SINGAPORE: The Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) has defended the law of contempt, in response to two postings made by blogger Alex Au.
The AGC said Mr Au’s post dated 18 June on the Woffles Wu case had deliberately misrepresented the facts, and then accused the court of being biased.
Following that, Mr Au had apologised for contempt of court for his comments.
Referring to Mr Au’s second post dated 15 July, the AGC said it is misleading of Mr Au to now allege that Singapore’s laws on contempt prevent debate and curtail free speech without acknowledging what he has done.
The AGC said a judge can be criticised for imposing the wrong sentence.
Such criticism is not contempt and there is no curtailment of free speech that would prevent such criticism.
But the AGC said it is contempt to say that the court was biased if there is no objective rational basis to do so, as Mr Au did.
The AGC added that the law of contempt exists to protect public confidence in the administration of justice.
Accusations of bias diminish it in the eyes of the citizens, lower it and ultimately damage the nation.
Such accusations can occur frequently, with the judges not being able to respond.
That is why confidence in the administration of justice needs to be protected from such allegations.
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