Sunday January 13, 2013
Construction courts soon
PUTRAJAYA: A specialised construction court will be set up in Kuala Lumpur and Shah Alam soon to hear construction disputes as demand for projects continue to rise, Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria said.
“Construction cases are unique as they involve technical issues, multiple parties and varying terms of payment. Thus, a specialised construction court would be beneficial to the industry. By having specialised judges, it will help in the speedy disposal of such cases,” Bernama reported him as saying at the opening of the Legal Year 2013 here.
The chief justice said the new court was among several initiatives to enhance performance and work quality.
Arifin said to address the significant increase in the number of cases brought forward to this year in the Federal Court, two Federal Court panels would be sitting every week from March.
He said to enable the Malaysian Bar and the Attorney-General’s Chambers to improve their case presentations in complex cases, an electronic presentation system facility would be used.
Arifin said with the support of the Attorney-General’s Chambers, the judiciary was seriously considering the establishment of a mediation division in the Chief Registrar’s Office to undertake the promotion of mediation amongst litigants.
The chief justice also said that since Oct 16, the Federal Court had started issuing press summaries of the judgment of the court to assist the public in understanding the reasons behind the court’s decision.
He said, it was part of the judiciary’s efforts to make justice more transparent.
Arifin reaffirmed the judiciary’s commitment to uphold its independence, saying the institution would strengthen itself against any attempt to undermine this attribute.
This would be done through training and closer supervision of members of the judiciary, he said.
“I wish to call upon members of the Bar Council and the public to restrain from corrupting the judges and officers in order to gain favours from them.
“For, in any corruption, there is a giver and a receiver. You all can stop it at your end,” he told some 400 people, comprising judges of the Federal Court, Court of Appeal, High Court and Sessions Court, judicial officers, members from the Bar Council and from the Attorney-General’s Chambers and retired judges at the ceremony.
Arifin said the High Courts and subordinate courts nationwide had continued to maintain their high performance.
He said the High Courts disposed off more than 120,000 civil and 6,000 criminal cases while the Sessions Courts disposed off more than 130,000 civil and 27,000 criminal cases. The magistrate’s courts disposed off 250,000 civil and more than 134,000 criminal cases.
He said 90.1% of the cases disposed off at the High Courts were within the nine-month timeline set, while the figure was 85.8% in the Sessions Courts. In the magistrate’s courts 81.6% of cases were disposed off within the six-month timeline.
In his speech, Malaysian Bar president Lim Chee Wee said it had pledged its support to the chief justice to combat corruption, adding that it would approach and work with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission whenever there was a serious hint of corruption involving its members or the Bench.
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