SEXUAL HARASSMENT AT THE WORKPLACE AND THE ISSUE OF CORROBORATION EVIDENCE
Muzaffar Syah Mallow
Dr., Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Syariah & Law, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM),
Bandar Baru Nilai, Negeri Sembilan Darul Khusus, Malaysia
Sexual harassment at the workplace is a hazard which existed in a workplace and which can happen not only in Malaysia, but in all countries in all over the world. The effect of it is very serious as it reduces the quality of working life, jeopardizes the well - being of both hard working men and women who try to make a honest living, and as well as imposes financial burden on firms and organizations where the offence took place. For these reasons, sexual harassment at the workplace has been seen by many as a nuisance which need to be stop immediately. In some jurisdiction, the matter has been regarded as a civil issue and in some jurisdiction the matter has been regarded as a crime. As such, there are various laws currently being used to address the issue of sexual harassment at the workplace like specific sexual harassment law, equality and sex discrimination law, human rights law, labour law, tort law, and criminal law. Some countries like Malaysia has taken initiative by creating a special code of practice as well as strengthening their administrative law to deal with the issue effectively and efficiently at both public and private sectors. However by taking into consideration the nature of sexual harassment which is complex and sensitive in nature, it will be very difficult especially for the effecting parties to prove their allegation. There are only few cases up to today in Malaysia where the issue concerning sexual harassment at the workplace able to be prove and succeed in the court of law. Many pointing finger at the well-established requirement for having corroboration evidence rule as a reason for their failure to succeed in their legal claim. Due to this reason, there are few experts in the field as well non - governmental organizations (NGOs) in country calling for some relaxation over the corroboration evidence rule on the issue and even proposing for its immediate abolishment. As such, it is the aim of the research to examine the issue concerning sexual harassment at the workplace in the country as well as the requirement of having corroboration evidence in substantiating the allegation as provided under the Malaysian Evidence Act 1950 (Act 56) and decided cases. It should be stress that the main objective of this research is to identify and highlights the application of the corroboration rule in several decided cases in the country and the importance of having corroboration evidence in order for the effected party to build up their case for their allegation.
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