Courts in Malaysia

There are generally two types of trials, criminal and civil. The hierarchy of courts begins from the Magistrates’ Court, Sessions Court, High Court, Court of Appeal, and finally, the Federal Court. The jurisdiction of the courts in civil or criminal matters are contained in theSubordinate Courts Act 1948 and the Courts of Judicature Act 1964. Article 121 of the Constitution provides for two High Courts of coordinate jurisdiction, the High Court in Malaya, and the High Court in Sabah and Sarawak.

Thus this creates two separate local jurisdiction of the courts – for Peninsular Malaysia and for East Malaysia. The highest position in the judiciary of Malaysia is the Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Malaysia (also known as the Chief Justice of Malaysia), followed by the President of the Court of Appeal, the Chief Judge of Malaya, and the Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak. The superior courts are the High Court, Court of Appeal, and the Federal Court, while the Magistrates’ Courts and the Sessions Courts are classified as subordinate courts.

Federal Court The Federal Court is the highest court in Malaysia. The Federal Court may hear appeals of civil decisions of the Court of Appeal where the Federal Court grants leave to do so. The Federal Court also hears criminal appeals from the Court of Appeal, but only in respect of matters heard by the High Court in its original jurisdiction (i.e. where the case has not been appealed from the Subordinate Courts).

Court of Appeal

The Court of Appeal generally hears all civil appeals against decisions of the High Courts except where against judgment or orders made by consent. In cases where the claim is less than RM250,000, the judgment or order relates to costs only, and the appeal is against a decision of a judge in chambers on an interpleader summons on undisputed facts, the leave of the Court of Appeal must first be obtained.The Court of Appeal also hears appeals of criminal decisions of the High Court. It is the court of final jurisdiction for cases which began in any subordinate courts.

High Court

The two High Courts in Malaysia have general supervisory and revisionary jurisdiction over all the Subordinate Courts, and jurisdiction to hear appeals from the Subordinate Courts in civil and criminal matters.

Civil Jurisdiction

The civil jurisdiction of the High Court shall include: * jurisdiction under any written law relating to divorce and matrimonial causes; * the same jurisdiction and authority in relation to matters of admiralty as is had by the High Court of Justice in England under the United Kingdom Supreme Court Act 1981; * jurisdiction under any written law relating to bankruptcy or to companies; * jurisdiction to appoint and control guardians of infants and generally over the person and property of infants; * jurisdiction to appoint and control guardians and keepers of the person and estates of idiots, mentally disordered persons and persons of unsound mind; and * jurisdiction to grant probates of wills and testaments and letters of administration of the estates of deceased persons leaving property within the territorial jurisdiction of the Court and to alter or revoke such grants.

Sarah from Law Aspect

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