Jamit: Legally trained magistrates, judges to man Sarawak’s new Native Courts

Posted on 17 May 2023
Source of News: https://www.theborneopost.com/2023/05/17/jamit-legally-trained-magistrates-judges-to-man-sarawaks-new-native-courts/
KUCHING (May 17): The new Native Courts in Sarawak will be manned by legally trained and qualified magistrates and judges, said Jefferson Jamit Unyat.

The Deputy Minister in the Sarawak Premier’s Department (Native Law and Customs) said the state government, in January 2020, commissioned a comprehensive study for a master plan to transform the Native Courts from being a unit under the Premier of Sarawak’s Department to a full-fledged judicial institution which is independent and autonomous like the civil and Shariah courts.

He said the study was completed in February last year, and the findings and recommendations in the final report will be presented to the state Cabinet for approval and implementation.

“The main recommendation by the consultant is to reconstruct the structure from the current six-tier Native Courts to a four-tier court structure comprising the Native Magistrate Court, Native High Court, Native Court of Appeal, and Native Supreme Court.

“The new Native Courts will be manned by legally trained and qualified magistrates and judges, unlike the present court where the presiding officers are the headmen and community leaders at the community level and district officers and Residents of district Native Courts and Resident’s Native Courts respectively,” said Jamit.

The Bukit Goram assemblyman was responding to a question from John Ilus (GPS-Bukit Semuja) during the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting today.

“For the restructuring and elevation of the Native Courts of Sarawak, the recommendation in the master plan is to amend the current state and federal laws to make new state laws and the focus will be amendments relevant to the Native Courts, which are under the jurisdiction and power of the State Legislative Assembly,” he added.



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