KUALA LUMPUR, April 13 — Even those who are untrained in law can tell when injustice is being done, Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah Azlan Shah said today.
As such, justice must be seen to be done instead of merely being carried out, he emphasised in his speech at the 22nd convocation for 548 law graduates who passed their Certificate in Legal Practice.
“Injustice when carried out, can be evaluated by the general public and the citizens, despite them not being trained in law.
“That is why, not only must justice be done; it must also be seen to be done,” said the Perak sultan whose father the late Sultan Azlan Shah was formerly Lord President of the Supreme Court.
A copy of his speech text was made available to Malay Mail Online.
Sultan Nazrin also told the graduating class to uphold the legal profession’s fundamental principle of “justice” at all times, regardless of their career paths.
In his speech, the monarch also related an anecdote in which a teacher instructed a class of law students that they were obliged to speak out and defend against injustice, after they remained silent after seeing a fellow student being ejected seemingly for no reason.
Through the anecdotal account, he sought to assert the importance of justice being seen to be done at all times.
He then continued and highlighted the importance of this basic principle for a country, saying its government’s credibility and public confidence towards it is influenced by its justice system.
“Justice and the citizens’ perception towards the carrying out of justice will influence the stability or instability of a nation,” he said.
In a reminder, Sultan Nazrin pointed out that perception of the rule of law being upheld depended on its implementation.
“The rule of law is not evaluated from the aspect of a law being drafted neatly and written in beautiful language. The rule of law is evaluated from the aspect of fair and just enforcement and use, application on every citizen without fear or favour,” he said.
He also said a nation’s progress is also determined partly by the country’s laws from the time it is drafted to the way it is enforced.
“A country’s progress is very much influenced by the people’s confidence and the world’s confidence that the country is administered in a fair and just manner based on a legal system and institutions that have integrity and are transparent,” he said.
He noted that the integrity of legal institutions and system hinges on the people who practise those same high values.