Violence and Right of Assembly

October 27, 1998

The Bar Council wishes to emphasis the importance of the rule of law and the maintenance of law and order, and accordingly calls for an end to any form of street violence from any quarter.

The Bar Council wishes to state that while Article 10 (1) (b) of the Federal Constitution recognises the right of assembly it is a right of citizens to assemble peaceably and in compliance with the laws of the country. In recognition of this constitutional right, due opportunity through permits should be given by the Police with appropriate safeguards for a peaceful assembly by citizens to express their views as a means of avoiding illegal gatherings. Meanwhile, the Bar Council calls for moderation and restraint by all parties including the public and the Police to ensure the avoidance of any incidents of physical force and violence.

In connection with recent legal developments the Bar Council has set up a legal team of volunteer lawyers to render whatever legal assistance that may be needed by both Members of the Bar of the Public in handling their cases in respect of detention under the ISA, arrests for being members of alleged unlawful assemblies and the recording of police statements from Members of the Bar when discharging their duties as advocates and solicitors.

In conjunction with the above, the Bar Council is organising a seminar to create awareness among Members, on professional confidentiality and the legal position to be observed when statements are recorded or suspects are remanded by the Police under the Criminal Procedure Code.

Prominent criminal law practitioners will address issues at this Seminar. The Seminar will be held on Friday, 30th October, 1998 at 4.00 pm in the Bar Council Auditorium, Ground Floor, Loke Yew Building, Jalan Mahkamah Persekutuan, Kuala Lumpur. For further information, please contact the Executive Director, Ms. Catherine Eu at No. 5, Jalan Tun Perak, 50050 Kuala Lumpur, tel. 03-2011366

Dated : 27 October 1998

Dato' Dr. Cyrus Das, President, Malaysian Bar

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