Straits Times (Used by permission)
Sri Ram took the Bar Council to task for "not doing anything' to address falling standards and respect for the court
PUTRAJAYA: No robe, no talk. This, in a nutshell, was the message that Court of Appeal judge Datuk Gopal Sri Ram had for a young lawyer yesterday who appeared before a panel of judges without the required apparel.
He initially offered lawyer Tan Gaik Swan, called to the bar
three months ago, a hint by saying "I can't hear you.'
When Tan, who was also not wearing a bib around her neck, did not take the bait but continued addressing the court, Sri Ram told her that she was not suitably attired.
The judge then asked her whether she was told that it was fundamental for a lawyer to be fully attired before appearing in court.
To this, Tan, who had come to court to withdraw an appeal in a civil case, replied that she did not know about the requirement as she had not been told about it.
On hearing this, Sri Ram took the Bar Council to task for
"not doing anything' to address falling standards and respect for the court.
He also criticised the legal profession for the deterioration in standards.
Sri Ram said the legal firm which employed Tan and her master during her pupillage should also be held equally responsible.
He said he had instructed a senior assistant registrar to lodge a complaint with the Advocates and Solicitors Disciplinary Board against Tan's employer, Messrs Jeff Leong, Poon and Wong and her master.
The court later instructed another lawyer to take over Tan's matter.
Also sitting with Sri Ram were Datuk Vincent Ng and Datuk Sulaiman Daud.