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Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Who will play countercheck role?

My Letter in TODAY, VOICES December 03, 2009

I refer to the reports "Looking for a few good men ..." (Dec 2) and "8 seats, only 4 candidates" (Oct 21) on the Law Society Elections.

Although I am not from the legal field, the seeming apathy that has hit the legal fraternity is equally alarming to me as an ordinary citizen.

In Singapore, where the judicial and legal process are very often taken as the route for eventual dispute resolution, the ordinary citizen is also looking towards the Law Society to perform the important role in "counterchecking" major court decisions adjudicated by an independent Judiciary - quite simply because the Government might not interfere at all.

There is no way for the layman to play this counterchecking role, which demands the knowledge and experience of a legally trained person.

As apathy hits this noble profession, it is the ordinary citizens, particularly those who are in need of fair representation and are dependent on the legal process, who will suffer.

What if apathy, which Law Society president Michael Hwang identified as "a Singaporean trait not confined to lawyers" (in his speech at the Edu Dine dinner on Aug 14), also hit our independent Judiciary? Will there then be a fair route to ensure finality in the administration of justice?

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