Saturday, January 9, 2010

New Laws for contempt.

Since when did our judges show 'great' restraint? Even wearing a T-shirt gets you thrown in court. You should read the court transcript of Chee v.s. Lee defamation case as an example to see how much 'restraint' our judges have shown in using contempt as a form of punishment.

Contempt of court is just another means to prevent freedom of expression. That is why the courts of Singapore will never earn my respect. When will the courts learn that they can never enforce respect? Fear yes, respect no.
Straits Times: New laws for contempt
THE Penal Code spells out clearly, in many situations, what constitutes an offence and the likely punishment, but one anomaly stands out: contempt of the courts. New laws will be put in place so that ordinary people will know the penalties faced for such offences. The move follows a call by Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong on Saturday for such laws to replace the current discretion given to judges who deal with such cases. At present, no statute lists out what makes for contempt of the courts and the punishments, unlike other criminal offences which are spelt out in the Penal Code. 'The law of contempt in Singapore is an anomaly in our criminal justice system, as all our laws are statute-based,'said CJ Chan. Lawyers say statutes make for certainty in the law and consistency in punishments. But due to the anomaly, punishments for contempt of court are unlimited and at the discretion of judges who have shown great restraint in the past, said the CJ.