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View Full Version : The Basic rule of justice "Innocent until proven guilty"



aurora97
13-01-2006, 02:05 PM
I am in a rush for time so i will make it clear for some, will come back and reply any queries.

The law is very clear, even protection is accorded to the guilty. The rule of law is states that no one is above the law, even a prime minister cannot do as he pleases and is subjected to it.

This innocent until proven guilty, is not for the press to decide. 99% of the time even in this forum, i find that minds of readers of whatever newspaper in Malaysia have their minds biassed by local newspaper. When the guilty suddenly turns innocent, the crowds of lynching mob suddenly dissapears or just sweep it under the carpet and forget about it. From experience gained in the billionaire forum, people want to believe his for sure 100% guilty, whilst for me i put it at 99% rather than 100%. A 1% chance means alot, think of it even in the case of a surgery 1% chance for the surgeon to screw up. If he does say helo to God for me please, and regards to my grandparents.

Malaysians overall are too fast to judge, the media are acting as the medium or accessory to prejudice the minds of the public. We are neither the judge, jury (We lost that right long time ago, cause people do not know how to make use of it, for example the "take apa" attitude:"WTF(pardon the french),Jury durty in Kelantan, i think i will just call in sick!) nor executioner for the guilty or innocent, it's ultimately up to the court to decide.

Put yourself in the shoes of the guilty, in the event your arrested falsely. Would you like legal representation, would you like the law to protect you? a yes our very own favourite media hound dogs, they are not coming to the rescue are they. First thing you reader in the newspaper headline front page "GUILTY ON ALL ACCOUNTS, A LIER, CHEAT, COn bla bla ... WE HAVE INSIDE REPORTS!!", inside reports means your definately screwedlah. At this point you either hang yourself or sign the confession, since no one will belive that your innnocent no more. At this point you'd be praying for Karpal Sigh or the best lawyer in town to appear, cause no one can redeem you once the media takes a bite at you. Give you some benefit of a doubtlah, some human rights activist in America probably you manage to convince starts rallying for you. What difference does it make, your countryman also don't believe u.

SO do you get/see the point, the fine line between innocent and guilty?

That why they say "let justice be done though the heaven should fall," or its better to let go 10 guilty person than to jail an innocent person.

isarahim
13-01-2006, 02:17 PM
Malaysians overall are too fast to judge, the media are acting as the medium or accessory to prejudice the minds of the public.

I agree. But it's a symptom rather than a cause. We should address the cause, not the symptom. The cause has something to do with a rapidly increasing distrust in our justice system. People, including myself, assess that with very high likelihood there are major criminals floating around in the public sector which repeatedly manage to escape justice. This weakness triggers off the prejudicing (or rather quasi-judicing).

aurora97
13-01-2006, 04:42 PM
From my perspective, i think the media has cause quite a stir especially by placing a person who is "charged" on front page stating out what he's charged for. Instead of waiting for an court official to decide on his sentence, the media has already prejudiced the minds of court officials; on top of that the media has already decided on the case.

We must at all time put faith in our judiciary system, no matter how low its fallen. The mentally of peole must change, give credit/encouragement to the judicial service. Some people are really working very hard, i know there is a larger % of lazy bums but than again...

If you've done business studies in a Level, people to need encouragement/ appraisal, sometimes even abit of the stick and carrot scenario.

Support Your Judiciary!

isarahim
16-01-2006, 04:43 PM
From my perspective, i think the media has cause quite a stir especially by placing a person who is "charged" on front page stating out what he's charged for.

I completely agree.

But if our justice system was working properly, it would have been possible for those victims to sue the media and win compensation. This works in almost every other Common Law country, why not in ours?

shali
16-01-2006, 05:43 PM
I'd like to say my own views in the matter.

In Malaysia, an accused who is aquitted by a criminal court may have a good case against the police/prosecutor/state if he can prove basically 2 things:

1. that the charge against him was so frivolous and groundless that no reasonable authority would have prosecuted him based on such evidence, and

2. that the charge was proceeded, nevertheless, because of malice.

There have been instances where the accused persons had actually mounted such a tortious suits in the past, and it's not new in Malaysia - it's not happenning only in other common law states.

My second point is this.

Newspapers, journalist and the media have the first right of reporting anything which they 'reasonably believe' to be in the public interest to know.
The law does not differentiate between journalists and individuals. They are all the same. But over the last 200 years, the common law judges began to appreciate the tough but necessary role of the free press to report and make sensible editorial observations - which means, making reasonable comments on what you and I see on TV and the news report. Such comment in a free society is extremely important, and the courts have defended that - even if Government does not.

So reporting about 'an arrested person', reporting about events related to that arrested person by first hand witnesses' account, making reasonable comments and research surrounding that person or the activities or like activities, are generally covered. BY NO MEANS they are trying to convict him in the public press. BUT BUT, the perception can be just that, which I understand - that the press is out to kill him.

However, the trial judge (or the jury) will be expressly sworn NOT TO consider any other evidence or material OUTSIDE the courtroom. They have to discard that completely in arriving at their verdict. Defence lawyers too may submit about the potential prejudicial effect of adverse news reports relating to their clients.

isarahim
17-01-2006, 04:09 PM
Thanks for the enlightening. Very good. Question is how this can be pursued practically for the little man on the street without financial resources. Furthermore, the Common Law provisions assume that the media is free. But it's not.

