15 Jul 2006

Strange scheduling by the Court

Media Release: Strange scheduling by the Court
14 Jul 06

The case of the Lees vs the Chees gets stranger and stranger.

First, Mr Lee Kuan Yew boasted that he will take his opponents on in defamation suits and is willing to subject himself to cross-examination in the witness box. When his opponents call his bluff, he quickly applies for summary judgment so that the matter is heard in chambers and he doesn't have to appear in court.

But when Dr Chee Soon Juan and Ms Chee Siok Chin challenged the constitutionality of the summary judgment for the very simple reason that it does not allow for a trial to take place, the Courts schedule this application to be heard not only on the same day but at the same time as the summary judgment – 3 August 2006 at 10 am.

Oversight? Couldn't be because when defence counsel, Mr M Ravi, wrote to point out the problem, the Courts replied and directed that the date and time for the hearings of the two matters remain.

In addition summary judgments are heard at the level of the Registrar and not a High Court Judge. This was what happened in Dr Chee's case against Mr Lee Kuan Yew and Mr Goh Chok Tong in 2001. In the present case, however, the Courts decide to appoint a Judge instead of the Registrar to hear the case, contrary to the rules of Court. This is the same Judge who will also hearing the Chees' application to declare summary judgments as unconstitutional.

So what exactly is the message that is being sent by this arrangement of the two matters being heard simultaneously? Are the Courts saying that it won't take very long to dismiss the Defendants' application to stop Mr Lee Kuan Yew's and Mr Lee Hsien Loong's summary judgment? Even if the Chees' application is dismissed, don't they have a right to appeal the decision? Under the rules, time must be allowed for appeals.

This isn't the first time that the Court's scheduling has been questioned. In 2004 in their lawsuit against Dr Chee, Mr Lee Kuan Yew and Mr Goh Chok Tong applied for the hearing of the assessment of damages to be brought forward even though they knew Dr Chee was away in the US for a fellowship. The Courts, despite knowing that Dr Chee was away wrote to him asking him to attend court to “confirm” the new dates. Mr Lee and Mr Goh later withdrew their application because their schedules had changed.

This doesn't change the fact that the Courts had acceded to Mr Lee's and Mr Goh's request when they it knew that Dr Chee was away. Why did it ask Dr Chee to attend court to confirm the dates picked by the Plaintiffs despite knowing full well that Dr Chee would not be able to make it?

These and the question on the present case of why the hearing of Dr Chee and Ms Chee will be heard at the same time of the Lees summary judgment need to be explained.


13 comments:

Capt_Canuck said...

strange. Though, not really sure how the whole in chambers/in trial thing works, but I would find it really amusing (and not surprising) if the Lee's go to the one place that the Chee's do not go to and then the Lee's cry forfeit because 'they were there at the appointed time' so there is a judgement in the Lee's favor at that level but when the Chee's cry "forfeit, we were at the right place at the right time for our proceedings" at the place they are at, the judge over rules them and says that the judgement has already been decided in another court and the Chee's really should get their act together.

or perhaps this is yet another delay tactic in the Lee's cause when the time and place comes and the courts 'realize' their mistake they have to set another time and place 3 months down the road, allowing more time for the Lee's to find, or create, other legal loop holes for the Chee's.

Strike up another glorious win for Lee & Lee, the yet undefeated champions of the libel world in Singapore (or should it be called LeeLand or Lee & Lee Inc.?)

Anonymous said...

chambers means case is handled in judge's office with parties directly involved present, rather than open court where reporters and members of public can attend

since LKY, given his advanced age and frailty, is now successfully evading Chee's attempt to force him to testify in front of the public, Chee will have to give up on this tactic

(people might recall GCT falling into the trap of the british queen's counsel by admitting that despite WP libel, his election vote went up, i.e., his reputation was not actually hurt by the libel; open court can be very risky if your opponent can afford expensive lawyers)

Anonymous said...

what an amazing lack of comments.

has the managing begun?

Anonymous said...

everyone, like royston tan, knows it is good to stay within ob markers

Anonymous said...

O, fear is infectious. Long live the PAP!

Anonymous said...

I make these comments as a practicising litigation lawyer.

I'm as skeptical of the PAP as anyone else, but there really is nothing sinister about scheduling the 2 matters together before the same Judge.

