All physical court hearings postponed during lockdown

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All criminal and civil case hearings in the physical courts are adjourned while the lockdown is in effect for two weeks beginning tomorrow, said the Palace of Justice.

The new court dates will be announced later.

The registrar-general of the Federal Court of Malaysia said this was in line with the order to shut down all social and economic activity across the country.

Earlier today, the Malaysian Bar urged the government to clarify if legal firms may operate during the lockdown.

In a circular to members, it said it was seeking clarification on directives for law firms after the National Security Council’s order for industries to liaise with their respective ministries for guidance.

In a statement today, the registrar-general listed the cases to be adjourned:

(a) Trial and hearings of civil and criminal cases.

(i) All trials and hearings of civil and criminal cases that have been scheduled in physical presence in court shall be adjourned and the setting of a new trial or hearing date will be notified later.

(ii) For civil cases, hearings shall be conducted online based on the Chief Justice’s Practice Direction No. 1 of 2021 Handling Civil Cases Through Remote Communication Technology for Courts Across Malaysia (AA KHN 1/2021).

(iii) Taking into account the implementation period of Phase One of the lockdown, if government agencies, lawyers and the public have difficulty in proceeding with the trial and fear it will affect the right of the parties to a fair trial through remote communication technology, the agency, the government, lawyers and the public can apply to adjourn the case.

(b) Filing of civil and criminal cases.

Filing of new civil and criminal cases, notices of appeal and documents will be carried out as usual through the court application system.

(c) Civil and criminal case management.

Civil and criminal case management should be carried out through remote communication technology.

(d) New charges, application for remand order and application for miscellaneous crimes.

All new charges, remand order applications and miscellaneous criminal order applications shall be conducted through physical appearance in court.

(e) Immediate certificate and immediate application for civil and criminal cases.

The parties may file an immediate certificate or immediate application for civil and criminal cases if necessary and the court will give further instructions to the parties in relation to the matter.

(f) Criminal applications to be conducted through physical presence in the High Court.

For criminal applications that need to be conducted through physical appearance in the High Court for special reasons and in certain circumstances (exceptional circumstances), the Court will use its discretion in considering the application.

For the information of government agencies, lawyers and the public.

(a) This direction supersedes all previous directions in relation to the operation of the court during the movement control period which have been issued by the Office of the Registrar General of the Federal Court by email on March 17, 2020, March 26, 2020 and April 24, 2020.

(b) This directive shall be applied if the government announces to extend the implementation of this “lockdown” and is subject to any new directive issued.

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