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Legal System

The Malaysian legal system is mostly based on the English legal system – the principle of Common Law.  This operates in parallel with Sharia courts, with Islamic law applied to Muslims with regards to family law or Muslim tradition.  The Federal Court is the Supreme Court; it is the final court of appeal, and it has exclusive jurisdiction in constitutional matters and in issues arising between states or between the federal government and states.  High Courts are located in Peninsular Malaysia and in Sabah/Sarawak.  Appeals arising from the High Courts come before the Court of Appeal.

Session courts and magistrates’ courts are located in the main cities and towns throughout the country.  The session courts are presided over by a judge and have limited jurisdiction in civil and criminal cases.  The magistrates’ courts also hear civil and criminal cases, with more limited jurisdiction.  All judges are appointed by the head of state on the advice of the prime minister, and the magistrates by the state authority on the advice of the chief judge.  There have been in recent years proposals for reform of the judicial system, in order to give it more independence from the government.

Legal organisations in Malaysia
Azman, Davidson & Co
Azmi & Associates
Jayadeep Hari & Jamil
Jeff Leong, Poon & Wong
Khaw & Partners
Leong Yeng Kit & Co.
Ramesh & Loo
Teh & Lee
Zul Rafique & Co.