Appeal’s Court Hear Interveners’ Appeal In Herald Case

7 interveners had their appeal heard before the Court of Appeal on 8th May 2013 against the decision of Madam Justice Lau Bee Lan who dismissed their application to intervene in the Herald’s High Court Judicial Review action (‘JR Application’).

On 31st December 2009, Justice Lau had inter alia declared that the Archbishop had the constitutional right to use the word “Allah” in the Herald Catholic weekly periodical.

The 7 comprising of 6 State Islamic Religious Councils and the Malaysian Chinese Muslim Association argued that they have an interest in the JR Application and that the High Court was wrong to have dismissed their application.

At the High Court, Justice Lau Bee Lan heard the interveners application to intervene and the JR Application together.

Although Justice Lau Bee Lan in her decision on 31st December 2009 dismissed the interveners application to intervene, she nevertheless allowed the interveners to be heard on the main JR Application and considered their submissions.

At the hearing of the Interveners’ Appeal, the Court of Appeal queried the Archbishop’s counsel if the procedure adopted by Justice Lau is correct, namely whether the High Court was right to hear both applications together and then dismissing the interveners’ Application and allowing the JR Application.

The Court of Appeal suggested that this could be a wrong procedure. They even suggested that the matter should be sent back for the main JR Application to be heard afresh before another High Court Judge. The Appeal stands adjourned for continued hearing to 23rd May 2013.

The Court of Appeal was presided by Dato' Sri Abu Samah bin Nordin who was sitting with Dato' Balia Yusof bin Haji Wahi and Dato' Rohana binti Yusuf. The Archbishop was represented by Porres Ryan, Benjamin Dawson, S. Selvarajah and Annou Xavier while Mubashir Bin Mansor was the lead counsel for the interveners.

The State Islamic Religious Councils are from inter alia the States of Terengganu, Selangor, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malacca and Johor.

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