Arifin Zakaria

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Arifin Zakaria
Chief Justice of Malaysia
Assumed office
September 12, 2011
Nominated by Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin
Preceded by Zaki Azmi
Chief Judge of the High Court of Malaya
In office
October 18, 2008 – September 11, 2011
Nominated by Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin
Preceded by Alauddin Mohd. Sheriff
Succeeded by Zulkefli Ahmad Makinuddin
Personal details
Born (1950-10-01) October 1, 1950 (age 63)
Pasir Mas, Kelantan, Federation of Malaya
Spouse(s) Robiah Abdul Kadir
Alma mater University of Sheffield
University College London
Religion Sunni Islam

Dato' Lela Negara Tun Arifin bin Zakaria is the Chief Justice of Malaysia[1] effective September 12, 2011, succeeding Tun Zaki Azmi.

Educational background[edit]

After completing his secondary education at Sultan Ismail College of Kota Bahru, he went to read law at the University of Sheffield. Upon graduation, he joined the Malaysian Judicial and Legal Service in September 1974. In 1979, he pursued the Master of Laws degree at University College London and the Bar Final Course at the Council of Legal Education. In June 1980, he was called to the English Bar, and in the same year he received his LL.M. from University College London (UCL).


Prior to his elevation to the High Court Bench of Malaysia, he had served in various capacities in the Government of Malaysia both in the Judicial Office, as well as in the Legal Department. Among the positions held by him were Magistrate, President of the Sessions Court, Senior Assistant Registrar of the High Court, Federal Counsel and Senior Federal Counsel, Legal Advisor to Ministry of Primary Industries, Legal Advisor to the Public Services Department, Legal Advisor to Malacca and Perak, Deputy Parliamentary Draftsman and Senior Federal Counsel of the Inland Revenue Department.

On March 1, 1992, he was appointed Judicial Commissioner of the High Court of Malaya and two years after, he was appointed as a High Court Judge of Malaya.

In 2002, he was elevated to the Court of Appeal. In 2005, He was elevated to the Federal Court. He was appointed to the present post of the Chief Judge of the High Court of Malaya effective October 18, 2008. His elevation as the Chief Justice of Malaysia was on September 12, 2011.[2]

During his judicial service, he also had served many position like the Judge of the Special Court,[3] the Member of the Legal and Judicial Service Commission, the Committee Member of the Higher Court Method and the Lower Court Method, the Panel Member of the Sharia Appeal Court of Kelantan and the Member of the Qualification Board.[4]


In recognition for his services to the nation, he had been bestowed some awards. On March 3, 1999, Sultan Ismail Petra of Kelantan conferred him the award of the Knight Commander of The Most Illustrious Order of the Crown of Kelantan (DPMK). On April 19, 1988, he received the decoration of the Knight of the Most Illustrious Order of the Perak Sword of State (DPCM) from Sultan Azlan Shah of Perak.

On the same date of 2010, Sultan Azlan Shah of Perak conferred him another decoration, the Knight Grand Commander of the Most Illustrious Order of the Perak State Crown (SPMP). On March 30, 2005, Sultan of Kelantan again conferred him another award, The Knight Grand Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of the Loyalty to the Crown of Kelantan (SPSK).

On June 6, 2009, National Supreme King, Mizan Zainal Abidin conferred him the award of the Commander the Distinguished Order of Loyalty to the Crown of Malaysia (PSM).


He is married to Robiah Abdul Kadir and had been blessed with 3 sons and 2 daughters.


  1. ^ "Chief Justice of the Federal Court". Chief Registrar's Office, Federal Court of Malaysia. Retrieved 11 December 2011. 
  2. ^ "Tan Sri Arifin Zakaria dilantik Ketua Hakim Negara". Berita Harian (in Malay). 5 September 2011. Retrieved 20 December 2011. 
  3. ^ Article 182 (1), Federal Constitution.
  4. ^ Section 7 (b), Legal Profession Act 1976.

External links[edit]