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|Legal Subjects > Criminal Law > Criminal Courts|
WHAT ARE THE JURISDICTION AND POWERS OF THE CRIMINAL COURTS ?
Where a crime or offence is punishable by a fine not exceeding RM10,000, such matter will be heard by the Magistrate Court sitting in all major towns in Malaysia. This normally covers the majority of traffic offenses.
An offence means any act, attempt or omission punishable by law.
A Magistrate Court may also hear criminal matters where the offence provides for a term of imprisonment not exceeding 10 (ten) years. However, the Magistrate may not pass a sentence of imprisonment for a term exceeding 5 (five) years.
Section 87 of the Subordinate Courts Act 1948 provides the First Class Magistrate with power to impose whipping up to a maximum of 12 strokes.
The Sessions Court has wider jurisdiction than the Magistrate court. The Sessions court has criminal jurisdiction to try all criminal offenses except to try or pronounce sentence in the case of any person brought before it accused or suspected of having committed any offenses punishable by death. This is the limit imposed on the Session Judges powers under the Section 64.
Any criminal matters or offence may be tried by the High Court sitting at any place in Malaysia but generally the High Court confines itself to offenses on which the Magistrates and Sessions Court have no jurisdiction. Offenses which carry the death penalty will be tried by the High Court.
Drug trafficking under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act, murder under Section 302 of the Penal Code, kidnapping of abduction under Section 364 of the Penal Code and offenses under the Firearms (increased penalty) Act are examples of criminal cases where it involves capital punishment or death penalty if the accused is found guilty.
WHICH COURT MAY HEAR APPEALS OF CRIMINAL MATTERS ?
The High Court may exercise its revisionary powers with respect to criminal proceedings and matters in the subordinate courts.
Under the Section 27, the appellate civil jurisdiction of the High Court shall consists of the hearing of appeals from the Magistrates and Sessions courts in criminal matters.
The Court of Appeal has appellate revisionary jurisdiction in respect of any criminal matter decided by the Sessions court and may hear and determine any appeal against any decision made by the High Court.
Appeals for decision made by the Magistrate court in any criminal matter shall be confined only to questions of law which have arisen in the course of the appeal or revision and the determination of which by the High Court has affected the event of the appeal or revision.
An appeal shall be made within 14 days after the date of the decision of the High Court and shall be with the leave of the Court of Appeal.
The Federal Court is the court of last resort. In criminal cases, in exercising its appellate jurisdiction, the Federal Court has the powers to hear and determine any appeal from any decision of the Court of Appeal in its jurisdiction to hear and determine any civil appeal from the Court of Appeal provided leave is granted.