why do judges reserve a judgment?
A : The judges reserve a judgment so they can write a judgment. One must understand that a judgment is not a single page order of few lines, the judgment contains the summery of arguments of both the parties, the law of the land, previous judgments on the issue, conclusion and the reasons for arriving on that conclusion. Judges need time to refresh in their memory, the arguments of each party, do research by reading previous judgments and judgments on similar issues in other countries and finally think about the reasons for arriving on a particular conclusion. This entire excersise is very laborious and time consuming.

Q : What is the normal timeframe in which a judgment should ideally be delivered?
A : There is no fixed timeframe for the judges to write judgments but six months is considered to be a reasonable time for passing a judgment. If a judge keeps a judgment reserved for more than six months, any of the party can mention to the Chief Justice about this.

Q : What happens to a reserved judgment if the judge retires?
A : If anything like this happens, the new bench will hear the matter afreash. A judge can not sign/pronounce a judgment after he retires.

Q : Is it necessary for a judge to reserve judgment in every case?
A : No! Its not at all necessary for a judge to reserved judgment in all the cases. Generally the court reserved judgments in cases of extreme public importance, cases which will have greater impact on the polity of Malaysia, cases in whcih the courts are laying down some new law etc. In many cases, judges deliver the same day the arguments are complete.

With Thanks to : Sumit Nagpal

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