This book serves as an introduction and guide in understanding further the powers and jurisdiction of Courts in Malaysia.

The last two years has been interesting with many new cases being decided in the Court of Appeal and Federal Court as to whether the respective courts can review their own decisions. There has also been a string of cases whereby the Federal Court has ruled that it cannot review decisions of the Court of Appeal which are final in nature. The Juvenile Court has now been renamed as the Court for Children whilst the newly created Special Court has heard a few cases since its establishment. There has also been a renewed debate as to whether the Court of Appeal can decline to follow the decision of the Federal Court even though the decision has been wrongly decided.

Srimurugan Alagan. Obtained his LL.B (Hons) from the University of Wolverhampton, U.K in 1998 and was admitted as Advocate & Solicitor, High Court in Malaya. He has extensive experience as a legal researcher and has lectured Criminal Procedure and Law of Evidence at the International Islamic University Malaysia from 2004 to 2008. He has also written articles which have been published in local law reports and journals. He currently practices as an Advocate & Solicitor under the name and style of Srimurugan & Co.
Chapter 1
1.1.
1.2.
1.3.
1.3.1.
1.3.2.
1.3.3.
1.3.4.
1.4.
1.5.
1.5.1.
1.5.2.
1.5.3.
Introduction
Distinction between Superior & Inferior Courts
Types of Jurisdiction
Original Jurisdiction
Appellate Jurisdiction
Revisionary or Supervisory Jurisdiction
Advisory Jurisdiction
Subordinate Courts
Meaning of the word “jurisdiction”
Monetary Jurisdiction
Territorial Jurisdiction
Jurisdiction to Grant Relief
Chapter 2 : The Sessions Court
2.1.
2.2.
2.3.
2.4.
2.4.1.

2.4.2.
2.4.3.
2.5.
2.6.
2.7.

2.7.1.
2.7.2.

2.8.
2.9.
Introduction to Sessions Court
Civil Jurisdiction
Maximum award in a single suit
Exception to Section 69(1)(b) SCA 1948
Where there is an agreement between the Parties to the suit to submit to the jurisdiction of the Sessions Court.
Relinquishment
Splitting claims not allowed
Special Provision relating to Counter-Claims
Limitation on the Powers of the Sessions Court
Jurisdiction of the Sessions Court in relation to immovable property
Disputes as to the title of land
When can the Sessions Court adjudicate on the question of ownership or title?
Criminal Jurisdiction of Sessions Court
Sentencing Jurisdiction
Chapter 3 : The Magistrates' Court
Magistrates’ Court
Composition and Appointments of Magistrate’s
Civil Jurisdiction of the First Class Magistrate
Civil Jurisdiction of Second Class Magistrate
Limitations on the Jurisdiction of Magistrates’ Courts Civil Cases
Small Claims Procedure in the Magistrates’ Court
Introduction
Scope of the small claims procedure
Parties to the dispute are not allowed to be represented by an advocate
When the Small Claims Procedure must be utilised
No Pleadings
Costs not exceeding RM100
Duty to Assist Parties to reach a settlement
Criminal jurisdiction of First Class Magistrates’ Courts
Trial Jurisdiction of First Class Magistrate
Whether First Class Magistrate can try offences punishable with whipping
Sentencing Jurisdiction of the First Class Magistrate
Specific Statues which confer the Magistrates' Courts with powers to impose sentence in excess of its powers conferred under s. 87 (1) SCA 1948
Section 6(3) of Betting Act 1953 (revised 1992)
Section 41(1) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952
Section 118 of the Customs Act 1967 (revised 1980)
Additional Sentencing Powers
Duty to transmit the records of proceedings to the High Court where the Magistrate invokes s. 87 (2) of the SCA 1948 to impose a heavier sentence
Duty to Record Reason for invoking s. 87(2) of the SCA 1948
Criminal Jurisdiction of Second Class Magistrate
Sentencing Jurisdiction of Second Class Magistrate
3.1.
3.2.
3.3.
3.4.
3.5.

