Chia Ti Lik’s Blog

Just another weblog

Hi all! I am back! :)

Juggling law, politics, activism, human rights is never easy. At least that is what i found out.

I was facing from 02 June 08 onwards an almost daily appearance in Court for a number of matters involving Dr. Chee Soon Juan and Gopalan Nair. The cases had peppered my entire court schedule and ate into my free time, rest time and professional time.

I was so tired out by the number of relentless court appearances – which took up an inordinately large amount of my time. On one of the weeks i was in court perpetually the entire week. Even innocuous matters took up half a morning just by their very nature. This does not take into account the time spent on discussion and preparation.

Eventuallym when a family court judge got her PA to breathe down my neck for my long overdue submissions, i knew something had to go. So out went my retainer for Gopalan (for the time being).

For Gopalan’s trial for disorderly behaviour, i was scheduled hearings in full days and 1/2 days imagine appearing in one court for one matter in a morning and returning to another court for a trial hearing in the afternoon. Vice versa. There was simply no let up.

In fact, the District Judge who gave me the dates was most helpful, he gave me such dates as early as possible (not as comfortable as possible) so much so that i had to tell Gopalan to try to represent himself.True as an advocate as he was, Gopalan rose to the occasion and took the trials himself. I discharged myself in the process and got down to clearing my backlog.

A similar thing happened for my retainer for Dr. Chee’s trial of the 3rd and 4th charges for making an address without a permit more than 2 years after they occurred. They occurred before the 2006 General Elections anyway. These were only the 3rd and 4th charges, there are at least 4 more to go.

Upon settling myself down to normal paid work. I found myself a new client who instructed me on 2 appeals to go before the High Court. Having had only less than 8 days to get both Petitions of Appeal ready, I kissed my audio system and my remaining dog goodbye on 23rd July 2008 and never looked back since.

Completing the two Petitions of Appeal on time was a feather in the cap. I never knew i could still worked like that. I had thought that i had grown old and that my stamina and concentration had deteriorated. Preparing for the two appeals stretched my limits. Not to mention i had another Appeal hearing before a High Court Judge in Chambers in the midst of it all. All these added together only proved one thing, that i had gotten a little soft over the past years. 🙂

The appeal preparations difficult as they were, were indeed tests of my ability to sit through with discipline when i am on the point of fatigue. I did not find them easy. Accordingly, i did feel a sense of relief and accomplishment when they were submitted on time.

Preparing for the hearing was also an eye opener. Imagine completing the draft of one appeal and opening the file of another to begin preparations for written submissions for the next day’s hearing of another matter. That was not easy. I remember being incoherent on the phone when a friend called me a little late the night before. Positive Exhaustion does wonders to your ability to sleep with your eyes open and holding a phone with one hand and standing up.

The appeal hearing was (i felt) naughtily fixed by the registry before Justice Lai Siu Chiu. Yes the one that Gopalan Nair had criticised 🙂 I had a little surprise when i saw the hearing lists in court. What a coincidence! Anyway i had a fair hearing before Justice Lai and there is nothing better than to test your ability to detach yourself from the cases that you advocate and argue. This again was a test of my professionalism.

In any event, the appeals are now down for now. Till the next step that is required of me under the rules of procedure – hi all boys and girls, readers of this blog. I am back! 🙂


August 5, 2008 - Posted by | Life


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  3. hey…touched by the sacrifices you made towards helping others (especially those who suffered injustice) in addition to your normal course of work and other commitments. =) You are really putting your expertise and training into good and meaningful use. Hope you can find more time for yourself cos you deserve to relax and recharged too… you are doing great and looking great!

    Comment by agneschia | August 17, 2008 | Reply

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