Saturday, October 23

Sarawak High Court Registrar Office urged not to postpone any court proceedings – Softaa sec-gen

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Mark Murau Sumon

KUCHING: The Society For Tolerance and Awareness (Softaa) has urged the Sarawak High Court Registrar Office to consider not postponing any court proceedings.

Its secretary general Mark Murau Sumon said the restrictions imposed during the Movement Control Order (MCO) had impacted certain court cases, clients, office work and other work-related obligations.

“We have been receiving a number of complaints from lawyers during this time as they attempt to fulfill their legal and administrative obligations on behalf of their firms and clients.

“This is because their nature of work does not fall under the definition of essential services in the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures Within the Infected Local Areas) Regulations 2020,” he said in a press statement on Friday.

Mark opined that the relevant parties should be able to apply to court, if the case was still in pre-trial case management (PTCM), to ensure access to justice during the enforcement of the MCO.

He proposed that this could be done via online hearing ‘e-Review system’ as well as video conferencing provided all relevant parties must be in agreement.

“And leave is subject to court’s discretion,” he said.

He said Softaa had been made to understand that the judiciary had to suspend court proceedings due to the MCO enforcement.

“This has caused certain cases such as out of court settlement not being heard even though both parties have agreed for discontinuation of the proceeding.

“To ensure access to justice is not being compromised, everyone has the right to a fair trial if they are charged,” stressed Mark.

As such, he hoped that the judiciary would look into and resolve such concern.