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Flashcards in Courts Deck (9)
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Courts are open to public

  • Exceptions?

General rule: s7 CPC

in camera = hearing in private, exclude public and media


  • s101(1) SCA 1948 / s15 CJA 1964: proceedings to be heard in camera if the court is satisfied in the interest of justice, public security and propriety
  • s12 Child Act 2001: child trials
  • s27 Official Secrets Act: where evidence is to be given on matters that will be prejudicial to the security of Malaysia
  • s10 Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012: defendant’s disclosure of sensitive information

Magistrates Court’s Trial & Sentencing Jurisdiction


1st Class:

  • Trial jurisdiction [s85 SCA 1948]: can try offences punishable with imprisonment not exceeding 10 years or fine only
  • Exceptions: highway robbery, house break in at night [s392, 457 CPC]
  • Sentencing [s87(1) SCA 1948]: may punish offender with imprisonment not exceeding 5 years, fine not exceeding $10,000, or whipping up to a maximum of 12 strokes

2nd Class:

  • Trial [s88 SCA 1948]: can try offences punishable with imprisonment not more than 12 months or fine only
  • Sentencing [s89 SCA 1948]: may punish offender with imprisonment not exceeding 6 months or fine not exceeding $1000

Exceptions to Magistrates Court’s sentencing jurisdiction


1st class Magistrate may issue punishment that exceeds the limit prescribed in s 87 SCA 1948 provided that THE JUDGE KNOWS OF THE ACCUSED’S PRIOR CONVICTIONS BEFORE SENTENCING AND RECORDS HIS REASONS

1st class Magistrate may issue punishment that exceeds the power prescribed under s87 where any WRITTEN LAW GIVES HIM THE AUTHORITY
- Customs Act 1967 (fine); Dangerous Drug Act 1952 (fine); Betting Ordinance 1953 (fines)

Sessions Court’s Jurisdiction


Trial Jurisdiction: s63 SCA 1948: try any offence except those punishable with death

Sentencing Jurisdiction: s64 SCA 1948: may pass any sentence allowed by law except death sentence; may impose the sentence of whipping but must not exceed statutory maximum of 24 strokes


High Court’s Jurisdiction


Art 121(1) Federal Constitution establishes 2 HCs of co-ordinate jurisdiction

s3 CJA 1964 defines “local jurisdiction” of each of the HCs

Each branch of the HC has concurrent jurisdiction [Sova v Kasih Sayang]

s22(1) CJA 1964: HC can try all offences under any written law

Sentencing Jurisdiction: s22(2) CJA 1964: may pass any sentence allowed by law

Appellate jurisdiction: s26 CJA 1964 - hear appeals from the subordinate courts


Court of Appeal’s Jurisdiction


Art 121 (1B) Federal Constitution & s50(1) CJA 1964: Jurisdiction to hear appeals from HC

s50(2) CJA: Where the case originates from the Magistrates Court, only questions of law may be appealed - appeal with leave
* s50(4) if appeal from Sessions Court or HC no restriction no leave required

s50(3): PP exempted from leave requirement in s50(2)

Sentencing Jurisdiction: s60(1) CJA - vary, confirm, reverse decision of HC - order retrial - remit matter for rehearing


Federal Court’s Jurisdiction


Art 126 Federal Constitution: Fed Court doesn’t conduct criminal trials

Art 121(2) Federal Court may determine appeals from HC or CoA - may confirm, reverse, or vary their decision - may order retrial

  • For appeals from HC, only cases where the matter was decided by the HC in its original jurisdiction
  • Matters that originates from Sessions Court ends at the Court of Appeal - Federal Court can’t use its inherent power to hear such cases - [Sia Cheng Soon] overruling [Tan Sri Eric Chia]

Local Jurisdiction - Where to try the matter?


s2 CPC definition
s121 CPC Ordinary place of trial
Exceptions s122-127A CPC - When in doubt consult HC


Wrong Court?


Irregularities in proceedings - cannot set aside court’s finding, sentence or order unless there is injustice
[s419-422 CPC]