MENU

Latest from the Malaysian legal team on Supreme Court

Written by Caroline Goh Seow Siang By The 24 victims’ families of the Batang Kali massacre are hopeful and somehow optimistic that the UK Supreme Court would rule in their favour and that British Government be ordered to open inquiries into contentious killings by British soldiers in Batang Kali, Selangor, on 11 and 12 December 1948.  The families’ application for judicial review after the UK Government’s refusal to hold the inquiry was dismissed by the Divisional Court in 2012 and also lost their appeal to the UK Court of Appeal in 2014 but was invited to appeal to the Supreme Court. Human Rights Duty It was argued by the families that both Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and Section 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) imposes a duty on the UK to commission an independent inquiry despite the killings occurring before the ECHR was drafted and signed and by virtue of Janowiec, such investigative duty arose because there was a connection between the killings, the original inadequate investigation, the UK’s signature and ratification of the ECHR and the subsequent failure to undertake an inquiry when the new evidence came to light, particularly in the 1970s […]
Read More ›

Link to Supreme Court Summary

https://www.supremecourt.uk/cases/uksc-2014-0203.html
Read More ›

Batang Kali Supreme Court hearing soon!

Lawyer John Halford writes: I write to give you a heads-up on what’s happening in the Supreme Court this week. You’ll recall the Batang Kali case well. Tomorrow one of the oldest survivors who was there as a child – is Madam Lim Ah Yin, 78 – will be arriving in the UK for the Supreme Court hearing of the appeal which takes place this Wednesday and Thursday.   Her remarkable journey to the Britain’s highest began in December 1948, when Madam Lim was 11 years old and living on a rubber plantation in colonial Malaya. You’ll recall that British troops surrounded and took control of her village, separated the women and men, and began a series of interrogations about whether the villagers were supporting Communist insurgents. They included mock executions. The following morning she, her mother, one man and other women and children were put on a truck. The troops then took her father and 22 other unarmed men out from the hut where they had been held overnight and shot every one of them. No-one has ever been prosecuted for it, despite six of the soldiers confessing to murder in 1970. The British government has never apologised for […]
Read More ›

Legal comments on Batang Kali

By Marcus Tan Kian Han Background Story Families of 24 people killed by British troops in the British colony of Malaya in 1948 brought the case to the UK Divisional Court in May 2012. On 4 September 2012, the Court upheld a government decision not to hold a public hearing into the killing and also ruled that British Governmnt was responsible for the killing in Batang Kali. In its written judgement, it said, “There is evidence that supports a deliberate execution of the 24 civilians at Batang Kali.” The families took up the matter to UK Court of Appeal and it was heard by three presiding judges, the Vice President of the Court of Appeal, Maurice Kay LJ, Rimer LJ and Fulford LJ on 26 to 28 November 2013. Lim Kok, being the 3rd claimant and also the representative of the families attended the hearing in Royal Courts of Justice, London accompanied by voluntary lawyers from the Action Committee Condemning the Batang Kali Massacre, Quek Ngee Meng and Datuk Firoz Hussein. The claimants/appellants were represented by Michael Fordham QC, Danny Friedman QC, Professor Zac Douglas, Stephen Grosz and John Halford of Bindmans LLP. The three Lord Justices led by Maurice Kay […]
Read More ›

More on the Supreme Court

According to John Halford on the Bindmans’ web site: On 19 March the Court of Appeal led by its second most senior judge, Lord Justice Maurice Kay, handed down an extraordinary judgment on the Batang Kali massacre case, Chong Keyu and others. Two weeks later, it took the rare step of granting permission to appeal against its own final Order, giving a green light to a Supreme Court appeal likely to take place later this year. These developments represent a turning point in a sixty five year campaign for justice by survivors, family members and thousands of supporters in Malaysia. Here the families’ solicitor, John Halford, explains why. At their appeal hearing last November, four family members of the 24 unarmed civilians shot dead by British soldiers at Batang Kali village argued that Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights imposed a duty on the UK to commission an independent inquiry or investigation into what had happened. The investigatory duty was said to apply despite the killings having occurred before the Convention was drafted and signed. This was a novel argument, never considered before by a UK court, but strongly founded on developments in Strasbourg (especially the Katdyn massacre case, Janowiec […]
Read More ›

News about Batang Kali case

I received the following email from John Halford who represents the families of victims of the Batang Kali killings… I write with some news on progress. The Supreme  Court has listed the families’ appeal for a two-day hearing on 22nd and 23rd April. It will probably be heard by a 5 or 7 judge Court. The judgement is likely to be forthcoming 2-4 months after the hearing.  Maddeningly, the government is reviving their bankrupt arguments about the Sultan of Selangor or the High Commissioner of Malaya being responsible in law. They also have an ally on the main arguments in the form of the Attorney General for Northern Ireland, who is intervening to argue against there being a duty to investigate pre-Human Rights Act deaths (because of the implications this would have in Ireland).  Here are some details of the Court, which is in Parliament Square:- https://www.supremecourt.uk/
Read More ›

Check out this link

http://issuu.com/authoright/docs/new_edition_november/1
Read More ›

Interesting comments

http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2014/03/massacre-in-malaya.html
Read More ›

A Nasty and Brutal Business by John Newsinger

A Nasty and Brutal Business Christopher Hale, Massacre in Malaya: Exposing Britain’s My Lai The History Press, 432pp, £24.00, ISBN 9780752487014 reviewed by John Newsinger For many years the British Army had a reputation as experts in counterinsurgency. Whereas both the French and the Americans had suffered humiliating defeats in Indo-China, Algeria and Vietnam, the British had not only successfully crushed insurgencies in Malaya, Kenya and elsewhere, but also managed the task without resorting to the brutality, torture and overkill that discredited other counterinsurgency campaigns. In the 1990s, this reputation was reinforced by the British performance in Northern Ireland, where a successful peace process had been put in place. These successes allowed the British to claim that they were the best at this type of conflict. They congratulated themselves on practicing a kinder, gentler counterinsurgency that actually worked: minimum force, maximum hearts and minds. In recent years, however, the poor performance of the British Army in Iraq and Afghanistan has led to a reassessment of Britain’s post-1945 wars. It turns out that the triumphs weren’t quite as glorious, or the conduct quite as restrained, as had been reported. In Massacre in Malaya: Exposing Britain’s My Lai, Christopher Hale offers an important contribution […]
Read More ›

Book titles

A number of reviewers – and most of the reviews have been generally favourable – criticised the title ‘Massacre in Malaya: Exposing Britain’s My Lai‘. They point out that book is not exclusively about the Batang Kali massacre (a misnomer in any case) and that the murder of 24 Chinese villagers in Malaya is not comparable to the killing of nearly two hundred civilians in ‘My Lai’. I can’t disagree. The original title of the book – which was suggested by literary agent Peter Robinson – was ‘The War without a Name’. In their wisdom the publisher who eventually took the book wanted something more ‘dramatic’. Hence ‘Massacre in Malaya’. A shame.
Read More ›