We are pleased to inform you that the Johore Bar Committee attended a meeting with the Honourable Justice Dato’ Umi Kalthum binti Abdul Majid, Judge of the High Court of Malaya in Muar, which was also attended by the Deputy and Assistant Registrars of the High Court in Muar and Sessions Court Judges and Magistrates in North Johor, on Thursday 13th October 2011 at 3.00p.m. at the Muar Court Complex.

The said meeting, inter alia, discussed the aspirations and direction of the Judiciary under the new Chief Justice and the issues raised by the Johore Bar Committee.

We are pleased to give you a summary of the deliberations and decisions made at the said meeting for your information. Kindly be guided accordingly.

NOTES OF MEETING

1. The policy against granting postponements readily would continue, but judicial officers must exercise their discretion and consider the merits of each case in considering applications for adjournments.

2. The CRT system would continue. Apparently some officers are still recording the proceedings manually. The learned Judge recognized the existence of some problems within the system and promised to take remedial measures to fine- tune it.

3. Judges and Magistrates must not merely hear cases and clear the backlog, they must also come up with reasons for their decisions.

4. The target for completion of cases filed in 2010 and earlier, both civil and criminal, is 31st. December 2011.

5. NCvC Court has already been set up in Muar on 1st September 2011 and the time-frame to complete hearing and deliver decisions is 9 months, failing which the Judge must submit a report to explain the delay.

6. Other cases (OCvC cases) must be completed by December 2012.

7. Justice Dato’ Umi Kalthum bt. Abdul Majid would be handling the hearing of all civil matters and Land Reference matters in the Muar High Court.

8. Judicial Commissioner Dato’ Ahmad Nasfy bin Hj Yasin would be hearing all criminal cases and civil appeals in the Muar High Court, NCvC cases in the Melaka High Court and complete his part-heard cases in the Seremban High Court.

 

9. Allocation of work between the Registrars at the Muar High Court is as follows:

(a) NCvC matters to be heard by Puan Zahilah, the Deputy Registrar in chambers Bilik Bincang Awam 1, 4th floor;

(b) OCvC matters to be heard by Puan Siti Hajar, the Senior Assistant Registrar in chambers Bilik Bincang Awam 2, 4th floor.

10. In respect of Criminal and Civil Appeals – Counsel attending case-management must inform the Registrar whether they wished to file any new submission(s) or if they would be relying on the submissions filed in the court below, and if they prefer to file new submissions, they should do so simultaneously and at least 14 days before the hearing date.

11. Solicitors are required to take care in preparing and filing proper appeal records as required by the rules of procedure and practice directions.

12. Submissions in the subordinate court as directed by the respective court. There appears to be two different approaches in North Johore, namely:

(a) simultaneous filing of submissions; and

(b) parties given time frames to file their submissions, usually one after another

together with an “unless order.”

13. Parties are required to state during case-management of cases whether they wish to make oral or written submissions.

14. In criminal matters in the High Court, where an assigned counsel withdraws from defending the accused, the order of withdrawal/discharge must be prepared by the Court.

15. Appeal matters – For appeals on Interlocutory matters (IM) and after a full trial (B), Solicitors must state at the top right hand corner of the notice of appeal and all other papers & records filed thereafter in the appeal concerned, whether it is (IM) or (B), as the case may be.

16. Short call papers must be complete and filed properly, including Surat Tanpa Bantahan, at least 1 week before the date; counsel do not need to appear anymore and if the papers are in order, the court would give Order-in-Terms and post it on the court notice board.

17. The reissuing and resealing of Writs must follow Order 20 rule 10 of the Rules of the High

Court 1980.

18. Counsel (including mentioning counsel) must bring the draft order for ex parte applications for approval at the time of hearing of the matter.

19. Legal firms filing documents in court are required to insert the case code in every document.

20. Every Power of Attorney in Form 78 under section 9 & 10 should be on a separate page.

21. Solicitors acting for the Chargee (the Bank) are required to be present at the time of public auction.

22. Muar Courts have opened a Mediation Centre within the Court Complex. Members of the Bar are encouraged to use it. Use of premises is free. Counsel just need to fill up the form and submit to the court. The list of qualified Bar Council mediators may be put up on the court notice board.

23. Audio Conferencing for Case Management: TP Puan Zahilah is in charge. Counsels are encouraged to do audio-conferencing once the system has been implemented.

24. The court would be putting up another 40 BC boxes in the Muar Court Complex.

25. Members of the Bar would be allowed to drive up to the main entrance of the Muar Court Complex when it rains heavily to unload their bags.

26. The security guards at the Muar Court Complex would be directed to ensure that members of the public do not park their vehicles at the lots reserved for lawyers.

27. Delay in the extraction of orders, both draft and sealed orders, from the court was acknowledged by the courts. The delay was often due to the postal authorities. Puan Zahilah, the Deputy Registrar confirmed that sometimes even within Muar it took about two weeks for letters to be delivered. The Court would be writing to Pos Malaysia regarding this matter.

28. It was pointed out that under the Rules of Procedure, the prescribed time-frame for extension of originating processes is 6 months, but it was sometimes reduced to two months by a Registrar, which was not only arbitrary and unlawful, but caused a lot of inconvenience, for example it was very difficult to effect substituted service during that short time-frame. The learned Judge instructed the Registrars to follow the time-frames set by the Rules and not to abridge or shorten them on their own.

29. The PA system in courts would be improved as lawyers and the public had difficulty hearing the judges.

30. The learned Judge directed all courts to notify lawyers, especially outstation lawyers, at least the day before, if a case that is fixed for hearing, had for some reason to be adjourned or if a decision in a particular case is not ready.

31. As the Deputy Registrar, Pn. Zahila’s chambers in the Muar Court Complex was too small and did not have enough seats for lawyers, a request for more chairs to be placed outside her chambers was made and would be considered by the courts.

32. The directions pertaining to valuation reports are that:-

(a) fresh valuation reports are required where the current one is more than 2 years old at the time of application for directions for 1st, 2nd & 3rd auctions; and

(b) fresh valuation reports are not required for 4th and subsequent auctions.

33. The Kluang Court would be looking into the serious parking problem faced by lawyers and the public having to attend court.

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