The Federal Court is the highest judicial authority in the country. It was established pursuant to Article 121(2) of the Federal Constitution. Its decision binds all the courts below. The Federal Court hears appeals from the Court of Appeal. Leave to appeal must always be obtained prior to proceeding with the appeal. The Federal Court is headed by the Chief Justice. According to Article 122(1) of the Federal Constitution, the Federal Court shall consist of the Chief Justice, the President of the Court of Appeal, the two Chief Judges of the two High Courts and seven other judges. All its members are appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, acting on the advice of the Prime Minister, after consulting the Conference of Rulers. Before tendering his advice, the Prime Minister shall, except for the appointment of the Chief Justice, consult the Chief Justice. Article 122(1A) of the Federal Constitution, allows the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, acting on the advice of the Chief Justice, to appoint any person who has held high judicial office in Malaysia to be an additional judge of the Federal Court. Every proceeding in the Federal Court is according to section 74 of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964, heard and disposed off by three judges or such greater uneven number of judges as the Chief Justice may in any particular case determine. In the absence of the Chief Justice the most senior member of the Court shall preside. Article 122(2) of the Federal Constitution provides that the Chief Justice, if he considers that the interests of justice so require, may nominate a judge of the Court of Appeal other than the President of the Court of Appeal to sit as a judge in the Federal Court. The Court sits on such dates and at such places as the Chief Justice may from time to time direct. Normally the Federal Court sits at the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya. However the Federal Court also goes on circuit to the major towns of Penang, Ipoh, Kota Bharu, Johor Bahru, Alor Setar, Kuantan, Malacca, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu (section 75 of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964). Federal court can determine appeals from decisions of the Court of Appeal, of THE High Court or a judge thereof such original or consultative jurisdiction as is specified in Articles 128 and 130 and such other jurisdiction as may be conferred by or under federal law. For the criminal appeals, the Federal Court may subject to section 87 of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964 hears and determines appeals against decisions of the Court of Appeal relating to any criminal matter decided by the High Court in the exercise of its original jurisdiction. For the civil appeals, Section 96 of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964 provides that an appeal against the decision of the Court of Appeal may be made to the Federal Court with with the leave of the Federal Court. Leave is only granted if the decision of the Court of appeal is in respect of any civil cause or matter decided by the High Court in exercise of its original jurisdiction where it involves a question of general principle of law decided for the first time or a question of importance upon which further argument and a decision of the federal court would be to public advantage. The Federal court has the exclusive jurisdiction to determine any question whether a law made by Parlisment or by the Legislature of a State is invalid on the ground that it makes provision with respect to a matter with respect to which Parliament or, the Legislature of the State has no power to make laws.
Court of appeal
The court of appeal was established in 1994. It has the jurisdiction to determine appeals from decisions of a High Court or a judge thereof and such other jurisdiction as may be provided for under any federal law. As from 1st January 2002 the number of judges was increased to fifteen by order of the Yang di Pertuan Agong ( Article 122A(1) Federal Constitution). Article 122A(1) of the Federal Constitution provides that the...
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