Press Statement

AG and the government should not appeal against the decision to strike down section 13 of SOSMA

29 November 2019


Lawyers for Liberty welcomes the decision by the Kuala Lumpur High Court Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali today, in ruling that section 13 of the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA) is unconstitutional and ultra vires Articles 8 and 121(1) of the Federal Constitution. The High Court further stated that this was because it divests from the courts the judicial discretionary power to evaluate whether to grant or refuse bail applications.


This would not only mean that the judicial power to grant bail cannot be restricted or prohibited, but the decision upholds the doctrine of the separation of powers between the executive, the legislature and the judiciary which is a fundamental feature in the basic structure of the Federal Constitution. This is well in line with the landmark 2017 Federal Court case of Semenyih Jaya Sdn Bhd v. Pentadbir Tanah Daerah Hulu Langat.


The decision today, coupled with Chief Justice Tengku Maimun’s recent speech calling for judges to defend the principle of separation of powers, independence of the judiciary and to uphold the rule of law, augurs well for the future of Malaysia as a modern democratic country.


We therefore call upon the Attorney General Tan Sri Tommy Thomas and the government to accept the decision and not to appeal against it.


Issued by,

Melissa Sasidaran


Lawyers for Liberty