3.6.
3.6.1.
3.6.2.
3.6.3.

3.6.4.
3.6.5.
3.6.6.
3.6.7
3.7.
3.8.1
3.8.2.

3.9.
3.10.


3.10.1.
3.10.2.
3.10.3.
3.11.
3.12.


3.13.

3.14.
3.15.
Chapter 4 : The Penghulu's Court & Native Court
4.1.
4.2.
4.3.
4.4.
4.5.
4.6.
4.7.
4.8.
4.8.1.
4.8.2.
4.8.3.
4.9.
4.10.
4.11.
4.12.
4.13.
4.14.
4.15.
4.16.
The Penghulu’s Court
Civil Jurisdiction of Penghulu’s Court
Criminal Jurisdiction of Penghulu’s Court
Sentencing jurisdiction of Penghulu’s Court
Enforcement of Penghulu’s Orders
Appeal against the decision of the Penghulu’s Court
Native Courts in Sabah
Establishment of Native Courts in Sabah
Native Court of Appeal
District Native Court
Native Court
Power to Impose Penalty
Native Courts in Sarawak
Native Court of Appeal
Resident’s Native Court
District Native Court
Chief’s Superior Court
Chief’s Court
Headman’s Court
Chapter 5 : Additional Powers
5.1
Additional Powers of the Subordinate Court
Chapter 6 : Court for Children
6.1.
6.2.
6.3.
6.4.
6.5.
6.6.
6.7.

6.8.
6.9.
6.10.

6.11.

6.12.

6.13.
6.14.
6.15.
6.16.
Introduction to the Court for Children
Jurisdiction of the Court for Children
Who is a “Child”?
Limitation of the Court for Children
Composition of the Court for Children
Trial accordance with the Child Act
Applicability of Criminal Procedure Code to the Courts for Children
Place of Sitting of Court for Children
Who may be present in the Court for Children?
Mandatory obligation on Parent or Guardian to be Present in Court
Procedure to be followed where a Child is charged with an adult
The words “conviction” and “sentence” must not to be used in relation to a child
Orders consequent to a finding of guilt
A child cannot be sentenced to death
A child charged with a “security offence”
Whether a child can be whipped
Chapter 7 : Superior Courts in Malaysia
7.1.
7.2.
7.3.
7.4.
7.5.
7.6.
7.7.
7.7.1.

7.7.2.
7.7.3.
7.7.4.


7.7.5.

7.7.6.

7.7.7.
7.8.
7.9.

7.10.
7.11.
7.12.
7.12.1.
7.12.2.


7.12.3.

7.12.4.
7.13.
7.13.1.
7.13.2.
7.13.3.
7.13.4.
7.13.5.


7.13.6.
7.13.7.

7.13.8.
7.13.9.
7.14.
7.15.
7.16.

7.17.
7.17.1.
7.17.2.
7.17.3.
7.18.
Introduction to the Superior Courts
Introduction to the High Court
Constitution of the High Court
Two High Courts Only
Doctrine of Concurrent Jurisdiction
Deciding forum of adjudication
Interpretation of Section 23 CJA 1964
Section 23 (1) (a) CJA 1964 “where the cause of action arose”
Cause of action in Tort
Cause of action for Breach of Contract
Section 23 (1)(b) CJA 1964 “Where the defendant or one of several defendants resides or has his place of business”
Section 23(1)(c) CJA 1964 “Facts on which the proceeding are based exist or alleged to have occurred”
Section 23(1)(d) CJA 1964 “Any land the ownership of which is disputed is situated”
Proviso to Section 23 CJA 1964
The doctrine of forum non-convenience
Transfer of cases from the High Court Malaya to the High Court Sabah & Sarawak
Specific Civil Jurisdiction of the High Court
Original Jurisdiction of the High Court
Appellate Jurisdiction of the High Court
Interpretation of Section 28(1)(a) CJA 1964
In deciding whether the Judgment sum is above RM10,000.00 interest awarded by the court is not to be taken into account.
Meaning of the word “decision” under Section 28 of the CJA
Obtaining Leave of Appeal
Revisionary Powers of the High Court
Revision in Criminal Cases
How Revisionary Powers are invoked
On its own motion
Formal Applications
High Court exercising its revisionary powers must confine itself to the Records of the Proceedings of the Subordinate Courts
No Absolute Right to be heard
Whether Prosecution has a Right to be heard before a Judge makes any order in Revision Proceedings
Powers of High Court Judge Acting in Revision
Limitations on the exercise of Revisionary Powers
Revision in Civil Cases
Powers of High Court in Civil Revision
No revision at instance of a party who could have appealed
Limitation on the jurisdiction of the High Court
Article 128 of the Federal Constitution
Article 182(3) of the Federal Constitution
Article 121 1(A) of the Federal Constitution
Additional Powers of the High Court
Chapter 8 : Court of Appeal
8.1.
8.2.
8.3.
8.4.
8.5.
8.6.
8.7.
8.8.

