Allow private lawyers to apply as judges to help ease court backlog

National 1 minute, 34 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE president of Brunei’s Law Society has urged the government to allow private practice lawyers to join the judiciary as magistrates and registrars.

This could help address the current shortage in judges as well as reduce the backlog of court cases, said Mohamad Rozaiman DSLJ Abdul Rahman.

Currently, only legal practitioners from the State Judiciary or Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) can apply to be magistrates or registrars.

“If they open up then there may be local Bruneians who may be interested to join … that’s what other jurisdictions are doing,” he said on the sidelines of the launch of the Judiciary Case Management System last week.

“But if we are still waiting for direct entry from the judiciary or people being transferred from the AGC, then the numbers are not going to increase that much.”

Chief Justice Dato Seri Paduka Hj Kifrawi Dato Paduka Hj Kifli acknowledged that there are still many vacancies for magistrates and registrars.

“This is an area where we are having a problem… It is not easy to fill because we want local lawyers to fill them without the need to look for foreign experts.”

Rozaiman added: “With the right package I sincerely believe there are people from private practice who want to move to a different field. And the beauty of that is you create more specialisation.”

The Law Society president said increasing the number of judges will reduce the backlog of cases, improving the efficiency of the court process.

“With the introduction of the electronic case management system, the number of court filings will increase, especially by private firms. The judges and registrars may be overwhelmed.

“During the next legal year, we may be hearing of an increase of filings in the civil courts, and if the number of cases increases then the number of judges and registrars should increase as well.”

The Brunei Times