The High Courts in Malaysia are the third-highest courts in the hierarchy of courts, after the Federal Court and the Court of Appeal. Article 121 of the Constitution of Malaysia provides that there shall be two High Courts of coordinate jurisdiction—the High Court in Malaya and the High Court in Sabah and Sarawak (before 1994, the High Court in Borneo). Before 1969, the High Court in Singapore was also part of the Malaysian courts system (see Law of Singapore).
The High Court in Malaya has its principal registry in Kuala Lumpur, with other registries to be found in all states in peninsular Malaysia, while the High Court in Sabah and Sarawak has its principal registry in Kuching, with other registries elsewhere in Sabah and Sarawak. There are in total 22 High Court registries across all 13 states in Malaysia. The two High Courts also travel on circuit to other smaller towns.
The two High Courts, the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court are classified as superior courts, while the Magistrates' Courts and the Sessions Courts are classified as the subordinate courts. The High Courts function both as a court of original jurisdiction as well as an appellate court, and are each headed by a Chief Judge (before 1994, Chief Justice). The Chief Judges of Malaya and Sabah and Sarawak are the third and fourth highest positions in Malaysian judiciary after the Chief Justice of the Federal Court(before 1994, the Lord President of the Federal Court) and the President of the Court of Appeal.
Sessions Court are similar to the former Quarter Sessions in England, the Sessions Courts have jurisdiction to try offences which are not punishable by death. They are presided over by Sessions Court judges (formerly Sessions Court Presidents). The Sessions Courts also hear all civil matters of which the claim exceeds RM25,000 but does not exceed RM250,000, except in matters relating to motor vehicle accidents, landlord and tenant and distress, where the...
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