Plea bargaining is an out of court process which
allows the accused to plea for reduction of a charge or sentence for an offence
that he had committed. It is a common practice among the accused and the
prosecutor to expedite the disposal of criminal case. It benefits the prosecutor
to secure the punishment of the accused without proceeding to a full trial,
which needs a certain procedure and a higher standard of proof to prove the
accused guilty of an offence. Through plea bargaining, the accused will not be
subjected to severe charge or punishment, and the prosecutor and the accused
cannot appeal the case to the higher court if plea bargaining is successful.
Nevertheless, the process of negotiation without the assistance of a third
party could lead to the unsuccessful of plea bargaining which may result to a
full trial. This happens if the prosecutor or the accused disagree with the
sentence or a new charge offered by any one of them. This will cause
inconvenience to the accused if he initially agrees to plea bargaining for
reduction of the charge or sentence, however, due to the dissatisfaction of the
suggestion of a new charge or sentence offered by the accused, the prosecutor tends
to proceed the case to a full trial. This can be avoided if a neutral third
party assists the accused and the offender to reach a deal. For instance, in
Singapore a judge acts as a mediator to facilitate the process of plea
bargaining to resolve criminal cases out of court. Thus, this research examines
how plea bargaining is conducted under the Criminal Procedure Code of Malaysia.
It also analyses how mediation helps plea bargaining process under the law of
Singapore. It is suggested that the Criminal Procedure Code of Malaysia be
amended to allow a third party to facilitate the process of plea bargaining.