The Star, Tuesday February 17, 2009
MCA Youth disagrees with exclusion of judicial review in Bill
The proposed Witness Protection Bill bestows too much power to the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Attorney-General or Director-General and totally excludes judicial review.
MCA Youth Legal Affairs and Parliamentary Research Bureau, headed by Wong Nai Chee, said in a statement that the bureau disagreed with Clause 23 of the Bill.
The clause reads: “There shall be no judicial review in any court or any act done or any decision made by the Minister, Attorney-General or the Director-General of this Act.”
The bureau disagrees with the wording of that clause as it “precludes the court from checking the power exercised by the Minister, Attorney-General or Director-General who will be responsible for the registration of participants as witnesses,” said Wong.
“The bureau is of the view that the power vested is very far reaching and is concerned that this power is susceptible to abuse and misimplementation if the much-needed check and balance are not inserted into the law,” he added.
The bureau also feels that it is becoming the practice of Parliamentary draftsmen to insert clauses which removes judicial review.
“The bureau therefore urges the Parlia–mentary drafters to refrain from inserting the similar position in Clause 23 in future drafting because it makes a mockery of the judicial system when the powers of the courts are removed,” said Wong.
- Justin Santiago
- Justin Santiago, BAppSc (Hons), MBA, LLB (Hons) comes from a journalism, market research, intellectual property and strategic communications consulting background. Now based in Melbourne he spends his time advising businesses on how to communicate to their customers as well as writing on various subjects of interest in this blog.
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