Perhaps you know better, but I actually have not heard of any case in Malaysia where a normal person defamed by media have gained compensation.

I've only heard of cases where people like Vincent Tan, Mirzan and Daim have been going after various papers....

shali
18-01-2006, 01:06 AM
Thanks for the enlightening. Very good. Question is how this can be pursued practically for the little man on the street without financial resources.

You are spot on.
The issue whether a man of straw can sue another for libel or slander should be a subject of a Master's thesis in law, at least. I'm unable to find an example actually. Dato Musa successfully sued a book writer - but then it's Musa hitam, not a trishaw puller. Again, the leading case of Al-Jefri, who was sued by a former Dep. PM - another big shot suing an author of a book.

As it stands, there are 3 things one needs to prove in order to succeed in a suit for defamation:

1. a false statement referring to him was 'published'
2. that such statement had ACTUALLY reduced his standing in the society, or exposed him to hatred, ridicule or contempt by his community
3. that as a result of 1, and 2 above, he had suffered damage

It's tough for a trishaw puller to prove 2 and 3 - this is the sad story of the law of defamation, but easy for well-to-do plaintiffs to prove.

The law as it is applied in Malaysia, is almost word for word with the law of England - the birthplace of aristocracy and class society. That's why ;)

joker2107
18-01-2006, 02:20 AM
2. that such statement had ACTUALLY reduced his standing in the society, or exposed him to hatred, ridicule or contempt by his community
3. that as a result of 1, and 2 above, he had suffered damage


we've seen at least one rm20mil award n a handful of multi mil rm ones. but who has seen evidence of 2 causing 3? this is a "science" which interests me greatly cos i wanna find out how i can frame a successful case on my own merit based on precedence in interpretation. ;) ;) whats that law which limits yr claim 2 rm10k if yr bones r broken n u lose yr rice bowl as a result thereof? akta msia boleh ?

d papers reported today that some dap leaders lodged reports with police/aca based on d judgement. while i appreciate their hard work, i'd rather an opposition which bites more than bark. the apepals court judgement is not a finality. as i said earlier, it could tantamount to sub-judice to press charges or even to initiate investigations based on a court judgement which is being vehemently contested (at least by halim).

i actually had visions of this guy residing in the former mof's lodging for contempt.

shali
18-01-2006, 08:55 AM
but who has seen evidence of 2 causing 3? this

whats that law which limits yr claim 2 rm10k if yr bones r broken n u lose yr rice bowl as a result thereof?


1. I don't understand your first Question.

2. There is no law that limits the quantum of damages. You can claim 3 billion if you want. Whether the court is with you, is another.

joker2107
19-01-2006, 01:39 AM
hv successful litigants ever been required 2 prove that as a result of a false statement referring to him/her being 'published' his/her standing in the society had ACTUALLY been reduced , or exposed him to hatred, ridicule or contempt by his community? i mean like in some cases kopitiam talk has it that society has scant respect 4 d plaintiffs since time immemorial. some even swear that such "glory seeking profiled-cases" actually elevated d plaintiff.


2. i vaguely recall something like civil liability limitation or ...... victims could only claim 10k or something like that.

shali
19-01-2006, 08:49 AM
hv successful litigants ever been required 2 prove that as a result of a false statement referring to him/her being 'published' his/her standing in the society had ACTUALLY been reduced , or exposed him to hatred, ridicule or contempt by his community? i mean like in some cases kopitiam talk has it that society has scant respect 4 d plaintiffs since time immemorial. some even swear that such "glory seeking profiled-cases" actually elevated d plaintiff.


2. i vaguely recall something like civil liability limitation or ...... victims could only claim 10k or something like that.


True. True.
Some claimants failed to prove in court that his/her standing in the society had ACTUALLY been reduced or was subjected to ridicule or contempt by his community. Example, in UK, a known common prostitute sued another for slander -- that she had an affair with Mr X. It matters not to the 'society'. She failed.

Secondly, there was a call to 'regulate' the amount of compensation that could be awarded by a court to a defamed person. I think it was a mere guideline. But judges don't like that.

aurora97
19-01-2006, 10:21 AM
2. i vaguely recall something like civil liability limitation or ...... victims could only claim 10k or something like that.

If i am not mistaken, there are a few criteria in which you must take note:
1. you can sue a person for any amount of damages in a Civil liability claim, problem is it depends on the discretion of the court.
2. your social standing, status, reputation, social worth, bla bla...
3. another hurdle, you might be required to pay in to court 10% of what you asking from the defendant. Say 1 million, so its a $100K.
4. such liablilty can go both ways, and if you as the Plaintiff loses in a 1 billion dollar defamation suit. How much are you going compensate the defendant for hauling him into court?

aurora97
20-01-2006, 01:49 AM
Here's an example, you shouldn't believe everything you read in the newspaper. Whether he is actually a triad boss or not, it is up to the police to decide not newspapers. They should have waiting for the official news, rather than go ahead and printing their own version.

http://www.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2006/1/19/nation/13155321&sec=nation