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Lawyers petition Law Society of Singapore

Posted by theonlinecitizen on December 10, 2007

Below is the letter which was delivered to the Law Society of Singapore earlier today by several local lawyers. (Watch the video at the end of the letter.)

President

The Law Society of Singapore

39 South Bridge Road

Singapore 058673

HUMAN RIGHTS DAY – OUR CALLING

Dear Sir,

We congratulate you on your appointment as our new President.

Today we mark the Human Rights Day along with Lawyers and Bar Associations around the world that affectionately include the Malaysian Bar Council.

We record with dismay that Human Rights Day is a non-event to our Law Society. We earnestly hope that along with the Law Society’s major events like the Dinner and Dance, and Bench Bar Games, Human Rights Day will find its way into our calendar in the coming years.

On this day, we call upon the Law Society of Singapore to stand firmly on our mission to uphold the Rule of Law in maintaining a strong and independent Bar as contained in our mission statement published on our website.

It has been twenty years since the Legal Profession Act was amended by the state to muzzle the Law Society from commenting on existing and proposed legislation, unless its views were expressly solicited. This oppressive legislation not only stifles the Law Society from making an active contribution to the law making process but also takes away our vital role as a vanguard of rights of the people. It is time that we broke this 20 year silence in speaking up for our rights to speak up.

Given our close affiliation to the Malaysian Bar Council, we would like to urge the Law Society to stand in solidarity in their courageous fight for the rule of law in Malaysia and in this spirit denounce the recent arrest of the lawyers.

We therefore mark this Human Rights Day in calling upon the Law Society of Singapore to :

1. Campaign for the repeal of the section in the Legal Profession Act which prevents the Law Society from speaking on existing or proposed legislation;

2. Look into ways to strengthen the Independence of the Judiciary especially at the Subordinate Courts;

3. Set up a sub-committee on human rights under the Law Society and conduct human rights training for lawyers;

4. Submit an annual report on human rights violations in Singapore to the Human Rights Institute of the International Bar Association (IBA) and follow up on issues pertaining to the Rule of Law raised at the recent IBA 2007 Conference;

5. Establishment of a Judicial complaints mechanism in addressing complaints by lawyers and the public on any misbehaviour by Judges and Legal Officers from the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

6. Urge the government to set up a National Human Rights Commission..

Yours faithfully,

M.Ravi

Chia Ti Lik

L.F. Violet Netto

*Picture from TODAY.

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13 Responses to “Lawyers petition Law Society of Singapore”

  1. Robert HO said

    RH: A NOBLE EFFORT INDEED, BUT MORE SYMBOLISM THAN RESULTS. NOT THAT SYMBOLIC ACTS ARE UNIMPORTANT IN THE FACE OF ABSOLUTE POWER AND UNYIELDING UNREASON AND THE RULE OF THE GUN INSTEAD OF THE LAW. THERE IS HOPE YET BECAUSE WHEN LIE KY DIES, IT WILL ALL UNRAVEL AND UNRAVEL SO RAPIDLY THAT HE WILL NOT EVEN HAVE TIME TO RISE FROM HIS GRAVE AS HE PROMISED.

    RH: How Law began
    http://i-came-i-saw-i-wrote-it.blogspot.com/search/label/RH%3A%20How%20Law%20began

    RH: : Philosophy of Law all wrong and how to put it right
    http://i-came-i-saw-i-wrote-it.blogspot.com/search/label/RH%3A%20Philosophy%20of%20Law%20all%20wrong%20and%20how%20to%20put%20it%20right

    RH: Why Law is a disreputable subject
    http://i-came-i-saw-i-wrote-it.blogspot.com/search/label/RH%3A%20Why%20Law%20is%20a%20disreputable%20subject

    RH: Father Figures and the Moses Complex
    http://i-came-i-saw-i-wrote-it.blogspot.com/search/label/RH%3A%20Father%20Figures%20and%20the%20Moses%20Complex

  2. Gary Teoh said

    It is a good petition, but then again unless we break the PAP’s 2/3 majority, it is difficult for the petition to go through given that the LSS’s wings are clipped

  3. Smartalex said

    Human Rights Day are not marked solely by Bar Associations. Why push this issue solely to Law Society?

  4. Marco said

    Since the proposed Asean Charter is going to provide for human rights, it could be timely for Singapore to set an example by establishing a National Human Rights Commission.

    The LSS, however, might not be in the best position to take the lead.

  5. […] Human Rights Day – All and Sundry Singapore: To be humans, we need Rights – The Online Citizen: Lawyers petition Law Society of Singapore – Pseudonymity: VIDEO: Burma On My Mind – Human Rights Day […]

  6. Dingo said

    Dear Smartalex,

    Yes Human Rights Day should be marked by everyone, not just Bar Associations. And just how did you mark this Human Rights Day Mr. Smartalex? Not sitting at home behind a computer screen I hope!

  7. Charles said

    Commendable effort from the 3 lawyers. When lawyers in Pakistan were arrested for protesting on the streets, their counterparts in U.S. rallied in Washington. Some of them even went to Pakistan and were arrested by the military regime.

    If the lawyers in Singapore are courageous enough to act, or even voice more critical sentiments against the establishment, the middle class may just be motivated to add their voices…

  8. 2 cents said

    are we under the rule of law or are we under the rule of money? it is like a chicken and egg debate, which comes first? well, i tend to believe, in most cases, the rule of money takes precedent over the rule of law. and why, you asked?you see, people who rule the laws are suppose to be righteous. righteous people should have nothing to hide or conceal. whatever that is conceal, lies in ‘darkness’. but the law is the beacon of ‘light’. darkness and light cannot coexist. the latter dispel the former. if the ‘light’ protects ‘darkness’, would it still be called ‘light’?

    and thus the law is dignified. it has nothing to hide and there is no need to justify ‘concealment’?

    but if the world conceal ‘darkness’ how dark would it be?

    the rule of law must be ‘reborn’. it shouldn’t be overshadowed by the rule of money or become a SERVANT to it!

  9. 2 cents said

    most lawyers will tell you, no money, forget about justice( pro bono is just crap). the rich can afford the ..ahem..best to represent them. so money buys justice?

  10. Scale said

    No doubt the effort and courage is commendable but from the presentation angle, the video makes Ravi and Ti Lik look bad and the LSS guy look good.

  11. It is encouraging that there are presently a recognition that human rights are issues, that cannot be swept under the carpet in the name of economic progress and political stability requirements, as witnessed by the Human Rights Day which even though it is a non celebrated or marked day by our Law Society , there are lawyers such as the petitioners here who are not interested just in seeing their pockets grow by doing those lucrative work but are prepared to stand up and render a voice to the better recognition of this marked day of significant importance before human rights are lost and/or deemed unimportant. To maintain is easier then resurrection unless one thinks he is Christ.

    M Ravi has returned from his suspension on time so it seems and not a day earlier, to grip hold of this Day, glossed over as a non event to most Singaporeans and dismally by the Law Society too with lawyers as the last bastion of defence for the accused against the draconian powers of the State, espacially in criminal laws,and in the securing and ensuring of the rights of all to be entitled to be treated equally before the law in accordance of its own rules.

  12. gramsi said

    The LSS person look frightened, confused and plainly disinterested. I wonder why.

  13. Gong Gong said

    Is the intent of the 3 petitioners altruistic?

    Is there no hidden agenda at all?

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