You are on page 1of 15




by: SITI HAFSYAH IDRIS 24/12/2007

At the end of the course, you should be able to:1. demonstrate the substantive law in making legal research 2. show the difference types of the sources of law 3. present the ability to do legal research

You will be able to: 1. know various sources Malaysia.




2. identify the different types of sources of law in Malaysia. 3. recognize the importance of the primary sources of law in Malaysia

Topic Outline
1. Written Law
Federal Constitution Legislation

2. Unwritten Law
Common Law Judicial Precedent Custom

Sources of Law
West/Civil Law

Primary Sources

Secondary Sources



Primary Sources of Law

Written Law

Unwritten Law

Federal Constitution Legislation

State Constitution

Judicial Precedent Customs English Law

Subsidiary Legislation

Federal Constitution
The supreme law of the country Can only be amended/changed by a 2/3 of the total number of members of the legislature. Laying down the powers of the Federal and State Governments Enshrines the basic or fundamental rights of the individual Applies to all States in the Federation

State Constitutions
Each state in the federation possesses its own constitution regulating the government of that state There are some variations in the State Constitutions to cater for local peculiarities such as succession to the throne but the structure of government is largely similar.

Legislation refers to law enacted by:-

Enacts law at Federal level Within limits prescribed Federal Constitution

State Legislative Assemblies

Enacts law at State level by Within limits Constitution prescribed by State

Laws enacted before 31/08/57 are Laws enacted by State Assemblies are called Ordinance called Enactment except Sarawak laws are called Ordinance Laws enacted after 31/08/57 are State Legislative Assemblies can enact called Acts law in matters listed in List II of the 9th Schedule Parliament can enact laws in matters listed in List I of the 9th Schedule

Subsidiary Legislation
Also known as subordinate legislation or delegated legislation Encompasses rule or regulations enacted by an authority or body (other than Parliament or State Assemblies). These authority or bodies are given the power to enact the regulations by a legislation. The process of having a law through subsidiary legislature is faster than having a law through the Parliament or State Assemblies. Subsidiary legislation is made by experts in the area that they are dealing with.

Common Law
Common Law = English law Two conditions in applying Common Law: a) It is only applied in the absence of local statutes covering the same matter b) It can only be applied if it is suited to local circumstances

Judicial Precedent
Decisions made by a previous judge in previous cases that have similar situations Can be obtained from:
The Federal Court The Court of Appeal The High Court

2 categories of J.P: Binding :

All decisions of higher courts bind the lower courts The higher courts are bound by their own decisions

Persuasive :
High Court Judges are not bound to follow the decision of another High Court Judges Decisions from outside of the Malaysian Courts (English Courts)

Hierarchy of the Court in Malaysia

Federal Court Court of Appeal

Syariah Court

High Court of Malaya

High Court of Sabah & Sarawak Session Court Magistrate Court

Syariah Court

Native Court Session Court Court for children Magistrate Court

Court for children

Customs of local inhabitants
Malay Indian

Adat Perpatih

Adat Temenggong

Indian Customary Law


Chinese Customary Law