The Malaysian Judicial System is composed of the Superior Courts and the Subordinate Courts.The Superior Courts consist of The Federal Court as the apex court of all, the Court of Appeal, and High Courts ( High Court in Malaya and High Court in Sabah and Sarawak. The Subordinate Courts are The Sessions Court, the Magistrates' Court and the Court for Children.
Each Superior and Subordinates Courts practices their specific judicial functions conferred by the Federal Constitution.
The Federal Court is the apex court and had the highest judicial authority in Malaysia. It is headed by the Chief Justice and with the provision of the Federal Constitution,Article 122(1), The Federal Court must also consists of the President of the Court of Appeal, 2 Chief Judges of the two High Courts and 7 other judges. All judges in the Federal Court are appointed by the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong, with the advice of the Prime Minister, after consulting the Conference of Malay Rulers.
According to the provisions of the Federal Constitution, there are 4 main jurisdictions of the Federal Court:
i) Exclusive Jurisdiction to determine whether a law made by the Parliament or by the Legislature of a State is invalid (Article 128 (1a)) and to determine the disputes between States or between the Federation and any State. (Art 128(1b))
ii) Referral Jurisdiction. The Federal Court should (without interfering the jurisdiction of the Federal Court to hear and determine appeals and subject to any rules of court regulating the exercise of that jurisdiction), determine any question arises in the hearing of the other court to the effect of any provision of the Federal Constitution, and send the case back to that court to be decide according to the determination.
iii) Advisory jurisdiction. The yang Di-Pertuan Agong may refer to the Federal Court for its opinion on any question regarding the Federal Constitution or any constitutional issue,and the opinion of the Federal Court shall be pronounce in an open court. (Article 130)
iv)Hearing and Determining Appeals : Civil Appeals & Criminal Appeals. The Federal Court may hears and determines appeals against decisions of the Court of Appeal to any criminal matter decided by the High Court in the exercise of its original jurisdiction. Civil appeals against the decision of the Court of Appeal may be made to the Federal Court with the leave of the Federal Court.
According to the Federal Constitution, The Special Court has an exclusive jurisdiction to hears and determines all offences committed in the Federation by the Rulers of any States or even the Yang di-Pertuan Agong; and it also has to jurisdiction to try all civil cases by or against any of the Rulers of any States or Yang Di-Pertuan Agong, regardless of where the case was rose.
The Court of Appeal has the jurisdiction to hears and determines all civil ans criminal appeals against any decisions of the High Courts.
The High Courts has the unlimited jurisdiction to hear and determine all criminal cases and civil cases. The High Courts also act as the appellate court referred by the Subordinate Courts, although not all decisions can be appeal from the Subordinate Courts to the High Courts. Despite of that, the High Courts also act as the revisionary power over all Subordinate Courts in the matter of criminal proceedings or criminal procedures.
The Sessions Court act as the highest court of the Subordinate Courts. The Sessions Court can try all criminal cases, except the offences which need to be punish with death sentences. For civil cases, the Sessions Court can hear and determine matters or cases with the value (if involved) does not exceeding RM 250thousand.
The Magistrates' Court has jurisdiction to try all criminal offences for which the maximum sentences does not exceed 10years imprisonment or with fine only. And for civil cases, magistrates can hear and determine all offences with the amount disputed are not exceeding RM 25thousand.
The Court for Children has jurisdiction to hear and determine any charges against a child, or may dispose the charges against the child.