Syariah refers to Sharia law in Islamic religious law and deals with exclusively Islamic laws, having jurisdiction upon every Muslim in Malaysia. The dual-system of law in Malaysia is provided for in Article 121(1A) of the Constitution of Malaysia. The Syariah Court system is one of the two separate system of courts which exists in Malaysian legal system. There is a parallel system of state Syariah Court, which has limited jurisdiction over matters of state Islamic law (Shariah). The Syariah Courts have jurisdictions only over matters involving Muslim, and can generally only pass sentences of not more than three years imprisonment, a fine of up to RM5,000, and/or up to six strokes of the cane.
Article 145 of the constitution says the Attorney General of Malaysia has no power over matters related to the Sharia courts.
There are three levels of the courts: Appeal, High and Subordinate.
Unlike the civil courts in Malaysia, which is a federalised court system, the Syariah Court is primarily established out of state law. Similarly syariah or Islamic law is a matter of state law, with the exception of the Federal Territories of Malaysia, as provided in Article 3 of the Constitution. Thus syariah law in one state might differ to that of another state. There are 13 state syariah law departments and 1 syariah law department for the Federal Territories.
- Jeong Chun Hai @Ibrahim, & Nor Fadzlina Nawi. (2007). Principles of Public Administration: An Introduction. Kuala Lumpur: Karisma Publications. ISBN 978-983-195-253-5
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