Singapore’s best court Tuesday suspended human legal rights law firm M. Ravi for 5 several years in excess of remarks criticizing the metropolis-state’s attorney normal, the highest sentence doable. A popular human legal rights attorney who is regarded internationally for representing loss of life-row inmates in Singapore, Ravi has expended the improved portion of his 20-yr occupation advocating for human rights and obtain to justice.
Soon after serving to a consumer avoid the demise penalty in 2020, Ravi claimed that the Attorney Typical (AG) was “overzealous” in prosecuting his customer all through an interview for an on the net publication. Instead of apologizing or retracting his statements, as asked for in a letter AG sent to Ravi, he posted the letter on Facebook, stating that he was “entitled to [his] criticisms of the unfairness involved to the miscarriage of justice.” He also threatened to sue the Legislation Society of Singapore if did not defend the independence of attorneys or participated in any ongoing harassment in opposition to him.
In response, the AG filed a criticism with the Legislation Culture. Ravi was initially held liable and requested to pay out a $6,000 penalty for building “baseless” accusations. Ultimately, the circumstance arrived at the Singapore Court docket of Attraction, the country’s greatest court.
Presented Ravi’s record of equivalent disciplinary conduct and the “aggravated” instances of this case, the Courtroom of Attraction discovered it appropriate to impose the highest sanction due to the fact his misconduct has actively undermined “public confidence in the integrity of the legal program and legal career.” In imposing the utmost sanction, the courtroom held:
The whole tenor of Mr Ravi’s arguments at the hearing designed it evident that he seen himself as a target of what he believed to be a dishonourable procedure that tolerated the incorrect abuse of prosecutorial electricity by the AG et al, the abnegation of responsibility by the court to initiate the critique course of action, and the have to have to contend with the “sword of Damocles” that the AG and the Law Culture had established above him during the system of his illustration in the Gobi (Evaluate) proceedings and above the legal job at massive. In just this allegedly unjust and oppressive technique, Mr Ravi solid himself as somebody who was simply just “zealously pursuing … [his] result in [and] the oath [he had] taken to the rule of law”.
Malaysian legal rights team Attorneys for Liberty (LFL) has publicly condemned the Regulation Modern society for keeping silent and failing to defend a single of their individual in the facial area of harassment and intimidation. LFL also warned Ravi’s suspension would have devastating impacts on the rights of lots of Malaysian dying-row inmates.
Commenting on his suspension, Ravi claims he has “no regrets” because he managed to help you save “at least one life.”