CHAPTER I

© Muhammad Nizam Awang @ Ali

Introduction to Judicial System Part II: Subordinate Courts

Discussion Points

• • • •

Operation of stare decisis Define ‘jurisdiction’ & ‘power’ Courts hierarchy Jurisdiction of courts
– Civil jurisdiction – Criminal jurisdiction – Local/ Territorial Jurisdiction – Original jurisdiction – Appellate jurisdiction – Supervisory jurisdiction – Referral jurisdiction – Advisory Jurisdiction

• By the end of lesson, students should be able to:

Learning Outcomes

(i)

Define, differentiate and relate between jurisdiction and power (ii) Apply different types of jurisdiction exercised by courts

‘Stare Decisis’
• Define: the legal principles decided by the superior courts and followed by the inferior courts • Only operates between superior courts over inferior courts • Not between inferior courts • For details: refer topic in last semester

The Meaning of ‘Jurisdiction’
Definition?

Determine which court should adjudicate the matter

Jurisdiction

General Rule?

Jurisdictional limits is determined by the statute Eg. Subordinate Courts – limited by SCA 1948 (Act 92)

The Meaning of ‘Power’
Definition?

Determine what remedy/ punishment the court may grant/ impose

Jurisdiction Power limits is determined by The creating statute or other statutes Eg. Subordinate Courts – limited by SCA 1948 (Act 92) or under specific law (Penal Code)

General Rule?

But Remember…
• Unlimited jurisdiction is not equivalent to unlimited jurisdiction • Unlimited jurisdiction does not authorize court to act beyond the power • A case shall be brought to the court with competent jurisdiction. Otherwise, the court cannot hear and adjudicate the matter. • With competent jurisdiction, then only the court can exercise its power. Otherwise, the remedy/ punishment is ultra vires. • In short: Jurisdiction = capacity; power = capability

Courts Hierarchy
• Court hierarchy is important because we follow stare decisis doctrine • Where the inferior court shall be bound to follow with the legal principles (ratio decidendi) decided earlier by the superior courts

BEFORE 1985

PRIVY COUNCIL FEDERAL COURT COURT OF APPEAL

HIGH COURT IN MALAYA SESSIONS COURT MAGISTRATE’S COURT PENGHULU’S COURT

HIGH COURT IN BORNEO SESSIONS COURT MAGISTRATE’S COURT PENGHULU’S COURT

1985-1995

SUPREME COURT

HIGH COURT IN MALAYA SESSIONS COURT MAGISTRATE’S COURT PENGHULU’S COURT

HIGH COURT IN BORNEO SESSIONS COURT MAGISTRATE’S COURT

CURRENT STRUCTURE
FEDERAL COURT COURT OF APPEAL

HIGH COURT IN MALAYA SESSIONS COURT MAGISTRATE’S COURT PENGHULU’S COURT

HIGH COURT IN BORNEO SESSIONS COURT MAGISTRATE’S COURT

Courts Jurisdiction
• Civil & Criminal Jurisdiction
– Differentiate between the nature of civil and criminal cases

• Local/territorial Jurisdiction
– Determine the court of certain place to exercise jurisdiction where the event/crime is committed

• Limited & Unlimited Jurisdiction – based on the amount of claims
– Limited – determined by the certain amount of claims – Unlimited – no limit on amount if it fall under such subject matter. Example: Session Court’s jurisdiction in accident cases.

Courts Jurisdiction (2)
• Criminal Jurisdiction: of two types:
– Jurisdiction to hear and determine – Jurisdiction to pass sentence

• Original Jurisdiction
– Determine the court that will hear try the case for first time (court of first instance)

• Appellate Jurisdiction
– When the aggrieved party fail in the trial court, he will appeal to the appellate court (normally higher court)

Courts Jurisdiction (3)
• Revisionary & Supervisionary jurisdiction
– Determine higher court’s jurisdiction to check the legality/ propriety of the lower court decision

• Referral Jurisdiction
– When the higher court (FC/HC) is referred for certain issues (constitution) whilst the case being tried in the lower court

• Advisory Jurisdiction
– When the Federal Court gives opinion on matter referred to by YDPA

SUBORDINATE COURTS
• • • • Penghulu’s Court First Class Magistrate Second Class Magistrate Sessions Court

• Statute: Subordinate Courts Act 1948 (Act 92)

