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Rahayu Mahzam on Post-appeal Applications in Capital Cases Bill

09:35 Min

The Government is making changes to the criminal justice system to ensure that it is more progressive, balanced and modern to deliver just outcomes and protect society from crime. These revolve around post-appeal applications in capital cases that are filed by a prisoner awaiting capital punishment after all avenues of appeal have been exhausted. Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Law Rahayu Mahzam, who outlined the key changes in Parliament on Tuesday (Nov 29), said that in recent years, there have been several instances of last-minute applications. The Bill will set out a process for such post-appeal applications to provide more clarity. The Court of Appeal (CA) will have the discretion to grant permission for the application if it thinks fit. If permission is granted, the application must then be made to the CA, and fixed for hearing within the prescribed periods. Ms Rahayu said having the CA directly hear applications provides a streamlined procedure for such applications, while still allowing them to be heard before the apex court. The Bill also provides that a capital sentence may be carried out, unless the President has ordered a respite, or the CA has granted a stay of execution, or if there is a pending application for permission to apply for a stay of execution or an application for a stay of execution that meets the specified criteria. Ms Rahayu said the amendments will provide clarity for all parties on when the sentence may be carried out. She said these amendments will ensure greater clarity and guidance and do not affect access to justice.

The Government is making changes to the criminal justice system to ensure that it is more progressive, balanced and modern to deliver just outcomes and protect society from crime. These revolve around post-appeal applications in capital cases that are filed by a prisoner awaiting capital punishment after all avenues of appeal have been exhausted. Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Law Rahayu Mahzam, who outlined the key changes in Parliament on Tuesday (Nov 29), said that in recent years, there have been several instances of last-minute applications. The Bill will set out a process for such post-appeal applications to provide more clarity. The Court of Appeal (CA) will have the discretion to grant permission for the application if it thinks fit. If permission is granted, the application must then be made to the CA, and fixed for hearing within the prescribed periods. Ms Rahayu said having the CA directly hear applications provides a streamlined procedure for such applications, while still allowing them to be heard before the apex court. The Bill also provides that a capital sentence may be carried out, unless the President has ordered a respite, or the CA has granted a stay of execution, or if there is a pending application for permission to apply for a stay of execution or an application for a stay of execution that meets the specified criteria. Ms Rahayu said the amendments will provide clarity for all parties on when the sentence may be carried out. She said these amendments will ensure greater clarity and guidance and do not affect access to justice.

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