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Meeting between the Office Bearers of the Malaysian Bar and the Chief Justice on 11 May 2022

Circular No 153/2022
Dated 3 June 2022

To Members of the Malaysian Bar

Meeting between the Office Bearers of the Malaysian Bar
and the Chief Justice on 11 May 2022

At the request of the Malaysian Bar, a meeting was held between the Office Bearers of the Malaysian Bar (“OBs”) and the Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Malaysia (“CJ”), YAA Tun Tengku Maimun binti Tuan Mat, on 11 May 2022.

The key matters discussed during the meeting are summarised below:

(A) Issues Raised by the Malaysian Bar

(1) Self-Robing During the Ceremony for the Admission of Pupils as Advocates and Solicitors

The President requested that the Judiciary reinstate the traditional practice of masters robing their pupils, following the resumption of physical ceremonies for admissions of pupils in the High Court in some states.  The OBs were informed that self-robing will be maintained for the time being, pending issuance of a new direction by the Court to replace the existing one, so that masters can robe pupils in physical ceremonies for admissions as advocates and solicitors of the High Court of Malaya.

The Bar Council will follow up with the Judiciary regarding the new direction in due course.

(2) Registration Requirement for Journalists Attending Court Hearings

On the issue of journalists being required to register two days prior to a Court hearing, the Judiciary informed the OBs that the Courts are required to adhere to COVID-19 standard operating procedures (“SOPs”), and as such, prior registration is required.

(3) Request for an Additional Judge for Shah Alam High Court (Family)

The President informed the Judiciary that there is an urgent need for an additional judge in the Shah Alam High Court due to the volume of matrimonial cases filed there.  The Judiciary agreed to look into the request.


(B) Issues Raised by the Judiciary

(1) Remote Hearings

The Judiciary informed the OBs that they will continue to make available the option for a matter to be heard via remote hearing.  Pursuant to the practice direction issued on remote hearings (see Circular No 003/2021), the Courts retain the discretion to decide on the mode of hearing, taking into account the relevant factors and submissions.

A particular case was highlighted to the Judiciary wherein the request by foreign witnesses to testify virtually was rejected by the Court and they were summoned to testify in Court physically.  Upon the arrival of the foreign witnesses in Malaysia, the case was subsequently postponed.  Details have been provided and the Judiciary agreed to look into the matter.

(2) Backlog of Criminal Cases

The Judiciary informed the OBs that the postponement of criminal cases during the COVID-19 pandemic period resulted in a backlog of cases.  Judges have been given directions to expedite the disposal of cases prior to 2020 but note that requests for postponement of cases have also contributed to the backlog.

Therefore, Members are reminded to only request for postponements in exceptional circumstances.


Thank you.

Anand Raj
Malaysian Bar

To view the full circular, please click here to log into the Malaysian Bar website, then return to this circular and click here.