|Suhakam wants power to bring human rights cases to court|
|Friday, 08 June 2012 09:08am|
©The Sun Daily (Used by permission)
by HUSNA YUSOP
HUMAN RIGHTS Commission (Suhakam) chairman Tan Sri Hasmy Agam said when the need arises, the commission should be able to bring cases of human rights violations to court.
Countries such as the Philippines and Indonesia allow such cases to be brought to court, he said in an interview with Sinar Harian yesterday.
He said preliminary discussions with the Attorney-General’s Chambers have been held on this, but a final decision on the matter has yet to be reached.
“The AG’s Chambers said that for this purpose, Suhakam must have members who are expert in laws, or will have to appoint lawyers. Also, the AG’s Chambers brought up a point that should Suhakam lose a case, who would bear the cost? These are some of the things raised.
“At the same time, there were legal experts suggesting that Suhakam should be given immunity if it were to bring cases to court,” he said.
So far, Hasmy said, Suhakam members will attend certain human rights-related cases and play a role as observers. They will also provide statements on relevant human rights principles when asked by judges.
Hasmy also told the daily that the courts do not really understand the issue of human rights.
“Judges look at court cases in terms of criminal and civil laws, not human rights which is actually a separate set of laws,” he asserted.
To address this, he said Suhakam will have a forum on human rights with judges in September.
“Human rights must be integrated into the country’s legal system so that offenders will get the appropriate defence and sentence in court in the aspect of human rights,” he added.
On another matter, Hasmy said Suhakam plans to hold discussions on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) with interested parties, including religious experts, especially Islam.
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