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Malaysia government introduces judicial ethics bill to address corruption concerns

[JURIST] The Malaysian government on Monday introduced a bill [text, PDF] that would set up a committee to discipline judges who violate the country's judicial ethics code. The Judges' Ethics Committee Bill 2008 was tabled [Bernama reoprt] Monday by the Dewan Rakyat [official website], the Malaysian parliament, and will be considered at a later date. If passed, the legislation would allow judges suspected of an ethics violation to be referred to the committee, which would hold an in camera review of the judge's conduct.

The bill comes amid widespread allegations of corruption in the Malaysian justice system. Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], who faces sodomy charges, has denounced the system [JURIST report], saying he has no confidence in it. Last week, Malaysian Prime Minister introduced [Malaysia Star report] the Judicial Appointments Commission bill [text, PDF], that sets up a committee for appointing judges. That bill has also been tabled.

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