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InsiderTAPS (23 March 2020)

GUIDANCE ON COURT OPERATIONS DURING THE MOVEMENT CONTROL ORDER

Date: 23 March 2020

 

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On 16 March 2020, the Prime Minister announced a nationwide Movement Control Order (“Order”) under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 and the Police Act 1967, which takes effect from 18 March to 31 March 2020 (“Period”). Pursuant to this Order, the Bar Council issued Circular No 063/2020 which referred to the email from Chief Registrar of the Federal Court (“Email”). The Email provided some guidance on the state of affairs of the Courts during the Period. We summarise the Circular and the Email below.

 

  1. Trial/Hearings for Civil and Criminal Cases
    All trials and hearings for civil and criminal cases during the Period are adjourned.
  2. Civil Cases Filings / Management
    1. New filings
      • For courts using the eKehakiman system, filing of new civil cases / notice of appeal and other documents will operate as usual via the eFiling system.
      • For courts without the eKehakiman system, filing of new civil cases and other documents will only be accepted after 1 April 2020.
        For Sessions Courts cases that require urgency, filing can be made at the nearest courts with eKehakiman system in that particular state.
    2. Certificate of Urgency
      • Federal Court
        The Senior Deputy Registrar / Deputy Registrar will handle the documents for the certificate of urgency and get further directions from the Chief Justice of Malaysia.
      • Court of Appeal
        The Registrar / Senior Deputy Registrar will handle the documents and get further directions from the President of the Court of Appeal.
      • High Court
        The Deputy Registrar (Administration / Management) or the Senior Assistant Registrar (Administration / Management) will handle the documents and get further directions from the Judge / Judicial Commissioner on duty.
      • Sessions Court
        The Senior Assistant Registrar of the Subordinate Courts will handle the documents and get further directions from the Director of the State Courts.
    3. Case Management
      • Case managements by way of eReview will continue as usual
      • Manual case managements will be vacated and new dates will be fixed
  3. Case Management for Criminal Cases in the Federal Court and Court of Appeal
    All case managements are vacated and new dates will be fixed later on.
  4. Case Management for Criminal Cases in the Lower Courts
    1. Remand application
      Remand application under section 117 of the Criminal Procedure Code, section 259 of the Criminal Procedure Code and Immigration Act 1959/1963 will proceed as usual according to the fixed schedule.
    2. Registration for new cases
      • If there is any need for the registration of new cases, the Investigating Officer (IO) must earlier inform the Magistrate and Sessions Court Judge on duty
      • The Director of the State Courts will prepare a schedule of officers and staff on duty throughout the whole Period. A copy of the schedule will be provided to the state’s Chief Police and the state’s Bar Chairman.
    3. Bail application
      Bail applications will be processed as normal for bailable applications.
  5. Banking Matters
    Apart from the guidance above, the Bar Council also published a Press Release on 18 March 2020 calling upon banks and financial institutions to not impose unnecessary demands and instructions to their lawyers due to the Order, notwithstanding that banks are allowed to continue their operations during the Period. The Bar Council also calls upon Bank Negara Malaysia and all financial institutions to suspend or temporarily relax standard operating procedures that require strict compliance with timelines, while the Order remains in force.



Should you have any queries or require more information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

LY
Leonard Yeoh
Partner
T: +603 2050 1973
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