8.9.
8.10.
8.11.
8.12.
8.13.
8.14.
Introduction to the Court of Appeal
The Establishment & Jurisdiction
Composition
A High Court judge may sit in the Court of Appeal
Number of Judges hearing the appeal
Functions of Court of Appeal
Jurisdiction of Court of Appeal in Relation to Civil Appeals
Jurisdiction of Court of Appeal in Relation to Criminal Appeals
All Civil & Criminal Appeals are by way of Rehearing
Appeal does not operate as stay of execution
Proceedings how decided
Powers of Court of Appeal hearing Criminal Appeals
Powers of Court of Appeal hearing Civil Appeals
Whether Court of Appeal can review its own decision
Chapter 9 : Federal Court
9.1.
9.2.
9.3.
9.4.

9.5.
9.6.
9.7.

9.8.
9.9.
9.10.
9.11.


9.12.
9.13.
9.14.
9.15.
9.16.
Introduction to the Federal Court
Establishment and Jurisdiction
Composition & Appointments
Court of Appeal judges may be invited to sit and hear appeals in the Federal Court
Quorum in the Federal Court
Delivery of Judgment in the Federal Court
Jurisdiction of the Federal Court to hear appeals in Civil Cases
When Leave to Appeal will be granted
Jurisdiction of the Federal Court to hear Criminal Appeals
Powers of Federal Court hearing Criminal Appeal
Whether Federal Court can review its own previous decision
Whether Federal Court has the Power to review decision of the Court of Appeal under r.173 of the Federal Court, 1995
Powers of Federal Court on hearing appeal
Exclusive original jurisdiction of the Federal Court in Constitutional Matters
Powers of Federal Court exercising Original Jurisdiction
Special Advisory jurisdiction of the Federal Court in the Interpretation of Federal Constitution
Chapter 10 : Special Court
10.1.
10.2.
10.3.
10.4.
10.5.
10.6.


10.7.
10.8.
10.9.
10.10.
Introduction to Special Court
Removal of Royal Immunity
The establishment of the Special Court
Extent of jurisdiction
Scope of the Article 182
Pre requisite of Consent before initiating proceedings against the Ruler of the State or the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong
Powers of the Special Court
Court Procedure in the Special Court
How Proceedings are decided and finality of the decision
Powers to make Rules
Chapter 11 : The Doctrine of Stare Decisis in Malaysia
11.1.
11.2.
11.3.
11.4.
11.5.
11.6.
11.7.
11.8.
11.9.
11.10.
11.11.


11.12.
11.13.
11.14.
11.15.
Introduction
Origin and development of the doctrine
Unreported Cases
Meaning of “Ratio Decidendi”
Meaning of “Obiter Dictum”
Distinguishing Precedent
Decisions of Federal Court
Decisions of Court of Appeal
Meaning “Per incuriam” decision
The Denning Campaign
Whether the Court of Appeal can disregard a decision of the Federal Court on the grounds that it has been given per incuriam
Practice in the High Court
The Practice of Subordinate Courts
Decisions from other Common Law Country
Conclusion