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February 23, 2021

Counsel Citing Adverse Authorities


It's rare for counsel to cite adverse authorities.

From experience, I think it rare for counsel to cite authorities that are adverse to them. Even just to distinguish those authorities.

Similarly, instances where judges point out and thank counsel for their honest use of adverse authorities are even more rare. (And therefore appreciated when they do happen.)

See the court in Subramanian v Retnam [1966] 1 MLJ 172:

I would therefore allow the appeal, set aside the learned magistrate’s order of dismissal of the action and substitute for it a judgment in favour of the appellant in the sum of $1,000. The respondent will pay the costs of this appeal and of the action in the court below.

Before concluding the matter I must say that I am deeply grateful to Mr. Morris Edgar for drawing my attention to the case of Ismail bin Savoosah & Ors. v. Hajee Ismail, supra, even though it was against him.


 

 
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