High Courts (Malaysia)

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High Court of Malaya/
High Court of Sabah and Sarawak
Mahkamah Tinggi Malaya/
Mahkamah Tinggi Sabah dan Sarawak
Established1957
Composition methodRoyal appointment with the advice of the Prime Minister
Authorized byFederal Constitution
Appeals toCourt of Appeals of Malaysia
Judge term lengthCompulsory retirement at age 66
Number of positionsPeninsular Malaysia: 60 (including 16 vacancies)
Sabah and Sarawak: 13 (including 5 vacancies)
Websitewww.kehakiman.gov.my
Chief Judge of the High Court of Malaya
CurrentlyAzahar Mohamed
Since11 July 2018
Chief Judge of the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak
CurrentlyDavid Wong Dak Wah
Since11 July 2018

The High Courts in Malaysia are the third-highest courts in the hierarchy of courts, after the Federal Court and the Court of Appeal. Article 121 of the Constitution of Malaysia provides that there shall be two High Courts of co-ordinate jurisdiction—the High Court in Malaya and the High Court in Sabah and Sarawak (before 1994, the High Court in Borneo). Before 1969, the High Court in Singapore was also part of the Malaysian courts system (see Law of Singapore).

The High Court in Malaya has its principal registry in Kuala Lumpur, with other registries to be found in all states in peninsular Malaysia, while the High Court in Sabah and Sarawak has its principal registry in Kuching, with other registries elsewhere in Sabah and Sarawak. There are in total 22 High Court registries across all 13 states in Malaysia.[1] The two High Courts also travel on circuit to other smaller towns.

The two High Courts, the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court are classified as superior courts, while the Magistrates' Courts and the Sessions Courts are classified as the subordinate courts. The High Courts function both as a court of original jurisdiction as well as an appellate court, and are each headed by a Chief Judge (before 1994, Chief Justice). The Chief Judges of Malaya and Sabah and Sarawak are the third and fourth highest positions in Malaysian judiciary after the Chief Justice of the Federal Court (before 1994, the Lord President of the Federal Court) and the President of the Court of Appeal.[2]

High Court registries in Malaysia[edit]

All High Court registries and the subordinate courts found in Peninsular Malaysia including the courts in the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya are under the jurisdiction of the High Court in Malaya. Similarly, all courts found in East Malaysia are under the jurisdiction of the High Court in Sabah and Sarawak including the courts in the Federal Territory of Labuan.

List of Chief Justices and Chief Judges[edit]

Malaya[edit]

Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Malayan Union (1946-1948)[edit]

1947–1948: Harold Curwen Willan[3]

Chief Justice of the Federation of Malaya (1957–1963)[edit]

Lords President of the Federal Court of Malaysia (1963–1994)[edit]

Chief Judges of Malaya (since 1994)[edit]

Borneo (North Borneo (Sabah) and Sarawak)[edit]

North Borneo Sarawak
Office Justice Tenure Office Justice Tenure
Chief Justices of North Borneo
(until 1951)
Charles Frederick Cunningham Macaskie 1934 to 1941 Chief Justices of Sarawak
(1930-1951)
Thomas J. L. Stirling Boyd 1930 to 1939
Japanese occupation 1942 to 1945 Japanese occupation 1942 to 1945
- - Robert Yorke Hedges 1946 to 1951
Sarawak, North Borneo and Brunei
Office Title Justice Tenure
Chief Justices of the Combined Judiciary of Sarawak, North Borneo and Brunei
(1951–1963)
Sir Ivor Llewellyn Brace 1951 to 1952
Sir Ernest Hillas Williams c. 1957
Sir John Ainley MC 1959 to 1963
Sir William Campbell Wylie QC 1963
Sabah and Sarawak
Office Title Justice Tenure
Chief Justices of Borneo
(1963–1994)
Sir William Campbell Wylie QC 1963 to 1965
Tan Sri Philip Ernest Housden Pike QC 1965 to 1968
Tan Sri Dato' Ismail Khan 1968 to 1973
Tan Sri Datuk Amar Lee Hun Hoe 1974 to 1991
Tan Sri Datuk Amar Mohamad Jemuri Serjan 1992 to 1994
Office Title Justice Tenure
Chief Judges of Sabah and Sarawak
(since 1994)
Tan Sri Datuk Amar Mohamad Jemuri Serjan 1994
Tan Sri Datuk Amar Chong Siew Fai 1995 to 2000
Tan Sri Datuk Amar Steve Shim Lip Kiong 2000 to 2006
Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Richard Malanjum 2006 to 2018
Datuk Seri Panglima David Wong Dak Wah since 2018

Singapore[edit]

Office Title Justice Tenure
Chief Justice of Singapore
(1963–1969 (as part of Malaysia, 1963–1965))
Tan Sri Wee Chong Jin 1963 to 1969

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "List of court addresses". Judiciary of Malaysia. Archived from the original on 23 October 2007. Retrieved 30 January 2008.
  2. ^ "Operation of the court". Judiciary of Malaysia. Archived from the original on 9 July 2011. Retrieved 30 January 2008.
  3. ^ "Supplement to the London Gazette, 12 June, 1947" (PDF). London Gazette. 12 June 1947. Retrieved 29 August 2019.