Judicial System of Malaysia

Supreme court: Federal Court

Ministry: Attorney-General’s Chambers

A justice system originally based on the British one operates in parallel with Sharia courts. There have in recent years been proposals for reform of the judicial system, in order to give it more independence from government.

The Federal Court is the supreme court; it is the final court of appeal, and it has exclusive jurisdiction in constitutional matters and in issues arising between states or between the federal government and states. High Courts are located in Peninsular Malaysia and in Sabah/Sarawak. Appeals arising from the High Courts come before the Court of Appeal.

Sessions courts and magistrates’ courts are located in the main cities and towns throughout the country. The sessions courts are presided over by a judge and have limited jurisdiction in civil and criminal cases. The magistrates’ courts also hear civil and criminal cases, with more limited jurisdiction. All judges are appointed by the head of state on the advice of the prime minister, and magistrates by the state authority on the advice of the chief judge.