Gay man's adoption of biological child: Chief Justice says it is not the courts' business to formulate policy

Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon said the court's business is not to formulate policy, which is a role for the elected branches in a constitutional democracy.
Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon said the court's business is not to formulate policy, which is a role for the elected branches in a constitutional democracy.PHOTO: ST FILE

Court's business is not to formulate policy but to find the facts presented and apply the law

Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon has warned against the danger of allowing politics to become "judicialised", where courts are invited to resolve issues usually addressed through the political process such as matters of national identity and religious freedom.

"When such issues enter the court, they often assume the cloak of 'public policy' and they cover a wide spectrum including cases involving human rights and public law," he said. His remarks came in a speech, Taming The Unruly Horse: The Treatment Of Public Policy Arguments In The Courts, delivered at the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak in Kota Kinabalu last month. The event was attended by the Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak, Datuk Seri Panglima David Wong Dak Wah, the deputy speaker of the Sabah State Legislative Assembly, Datuk Ahmad Abdul Rahman and members of the Bench and Bar, among others.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 12, 2019, with the headline 'CJ warns against allowing politics to be judicialised'. Print Edition | Subscribe