Original Civil Jurisdiction
SESSIONS COURT FIRST CLASS MAGISTRATE SECOND CLASS MAGISTRATE PENGHULU’S COURT

s. 65 – RM250,000 s. 90 – RM25,000 s. 92 – RM3,000 s. 94 –RM50

ANY DISPUTE OF CLAIM SHALL NOT EXCEED…

Original Criminal Jurisdiction
PENGHULU’S COURT
Parties to the proceeding: c) Asian d) Speak & Understand Malay language : 95(2)

• Jurisdiction to try: Try minor offences
(specified in the letter of authority): S.95(1)

• To punish fine – X>RM25 : S.96
• Enforcement of Order Report to Magistrate Court for non-compliance of Order: s.97

• Jurisdiction to impose sentence– X>RM25 : s.96

Original Criminal Jurisdiction (2)
FIRST CLASS MAGISTRATE
Jurisdiction to Try –s.85 i) offences punishable up to 10 years imprisonment @ fine ii) s.392/ 457 Penal Code Jurisdiction to Impose Sentence – s.87(1) c) 5 years’ imprisonment d) RM10,000 fine e) 12 times whipping f) Combination of (a)-(c)

Exception!!!! - to award punishment in excess of power under s.87(1) • Other law give authority to award full punishment. E.g. Betting Ordinance • Previous conviction: s.87(2)

Original Criminal Jurisdiction (3)
SECOND CLASS MAGISTRATE
Jurisdiction to Impose Sentence – s.89 c) 6 months’ imprisonment d) RM10,000 fine e) Combination of (a) + (b)

Jurisdiction to Try –s.88 - 12 months’ imprisonment @ fine only

Inadequate jurisdiction? -adjourn the case for trial by First Class Magistrate !!! : s.88 Proviso

Original Criminal Jurisdiction (4)
SESSIONS COURT

Jurisdiction to Try –s.70 - all offences except those punishable with death

Jurisdiction to Impose Sentence – s.71 - to impose any sentence except those punishable with death

General Rule & Exception
• General Rule: The parties must claim/ prosecute within the jurisdictional limit of court • Query: Can the parties claim/ prosecute in court beyond its jurisdictional limit? – If yes..
– What is the effect on the parties in dispute? – Can the court still hear the case?

General Rule & Exception (2)
• Exception to General Rule: • For claim • The Sessions Court can hear the case if they have mutually agreed in writing – s.65 • Read also: • s.65(3) &(4) - (Magistrate’s Court) • s.66-70; s.72-74 - (Sessions Court)

General Rule & Exception (3)
• For defence/ counter claim
– The court can hear the defence, but the parties only cannot claim the excess limit of jurisdiction – s.65

• Otherwise, the parties may:
– Apply for transfer the claim to High Court –s. 69 – Relinquish the claim – s. 68 – Split the claim? – No, if it is based on the same cause of action against the same party – s.67

Appellate Civil & Criminal Jurisdiction
HIGH COURT S.26 -28 CJA APPEAL APPEAL APPEAL SESSIONS COURT FIRST CLASS MAGISTRATE SECOND CLASS MAGISTRATE

S.91- CRIMINAL APPEAL

S.86- civil APPEAL

PENGHULU’S COURT

Out of Jurisdiction – Sessions Court
• No jurisdiction if.. • S.69 – The court has no jurisdiction at all! • S.70 – In matters specific matters including injunctions, specific performance legitimacy, etc… • S.71 – In cases which bona fide question of title involved

Supervisionary Jurisdiction – Sessions Court
s.54 Limited supervisory role over Magistrates’ & Penghulu Courts

What the SC will do? a) Call for /examine the record of civil proceeding b) To satisfy the correctness, legality @ propriety of the MC@ PC decision If illegal/improper, submit record to High Court!! HC will ensure justice is done!!

R e c a p

• • • •

Operation of stare decisis Define ‘jurisdiction’ & ‘power’ Courts hierarchy Jurisdiction of courts – Civil jurisdiction – Criminal jurisdiction – Local/ Territorial Jurisdiction – Original jurisdiction – Appellate jurisdiction – Supervisory jurisdiction – Referral jurisdiction – Advisory Jurisdiction

Next Lesson Superior/ Higher Courts
High Court Court of Appeal Federal Courts Statute: Courts of Judicature Act 1964

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