Dato' KC Vohrah

Dato' KC Vohrah
Dato' KC Vohrah

A fascinating insight for all court-going lawyers, from a former Court of Appeal judge.

Dato’ KC Vohrah has very kindly made available to this blawg the text of a speech he gave at a seminar organised by Willis on 23 March 2004 at the Royal Lake Club, Kuala Lumpur.

The full text is available for viewing or download here: Foibles in Court Appearance & Procedures

The following is a summary of the speech:

In his speech, Dato’ Vohrah emphasises the importance of handling court procedures and the role a person takes in court, whether he is a DPP or an advocate.

He shares his experience with the audience about counsel appearing before Judges, given that he had been on the floor before as advocate or as DPP before taking judicial office.

Dato’ Vohrah noted that, although the judge has an upper hand, it is the duty of counsel to make sure he understands them.

He deals with the following in order to give his perspective on the crux of the issue:

  1. A little introduction to the American and Scandinavian thinkers who are called the Realists.
  2. What they say is that lawyers need to realise about judicial decisions — go back to the Judge and take into account ascertainable factors.
  3. Self evident matters on personal characteristics of Judges in our courts.
  4. Self evident matters on what all Judges expect of lawyers.
  5. Misleading a Judge.
  6. Appeal Courts.

Among which, he notes the fact that it is important to take into account certain factors when a counsel appears before a judge. Apart from that were self evident matters relate to attendance in court with regard to appearance and presentation.

Dato’ Vohrah also pointed out that ethics is vital in order for a judge to trust a counsel’s future appearance before the court and gave a few important pointers on how counsels should handle an appeal procedure. All in all, he concludes that by knowing these weaknesses in the system, it will allow counsel to plan how to
appear and take advantage of procedures properly.

Dato’ KC Vohrah is a former Court of Appeal Judge. He is currently a consultant in a legal firm in Malaysia active both in domestic and international arbitration work. He co-authored the 5th edition of Sheridan & Groves: The Constitution of Malaysia and also Vohrah & Hamid: The Malaysian Penal Code. Read more about his life here.