Sunday, December 20, 2009

MACC interogation after office hours - court ruling

MACC interogation - after office hours

The Court of Appeal recently overturned the ruling of a High Court and ruled that the MACC may interrogate witnesses after office hours.
After the ruling by the Court of Appeal, there was a hue and cry from the general public, questioning why the MACC be allowed to interrogate witnesses after office hours.
Some went on to say, it is now the Court's ruling, so we must obey it.
It is clear that there is a misunderstanding about the laws and their contents.
Without getting involved in the intricacies of jurisprudence, it is a basic fact that in a democracy, the law is written by men. It is not something that comes from heaven - the general idea may, in the form of morals and so forth.
It is what men want, and it is then made into a law.
in this case, we have to decide what we want: should we allow the MACC to interrogate witnesses even after office hours? In our system of democracy, it is the Government that decides on this after having felt the general opinion of the public.
Once a decision is made, the whole concept is converted into a law, through the legialative power of the Government.
After the law has been made everybody must follow it.
However, if there were a dispute in the interpretation of the law, it is the court that has the final say. There again, the Court only interpret what has been written into laws. The Court does not decide on the substance of the issue. Using this issue as an example, the Court merely interprets what is written in the laws; it did not decide if the MACC should interrogate witnesses after office hours. That is the Court's understanding of the law.
It also means that the law was 'badly' written; not achieving what the Govrernment intended it to be.
The remedy is to rewrite the law. That is, if the Government had originally intended that the MACC may not interrogate witnesses after after ofice hours.
On the other hand, if the Government intends that the MACC may interrogate witnesses after office hours, then there is nothing much we can do, except to raise public support to get the Government to change its policy.
At the end of the day, it is really up to the Government, not the Court, in this case.

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