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4 Types of Legal Systems in Malaysia

Lexis® Malaysia contains the leading legal reports in Malaysia, the Malayan Law Journal with advanced features, hyperlink functions and content that were previously only available in print format. With Lexis® Malaysia, the authoritative sources that lawyers rely on, such as Halsbury`s Laws of Malaysia, Indian Content, Malaysian Precedents and Forms, Atkin`s Court Forms Malaysia and others, are now available online as a subscription. eLaw.my is the latest legal database on court decisions and laws, eLaw`s digital library contains more than 60,000 judgments from the Labour Court, Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and Federal/Supreme Court of Malaysia dating back to the 1900s. Updated Malaysian legislation, including amending laws, PU(A) and PU(B) displayed in an easily accessible and printable format. You can also check out the parallel citations to different Malaysian legal reports and check how Malaysian courts assess the cases cited. Malaysia`s legal system was modeled on the English legal system, which practices parliamentary democracy and is governed by a constitutional monarchy, with His Majesty the ceremonial Yang di-Pertuan Agong (the King) at the head of the country. Yang di-Pertuan Agong is elected by the Leadership Conference for a five-year term in the ranks of hereditary rulers of the nine sultan-ruled states of the Federation. The states are Perlis, Kedah, Perak, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Johor, Pahang, Terengganu and Kelantan. In the other states, namely Melaka, Pulau Pinang, Sabah and Sarawak, the head of state is the Yang di-Pertua Negeri or governor of the state. Yang di-Pertua Negeri is appointed by Yang di-Pertuan Agong for a four-year term.

Malaysian law is mainly based on the common law legal system. This was a direct consequence of Britain`s colonization of Malaysia, Sarawak and northern Borneo between the early 19th century and the 1960s. The supreme law of the land – the Constitution of Malaysia – sets out the legal framework and rights of Malaysian citizens. The judiciary has the power to negotiate and rule in civil and criminal matters and to decide on the legality of legislative or executive acts in accordance with Article 125A of the Federal Constitution. It is also legally empowered to interpret federal and state constitutions. The courts may decide on the validity or invalidity of a law passed by Parliament and may decide on the meaning of a provision of the Constitution. The jurisdiction of Malaysian courts is determined by the Courts of Justice Act 1964 for superior courts and the Subordinate Courts Act 1948 for subordinate courts: mixed legal system of English customary law, Islamic law (Sharia) and customary law; Judicial review of legislative acts by the Federal Court at the request of the Supreme Head of the Federation The laws of Malaysia can be divided into two types of laws: written law and unwritten law. Written laws are laws promulgated in the Constitution or in legislation. Unwritten laws are laws that are not contained in any law and can be found in case decisions. This is called common law or jurisprudence. In situations where there is no law governing a particular circumstance, Malaysian case law may apply. If there is no Malaysian jurisdiction, English case law may be applied.

There are cases where Australian, Indian and Singaporean cases are used as convincing authorities. Lawyers in Malaysia can practice in government or in the private sector. Public sector lawyers are managed by the Justice and Legal Services Commission. They are transferable within the chamber department of the GA or can be seconded as legal advisers to any state government. In private practice, there is no division of the legal profession. A practising lawyer is known as a lawyer and a lawyer and usually does all the work done by lawyers and lawyers in England. There is a bar for Peninsular Malaysia, namely the Malaysian Bar Council and a separate bar for Sabah and Sarawak, namely the Sabah Law Association and the Advocates Association of Sarawak respectively. A member of the Peninsular Malaysian Bar is not licensed to practise in Sabah and Sarawak. No member of the Sabah and Sarawak Bar Association is licensed to practise in the other state or in the Malaysian Peninsula. The Council of the College is given legal powers to regulate the profession and acts as the general watchdog of professional etiquette and standards.

With the exception of the websites of the three co-legislators, where the law is officially made available to the public free of charge, i.e. on (i) the website of the Attorney-General`s Office (legislative institution for the executive); (ii) the Parliament`s website and (iii) the Court`s websites, there are certain ministries, legal bodies, bar associations and local governments, which may also contain their relevant laws and regulations on their respective websites. To access these websites, you can either access them through locally or internationally hosted legal portals, or access them directly from the websites of the legislative institutions in their jurisdiction. Although they are not designed for sophisticated or comprehensive research compared to the services offered by commercial legal providers, these freely accessible websites remain the best alternative for the Malaysian legal resources currently available. The Federal Constitution is the supreme law of the land. It provides the legal framework for laws, statutes, courts and other administrative aspects of the law. It also defines the government and the monarch and their powers, as well as the rights of citizens. The Consumer Claims Tribunal is an independent body established under section 85, Part XII, of the Consumer Protection Act 1999, which was established on 15 September 1999.

Entered into force in November 1999 and has as its main purpose the consultation and establishment of complaints submitted by consumers in accordance with the law and subject to the provisions of the law. Before the court is established, all disputes between a consumer and a supplier or manufacturer must be brought before a civil court, which often results in lengthy legal proceedings, high legal and other costs, not to mention long delays. This website is useful for those who intend to bring actions before the Court of Justice. Legal Workbench (also known as LawNet in Singapore) is a service of the Singapore Law Academy. It is a subscription portal that specifically caters to the legal research and information needs of the legal community in Singapore and Malaysia. Legal Workbench is the leading legal information centre in Singapore. Ancient cases brought before the Malayan Law Journal, as decided by the courts of the Straits settlements, are also available in the heritage collection. The dual legal system is provided for in Article 121(1A) of the Malaysian Constitution. Article 3 also provides that Islamic law is a matter of constitutional law, with the exception of the federal territories of Malaysia.

[1] Islamic law refers to Sharia law, and in Malaysia it is known and written as Syaria. The court is known as the Sharia Court. Considering the Malaysian legal system as a whole, Sharia law plays a relatively small role in defining the country`s laws. It applies only to Muslims. With regard to civil law, the Sharia courts are competent to deal with personal legal matters, such as marriage, inheritance and apostasy. Some states have Sharia criminal laws, for example, there is the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code Enactment 1993. However, their jurisdiction is limited to the imposition of fines not exceeding RM5000 and a maximum prison sentence of 3 years. In August 2007, the then Chief Justice of Malaysia proposed replacing the current application of the common law in Malaysia with Sharia law.

[2] It is important for scholars to understand that much of Malaysia`s history is linked to Britain, which established itself among the first colonies on the Malay Peninsula.

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