.of power, discretion, conscience, courtesy and compassion.
Assertive, powerful and nice words, aren’t they? . To what extent these words are applied in our daily lives is very much questionable.
I always believe in standing for what is right. To stand my ground no matter what it takes.
What happened today in Court was really getting on my nerve. All I need was to get a short mention date for pending settlement instead of going on with the trial as the lawyer for the Defendants needed time to finalize a few things with his client. All parties are agreeable to that.
But it seemed like the magistrate was not happy with it, he refused to give the mention date for settlement and insisted on going on. He didn’t even give me the opportunity to explain the situation. He stood down the matter. I remained seated and God knows how upsetting the situation was.
I don’t have any problems with other court judges when it comes to settlement process. They are more than happy to ask you to negotiate settlement instead of proceeding with trials which are gonna take forever.
I went out, called the Defendant’s lawyer up and explained the situation. It has been our intention to withdraw the matter today due to some technicalities, but the Defendant lawyer asked us to give them some time to come up with a mandate.
While waiting outside, I saw a friend of mine, holding tonnes of files, shivering and kept saying that she was so scared of appearing before the magistrate because of her previous experience with the magistrate.
I told her to get into the Court and asked the magistrate to listen to what you have to say. Just because you’re sitting up there does not make you superior than every one else. We are all officers of the Court and it is our duty to facilitate the administration of justice.
Obviously listening skill is out of question.
I called up my boss and explained the situation and she asked me to stand my ground and hold on to my judgment.
Then my matter was called up for the second time, and he asked me what was the status.
M: so how counsel?
Me: Tuan, memandangkan tuan tidak benarkan tarikh sebutan untuk penyelesaian, saya mohon untuk menarik balik kes dengan kebebasan memfailkan semula
He looked shocked.
M: Bukan saya tak boleh bagi tarikh sebutan, tapi kenapa tak settle sebelum tarikh harini. Kenapa sekarang…and kept going on and on and cutting me off..and I said:
Me: dengan izin tuan, boleh berikan saya peluang untuk memberi penjelasan?
He kept quiet and said yes.
I explained the situation and suddenly he interrupted
M: why does it take this long?
Me: tuan, what happens between the Defendant’s lawyer and his client is beyond my control. My client is agreeable to settlement outside court and the last thing that lawyers want to do is delay court’s process. Tuan, delays wouldn’t do anyone any good.
M: tapi saya juga ada power not to allow mention date for pending settlement.
Me: yes, I respect the fact that you have the power to do so, and I have the right to withdraw this matter for you leave me with no choice.
He was stunned.
I said, the izin tuan, saya mohon kes ditarik balik dengan kebebasan untuk memfailkan semula.
M: perintah seperti dipohon.
As I was walking out of the Court, I could feel my whole body was shivering. Geram.that was the only word that I could think of.
At the same time I was so proud of myself that I had the courage to ask him to listen to what I have to say. Excuse me for not condoning blind submissiveness for I am oblivious to that.
And while I was driving back from Court, I came up with a quote:
“ If you think that I would beg for my/people’s right, you’re dead wrong, because I’m gonna fight for it”!