By Monash University, the Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network and Harm Reduction International
This report considers whether Malaysian death penalty trials for drug-related offences comply with fair trial guarantees, and whether accused persons are provided with the high level of procedural fairness and access to justice required.
Part 1 of this report sets out the legal framework and standards which apply in capital cases involving drug charges under both international law and Malaysian law.
In Part 2, we examine whether Malaysia’s domestic legislation adheres to fair trial benchmarks in cognate common law countries and international human rights standards.
Part 3 builds upon this analysis with a discussion of relevant decisions and interviews with Malaysian lawyers who have experience in criminal law, and specifically death penalty cases. A comprehensive methodology is attached in Appendix 1.
Part 4 of this report provides an analysis of how the peculiarities of Malaysia’s DDA undermine the fair trial rights of accused persons charged with drug offences.
Finally, Part 5 of this report makes key recommendations. Crucially, our research finds that death penalty sentences for drug related offences in Malaysia have been imposed following proceedings that do not meet either the international fair trial standards or similar benchmarks found in the common law.