An Introduction to the Concept of Law in Malaysia

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Definition
Law is defined as any system of regulations to govern the conduct of the people of a community, society or nation. It is the governmental response to society's need for both regularity, consistency and justice based upon collective human experience. A statute, ordinance, or regulation enacted by the legislative branch of a government and signed into law, or in some nations created by decree/judgement without any democratic process. This is distinguished from "natural law" which is not based on statute, but on common understanding of what is right and proper (often based on moral and religious precepts as well as common understanding of fairness and justice). "by-laws“ is a generic term for any body of regulations for conduct, including specialized rules (military law, uniform building), moral conduct under various religions, and for organizations

Concept of Law in Malaysia
Organization of Courts 2. The Appeal System 3. Bodies with Specialized Jurisdiction 1.

Organization of Courts
The Malaysian court system is organized in a hierarchy like a pyramid with the subordinate courts at the base The administration of justice in Malaysia is a federal matter and courts are therefore federal. Even if the issue being litigated is one involving a state law, land matters, it would be tried in the courts constituted by federal law. The only state courts are: the Syariah Courts and the Native Courts in Sabah and Sarawak

Organization of Courts
Superior Courts
Federal Court
High High Court of Court of Malaya Borneo Sessions Court Sessions Court

Subordinate Courts

MagisJuvenile trates’ Court Court Penghulu’s Court

Magistrates’ Court

Juvenile Court

Superior Courts
1.

The Federal Court
Previously known as the Supreme Court, it was renamed the Federal Court of Malaysia effective from June 24, 1994, and is now the final court of appeal for Malaysia. The highest court in Malaysia. The Federal Court consists of the Chief Justice, the President of the Court of Appeal, the Chief Judge of Malaya and Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak, and six Federal Court judges. Every proceeding in the Federal Court shall be heard and disposed of by three Judges or such greater uneven number of judges as the Chief Justice may in any particular case determine.

Superior Courts
1.

The Federal Court (cont’d)
Normally cases before the Federal Court of Malaysia are heard and disposed of by a full Court comprising of three judges. However, in certain special cases, for example one which involves interpretation of the Constitution or a principle of law of major public importance, the Chief Justice may convene a bigger panel of five or even seven judges to deal with the matter.

Superior Courts
1.

The Federal Court (cont’d)
The Federal Court has jurisdiction in matters including: 1) To hear civil and criminal appeals from decisions of a Court of Appeal. This appellate function occupies the bulk of the court’s work. In civil appeals, a litigant may appeal on a point of law or upon the rejection or admission of evidence in a lower court. In criminal cases, an appeal may be made against acquittal or conviction or against sentence on a point of law or fact.

Superior Courts
1.

The Federal Court (cont’d)
The Federal Court has jurisdiction in matters including: 2) To exercise exclusive original jurisdiction on those matters conferred on it under Article 128(1) and (2) of the Federal Constitution. It can hear disputes on any matter between any State and the Federal Government. It can pronounce on the validity of any federal or state legislation as being in excess of powers. To determine constitutional questions which have arisen in the proceedings of the High Court but referred to the Federal Court for a decision.

3)

Superior Courts
1.

The Federal Court (cont’d)
The Federal Court has jurisdiction in matters including: 4) To give its opinion on any question referred to it by the Yang Dipertuan...
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