Chief Justice showered with praise

|     James Kon     |

THE presentation of the International Jurists Award to Chief Justice Dato Paduka Steven Chong is for his lifelong unique contributions in the field of administration of justice and in recognition of his exemplary and far-reaching contribution to the theory and practice of law for the advancement of justice, President of the International Council of Jurists Dr Adish C Aggarwala said.

Dr Aggarwala, delivering a speech at the award ceremony, also praised Dato Paduka Steven Chong for being “extremely hardworking, insightful and upright” and commended the significant role he has played in “the efforts to improve the justice delivery system in the region” and in making “all possible efforts to make the judiciary of Brunei strong and independent”.

Dr Aggarwala also mentioned of the problem of terrorism, noting that many civilised nations are passing through a critical juncture and have witnessed unprecedented terrorist attacks and highlighted the role law plays in stemming this threat.

“Each new incident of terrorism brings the issue of terrorism right to the forefront,” he said. “Terrorism is a global problem and international collaboration is needed to tackle it. In these extraordinary times, the law is expected to take the lead and to strengthen national efforts to boost security.

“This bestows a special responsibility on the jurists of the world to take a fresh look at the present legal structure and examine whether there is any need for change. It is the responsibility of the judiciary to see that deterrent punishment is meted out to the perpetrators of terrorism even at the cost of minor violations of human rights.”

Meanwhile, in his congratulatory speech to Chief Justice Dato Paduka Steven Chong, British High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam Richard Lindsay underlined that the rule of law is based on a clear separation of powers between the executive, the legislative and the judiciary, and that there is a shared responsibility and commitment by each to uphold the independence of the judiciary.

“While I have been in Brunei, it has been a great pleasure to work with the Honourable Chief Justice to build on the longstanding ties between the Judiciary in England and Wales and the Judiciary in Brunei Darussalam,” Lindsay said. “We have been building our shared use of the common law system to ensure it remains the primary means of administering justice and looking at ways to share our experience on issues like judicial training.”

Chief Justice Dato Paduka Steven Chong with the President of the International Council of Jurists Dr Adish C Aggarwala and delegation, Attorney General Dato Paduka Haji Hairol Arni bin Haji Abdul Majid, justices of the High Court, judges of the Intermediate Court and Magistrates. – JAMES KON