UK’s Youngest Magistrate


Shopping for shoes, watching TV and reading are Lucy Tate hobbies. On the Friends Reunited website, Miss Tate, who is studying a law degree at Leeds University, gives an intriguing insight into her tastes and lifestyle. Her profile includes a photograph of her favourite shoes and matching handbag, which are covered in pink sequins. And now, she has become Britain’s youngest magistrate at the age of 19.

But the appointment of Lucy Tate has attracted criticism from other magistrates who claim her youth and lack of experience make her ill-equipped for the job. Some people believe that she is too young for the job.

Miss Tate was recruited after a £4 million government advertising campaign two years ago to recruit more young people and ethnic minority candidates to the bench.

Magistrates without legal qualifications deal mainly with minor criminal offences and some family cases – the minimum age was reduced from 27 to 18 in 2004. Previously, the youngest magistrate was a 20-year-old man from Sussex, appointed last year.

Sue Vogan, chair of the committee responsible for recruiting magistrate in Pontefract, said that The committee was very impressed with her personal maturity and judgment. A spokeswoman for the Department for Constitutional Affairs said that she was definitely the youngest that has been appointed and she had to go through a rigorous selection process that involved the local advisory committee.

As the matter of fact, while some countries campaign to recruit more young people to the bench, but my beloved country, Indonesia, still preserve the old “grandfather” magistrates. Even our Hon’ble Chief Justice of Supreme Court, Bagir Manan, extend his position with his own queer decision. Could you imagine how “good” our leader gives an example for us?

For me, life experience isn’t an absolute requirement to be a magistrate. First of all, magistrates sit in benches of three so she or he is hardly making the decision herself. Also magistrates undergo significant training prior to being allowed to sit.

I think it’s a good idea to broaden the age of people dispensing justice, especially in Indonesia. Or perhaps we would still rather have more 60 year old magistrates from privileged backgrounds with colonial views and corrupt minds?

See Also: How to Become a Magistrate

Lady Judges for Rape Victims


Indian Government is all set to make it mandatory that only women judges will hear rape cases. However, the legal fraternity is divided on whether it will help the victims.

There is another move for the empowerment of women in Judicial System. This time it is the law doing its bit for the rape victims, in the form of the recent move to make it mandatory for rape cases to be tried only by women judges. The idea supposedly being to do away with the “tough questioning” that defence lawyers resort to in courts, normally presided over by male judges. But will this actually help women or is it just another cosmetic change? If we assuming that our systems, India and Indonesia, are biased and that rape victims do not get justice, then it will very help the victims to get the truly justice of them.

The law’s motive is clear – it wants to safeguards women from feelings of awkwardness and shame. A rape victim is already emotionally scarred, but with women judge around, they will feel more comfortable. The comfort level between two women is certainly more and a woman judge will definitely be able to empathise with the victim.

Some disagree opinions stated that it is not about who is sitting on trial, but what we should hope for is justice. However, it might give the victim a sense of ease, but a male judge can achieve that too. Whatever it’s a woman or a man the law remains the same.

We all have known that male judges who lead the rape cases, especially in Indonesia, often embarrass the victims with ridiculous questions. Therefore, lady judges might be a little sympathetic towards the victim, even which is not what the law demands.

In brief, I think this is more of a psychological strategy that will help women. And although men may be kinder, victims will feel more secure in the presence of women judges. Though a judge may deliver perceptional justice, a woman’s verdict will be more acceptable.

If this system will has been set up, the final question is why single out only rape victims – what about victims of dowry harassment and sexual assault? They should be judged only by women, shouldn’t they?

– Pan Mohamad Faiz –

Komisi Yudisial Vs Mahkamah Agung


Rencana pembentukan “Perpu tentang Penyeleksian Ulang Hakim Agung” atas prakarsa Komisi Yudisial ternyata telah mengundang perdebatan yang sangat serius dari berbagai kalangan dan pemerhati hukum. Artikel ini mencoba untuk menganalisis melalui kacamata yuridis maupun sosiologis atas rencana dikeluarkannya Perpu tersebut, dengan penekanan khusus terhadap penjelasan mengenai unsur “kegentingan yang memaksa” yang menjadi syarat utama dari pembentukan sebuah Perpu. Hal ini sangat penting untuk dicermati, guna melewati “batu uji” yang dinamakan legislative review dan judicial review.

Hukum Acara Mahkamah Konstitusi


Pada saat ini masih sedikit penulis yang membuat artikel mengenai Mahkamah Konstitusi RI dikaitkan dengan proses beracaranya. Tulisan singkat ini merupakan hasil studi sekaligus pengamatan langsung dari penulis atas perkembangan dari Lembaga Negara tersebut. hal yang perlu dipahami adalah Mahkamah onstitusi mempunyai hukum acara yang jauh berbeda dengan hukum acara yang diterapkan di peradilan biasa. Semoga artikel ini dapat memberikan tambahan wawasan di bidang Hukum bagi para pembaca. Sekaligus penulis memohon masukan dan saran yang membangun dari pembaca sekalian, sebab artikel ini barulah buah karya awal dimana tentunya tidak luput dari kekurangan.