It is unusual for "first instance" Summary Judgment applications to be heard by a Judge, rather than a Registrar; but its' not "contrary to the Rules of Court".

Technically, the constitutionality argument can be decided 1st, and if the Judge decides that the Chees are right, the the Lees' Summary Judgment can be dismissed without being heard. If the constitutionality argument fails then the Summary Judgment application can be heard.

Anonymous said...

The Lee company always make sure the bent rewritten singapore law is on their side.

It must be wonderful to rule a small in insignificant country with the power to bend local judicary to the requirment of the time.

The whole business smacks of the typical banana republic.

However, you are dealing with the race of people, the Chinese, we have always as East Enders been warned about childhood., "Yellow Peril", cowardly through and through, little men who only believe in their small dicks and earning money.

In the Lees case, They are tdoo tight lipped and moralistic to use their dicks, and only wish to earn money from the backs of their trodden down population.

And yes, it would be interesting to receive more comments.

Anonymous said...

how large is your dick? let's have a contest

I probably also have more money than you.. eat your heart out.. but let's not be crude..

Anonymous said...

anon, i am an honest east end docker, npot afraid of a hard days work, not a sniveling yellow chinese bastard a coward to his little toe. correct, I do not have any money, but a nice docks and government pension worth six thousand singapore dollars a month. and my medics are also paid for.

soci said...

If the anonymous children don't behave I will have to disable the anonymous comment facility.

Anonymous said...

one reason PAP was successful is its enemies keep ranting nonsense and bark up the wrong tree

ycbi said...

Anonymous said...
I make these comments as a practicising litigation lawyer.

I'm as skeptical of the PAP as anyone else, but there really is nothing sinister about scheduling the 2 matters together before the same Judge.

It is unusual for "first instance" Summary Judgment applications to be heard by a Judge, rather than a Registrar; but its' not "contrary to the Rules of Court".

Technically, the constitutionality argument can be decided 1st, and if the Judge decides that the Chees are right, the the Lees' Summary Judgment can be dismissed without being heard. If the constitutionality argument fails then the Summary Judgment application can be heard.

7/16/2006 11:06:07 PM

It may well be within the law but it is moraly corrupt ,but then the law is often seen as an ass !

lee hsien tau said...

Risking Death and Dismemberment: Court Date with Destiny


Summons to an accused person

Dated this 4th day of July, 2006 (funny it wasn't stuck on the door until more than 2 weeks later)

Case ID: SC-019929-06
Charge No: TC-007025-2006

Criminal Procedure Code (Cap 68) Section 158-160

Charge:

You, KOH CHONG KIANG (NRIC No S1471858C), the leesee of Apartment Block 536 Upper Cross Street #11-245 Singapore 050536, are charged that you have failed to pay the outstanding conservancy and service charges for the months of December 2003 to September 2005 (actually, Dec 2003 to date) of $529.00 (actually, the number seemed to have gone up and down) due and owing to the Town Council of Jalan Besar within 14 days from the date of service on you of a written demand dated 10 March 2006 and that you have thereby committed an offence under Section 39(7) of the Town Councils Act (Cap 329A) and punishable under the said Section thereof.

You are hereby required to appear on the 3rd day of August, 2006 at 6.00pm in person before the Subordinate Court No. CT 26N at Singapore and you are hereby warned that if you shall, without just excuse, neglect or refuse to appear on the said date, a Warrant may be issued to compel your attendance.


1) There's only enough balance in my CPF to service the mortgage for 2 more months.
2) The utilities bill has been outstanding for more than 6 months.
3) Not taking into account other non-recoverable debt owing to Singtel, Starhub and M1.
4) Telling the MP Low Meng See in 3 visits but seeing his face only once, just before the election - so I was surprised to learn that somebody was privileged to smash MP Seng Hang Thong in the face - but not getting the message through, only to find him off the radar screen after the election.
5) Is it an offence to be poor and jobless?

At the time I'm due to appear in court, Dr Chee Soon Juan and Ms Chee Siok Chin's application
to challenge the constitutionality of the summary judgment for the very simple reason that it does not allow for a trial to take place, the Courts scheduled the application to be heard not only on the same day but at the same time as the summary judgment - 3 August 2006 at 10 am, would be known.