M Ravi Receives Maximum Suspension Of 5 Years From Court Of 3 Judges
The Court of Three Judges has suspended human rights lawyer M Ravi for five years for making accusations of improper conduct against various parties.
Under the decision, he cannot practise law in Singapore for the entire duration of his suspension.
Although the court has given him the maximum suspension, he is still on the roll of advocates and solicitors.
Mr Ravi said in a post following the ruling that he has no regrets and will continue his international law practice in other countries where he has offices.
Punished for casting doubt on Singapore’s criminal justice system
The Straits Times (ST) reported that on Tuesday (21 Mar), the Court of Three Judges announced Mr Ravi’s written judgment.
Delivered by Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon, the judgment stated that, “Mr Ravi’s misconduct exhibits a fundamental lack of respect and a blatant disregard for the integrity of Singapore’s key legal institutions”.
It added that his criticism incriminated the legitimacy of Singapore’s criminal justice system.
As such, the court claimed that Mr Ravi’s misconduct indicates a flaw in his character and was not a “mere lapse of judgment”.
Allegedly undermined the integrity of the legal profession
According to Channel News Asia (CNA), Mr Ravi has a history of disciplinary issues related to a bipolar disorder diagnosis.
However, those incidents were in 2012 and 2016. Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon said that the present proceedings did not take it into account.
He further noted that Mr Ravi did not apologise for his misconduct at the hearing. Instead, the lawyer appeared to double down on his allegations against the Law Society and the Attorney-General (AG).
In his criticisms, Mr Ravi sought to present himself as a victim of a “dishonourable system”, tolerating an alleged improper abuse of prosecutorial power by the AG.
Chief Justice Menon also noted that Mr Ravi went so far as to impugn the profession during his oral submissions.
M Ravi faces maximum suspension for comments in 2020
According to CNA, Mr Ravi was investigated for comments he made about various parties including the state, the prosecution, and the Minister for Law in 2020.
He apparently made the comments to The Online Citizen following the reversal of Gobi Avedian’s capital punishment charge.
He had said then that the AG, the state, and the prosecution were “overzealous” in charging Gobi, leading to his death sentence.
The Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) later sent Mr Ravi a letter asking him to apologise. However, he allegedly refused, saying he was entitled to his criticisms.
He additionally said he’d commence court proceedings on behalf of Gobi against the AG as well as prosecutors. He also claimed that he had received instructions to seek a public apology from the prosecution.
M Ravi says he has no regrets
Mr Ravi addressed the ruling on a Facebook post shortly after.
“At the end of the day, I am glad that I managed to reopen a death penalty case and save at least one life (Gobi) during my return to practice where I practised for 2 and a half years,” he wrote.
Despite the “huge personal cost”, he asserted that he has no regrets.
He adds that he will continue his international law practices in other countries.
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