When it comes to seeking justice and resolving legal matters in Malaysia, understanding the court system is crucial. The Malaysian legal system consists of several tiers of courts, each with its own jurisdiction and role. In this article, we’ll explore the hierarchy of court in regards to Civil Law, helping you navigate the legal landscape in Malaysia.

1. Magistrate Court

Magistrate court is the lowest court in the hierarchy. Their primary responsibility is handling minor civil matters, such as traffic violations, minor theft, juvenile cases, contract disputes, small claims and etc.

In Malaysia, Magistrates are categorized into two classes: First Class Magistrates and Second Class Magistrates.

  1. First Class Magistrate: These esteemed magistrates are empowered to adjudicate civil cases involving amounts in dispute that do not exceed RM100,000.
  2. Second Class Magistrate: These dedicated magistrates preside over civil cases where plaintiffs seek to recover debts or liquidated demands in money from defendants. The amount in question should not exceed RM10,000. In cases where the amount claimed is within RM5,000, individuals have the option to file their claims in the small claims division of the Magistrates Court.

2. Sessions Court

Next is Sessions Courts. Sessions Courts serve as important venues for various civil matters, contributing to the accessibility of justice for individuals facing diverse legal challenges. The types of cases heard in Sessions Courts are usually defamation, contract disputes, personal injury claim, property damage claim, injuction orders, adoption cases, medical negligence, and etc. Sessions Courts extend their jurisdiction to civil matters, provided that the amount in dispute is RM1,000,000 and below.

In essence, Sessions Courts play a significant role in offering timely and efficient resolutions for a range of civil issues, ensuring that individuals have access to legal remedies and justice, particularly in cases with lower to moderate financial stakes.

3. High Court

The High Court holds a wide-reaching jurisdiction encompassing various civil matters. However, its focus tends to be on issues that fall outside the purview of the Magistrates and Sessions Courts. These encompass intricate cases related to divorce and matrimonial disputes for non-muslim, the granting of probate for wills and testaments, letters of administration for the estates of deceased individuals, appointment of guardians of infants, land acquisition, and bankruptcy proceedings. Additionally, the High Court handles other civil claims with disputes that is more than RM1,000,000.

Furthermore, the High Court plays a pivotal role as an appellate body, hearing appeals from both the Magistrates and Sessions Courts. This means that parties dissatisfied with judgments delivered by lower courts can seek redress and legal recourse in the High Courts. In civil matters, the condition for appeal is that the amount in dispute surpasses RM10,000, unless the case pertains to a fundamental question of law. This ensures that the High Court serves as a safeguard of justice, offering recourse for individuals dissatisfied with lower court judgments while maintaining a focus on substantial legal issues.

4. Court Of Appeal

The Court of Appeal in Malaysia has the authority to hear and decide appeals from any judgment or order of any High Court across Malaysia, as long as they meet the specified terms and conditions.

5. Federal Court

The Federal Court in Malaysia is the highest court. It serves as the final court of appeal for civil cases. It hears appeals from the Court of Appeal and High Court for civil cases.

Understanding the hierarchy of lower courts and the High Court in Malaysia is vital for anyone seeking justice or involved in legal matters. The Malaysian legal system strives to provide accessible and efficient channels for resolving disputes and upholding the rule of law. Whether you’re dealing with a minor offense in a Magistrates’ Court or a complex civil case in the High Court, knowing your way around the legal landscape empowers you to protect your rights and seek fair resolutions. 

Do you want to know more on which court is best suited to help resolve your specific issues? Contact us now at admin@nhcolaw.com for further enquiries!

Article Disclaimer: The contents written above and/or in this website do not constitute a legal advice and should not be relied upon by any parties as such. Please reach out to us for further enquiries.

Prepared by Sharifah Rania Aljunied

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