The resignations of the Chief Justice (CJ) and President of the Court of Appeal (PCA) is a positive development having regard to the controversy their appointments have attracted in the past (‘Top judges Raus and Zulkefli resigns’, Malaysiakini, 13.6.2018).
The issue of their appointments have long been contentious with the Federal Court due to decide the constitutionality of same upon an application initiated by the Bar Council, amongst others.
I am of the view that the said Federal Court decision is not rendered academic as a result of the said resignations as it is necessary for a judicial pronouncement to be made as to the legality of such appointments in order to avoid a repetition of same in the future.
The Federal Court must fix a date for decision of the said matter as soon as possible now in light of the said resignations.
It was further reported that the said resignations takes effect from 31.7.2018.
With respect, I am of the view that such resignations ought to be with immediate effect as it is obvious that same have come about as a result of the controversy surrounding the appointments of the CJ and PCA.
Furthermore, it is not proper for the CJ and PCA to remain in their respective positions until 31.7.2018 if there is doubt as to the validity of their appointments.
As such, there is absolutely no reason for such resignations to be delayed as there are other judges who are perfectly capable of immediately being appointed CJ and PCA respectively.
In the circumstances, the said resignations ought to take effect immediately to pave the way for the legitimate appointment of a new CJ and PCA.