KUCHING: The Advocates Association of Sarawak (AAS) and Sabah Law Society (SLS) are of the view that the stand taken by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg that High Court cases reviewed by the Court of Appeal and Federal Court should include at least one judge from either Sabah or Sarawak.

“It is the right stand to take which is in the best interests of Sabah and Sarawak,” it said.

In a joint statement yesterday, it said Sabah and Sarawak have unique cultural, religious, linguistic and ethnic diversity and coupled with these factors there are also the corresponding socio-political, economic, geographical and legal factors that are prevalent to both the States respectively.

“In this respect, there are a multitude of laws, customs and practices inherent to the Sabah and Sarawak respectively. There are many principal enactments of Sabah and Sarawak not including the Sabah laws and Sarawak laws that have been declared as federal,” it said.

Whilst the AAS and SLS recognise the propensity of any Judge, irrespective of their origin, to have a sound and accomplished appreciation of the written laws.

“We are of the view that the practice of having a judge from either from both states on each panel for cases originating in Sabah and Sarawak should be revived purely on the grounds of expediency, efficiency and as an able assistance to an appellate court panel where the local laws, customs and practises may be relevant, especially with regard to land matters and adat.”

Ranbir Singh Sangha is the president of the Advocates Association of Sarawak, while Brendon Keith Soh is the president of the Sabah Law Society.