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The Malaysian Court System

over 2 years ago fadzel



This article is for general informational purposes only and is not meant to be used or construed as legal advice in any manner whatsoever. All articles have been scrutinized by a practicing lawyer to ensure accuracy.

Tell me something about our courts

Are you curious about the different courts that we have in Malaysia?

Let’s find out together.

First, let us look at this simple chart before going into the details:

Subordinate Courts (Court for Children, Magistrate Courts, Sessions Courts)

Court for Children

  • Hears and determine any charge against a child (under 18 years old)
  • Exercises jurisdiction under Child Act 2001 or any other written law.
  • Consists of a First Class Magistrate and shall, as the case may require, be assisted by two advisers, one of whom shall be a woman.

Magistrates’ Courts

Civil matter:

  • First Class Magistrates’ Court- try all actions and suit (value not exceeding RM100,000.
  • Second Class Magistrates’ Court- try original actions or suits (value not exceeding RM10,000)

Criminal matter:

  • First Class Magistrates’ Court- try offences punishable with imprisonment not exceeding 10 years, with fine only and offences under Sections 392 and 457 Penal Code.
  • Second Class Magistrates’ Court- try offences punishable with imprisonment not exceeding 1 year or punishable with fine only.

Sessions Courts

Civil matter:

  • Unlimited jurisdiction to try all actions of a civil matter concerning motor vehicle accident, landlord and tenant and distress.
  • Jurisdiction to try all other actions of a civil nature (not exceed RM1,000,000.)

Criminal matter:

  • Try all offences other than those punishable with death.
  • Pass any sentence other than the death sentence.

Superior Courts (High Court, Court of Appeal, Federal Court)

High Court

  • Two Chief Judges – Chief Judge of Malaya and Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak.
  • Unlimited subject matter jurisdiction.
  • Has original, appellate and supervisory jurisdiction
  • Has general supervisory and revisionary jurisdiction.

Court of Appeal

  • Members- President of the Court of Appeal and up to ten Court of Appeal judges.
  • Hear and determine civil appeals for cases (above RM 250,000.)
  • Hear and determine any appeal against any High Court decision on criminal matter.

Federal Court

  • Members- Chief Justice, the President of the Court of Appeal, Chief Judge of Malaya, Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak and six Federal Court judges.
  • Highest court in Malaysia and the final court of appeal.
  • Hears civil and criminal appeals from the Court of Appeal.
  • Decisions bind all the courts below.

Special Court

  • Established under Article 182 of the Federal Constitution,
  • Hears any civil or criminal action against the Yang Di- Pertuan Agong or any of the nine Malay Rulers.

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