Human rights lawyer and activist M Ravi was barred from practising law in Singapore by the Court of Appeal 2 years ago, but that has not stopped him from becoming Singapore’s most recognized constitutional and human rights lawyer.
Having gained considerable international recognition for his efforts here in Singapore and Malaysia, he is now being headhunted to join a legal team in Tanzania to mount the death penalty constitutional challenge there.
M Ravi wrote on his Facebook, “Just spoke with the Legal Aid and Human Rights Centre in Tanzania (http://www.humanrights.or.tz/) which will be challenging the mandatory death penalty regime in the country. I’m honoured to be invited to be part of the legal team and to be working with the team led by lawyer Fulgence Massawe. The Attorney General will be mounting a preliminary objection to the challenge to be heard next Monday. If we clear this preliminary objection, the matter will proceed to main hearing within 3 months and I will be attending the hearing to assist. Looking forward to sharing my knowledge and experience of mounting the challenge against the mandatory death penalty here in Singapore.”
Tanzania is a commonwealth country and has laws similar to those of Singapore’s.
Ravi clarified to reporters that the Tanzanian legal team is not challenging the death penalty per se but the mandatory nature of the death penalty. This means that judges cannot hear mitigating factors and decide on a lesser degree of punishment.