Law society wants continued virtual hearings

KOTA KINABALU, 30 May 2020:

The Sabah Law Society (SLS) is of the firm view that amended rules being proposed in relation to virtual hearings should be permanent rather than temporary in nature, as some have suggested.

President Roger Chin said these initiatives have greatly benefited the administration of justice in Sabah, resulting in, among others, greater convenience and lower costs for parties and advocates alike.

He said the SLS is heartened by the recent proposals made by the Palace of Justice (POJ) to amend the various Rules (Rules of Court, Rules of the Court of Appeal and Rules of the Federal Court) to cater for virtual hearings.

“The SLS urges the POJ to stand firm in its commitment to move with the times and make virtual hearings a permanent option, not just a passing fad.

“Physical hearings will always have their place in the administration of justice. However, we must all accept that virtual hearings are here to stay, the sooner virtual hearings are accepted, the better,” he said in a statement today.

Chin said if a lack of expertise is raised by some as a reason for not embracing virtual hearings, the simple answer is to gain the appropriate experience, as advocates in Sabah and Sarawak have.

The SLS is, as always, grateful for the leadership and forward-thinking attitudes that the chief judges of Sabah and Sarawak have displayed in the past, and is certain that this trend will continue in future.

“From the years of experience that advocates in Sabah have been fortunate enough to have had, the SLS is firm in the belief that virtual hearings will ultimately enhance the administration of justice, contrary to the doubts expressed by others,” Chin added.

– Bernama