03 August 2020

Overview of Malaysia Dispute Resolution Ecosytem

The Malaysian Courts have long adopted Electronic Filing for filing of Court Documents. While some hearings were conducted online, the disruptions and lockdown caused by the Pandemic forced more of the hearings to be conducted online.

The Case Management process which monitors the progress of cases filed is heard before the Judge or Registrar is now conducted online by email exchange or Skype or Zoom. Interlocutory Hearings as well. The Courts opened for physical hearings since July 2020 when the COVID-19 situation improved. The Malaysian Judges try to complete hearings within a period of 9 months from filing which facilitates disposal of cases.

The levels of Malaysian Courts range from Magistrate, Sessions and High Court and the Appellate Courts are Court of Appeal and the apex Federal Court, which are basically Appellate Courts. Appeals from the Court of Appeal to the Federal Court requires leave application to be made to the Federal Court. The criteria for leave is that there must be a question to be decided for the first time or a question of importance where a Federal Court decision would be to public advantage. Only if leave is allowed, the Federal Court would then allow the appeal proper to be heard.

The Malaysian Courts have adopted Court managed Mediation where parties are offered the choice of referring their case to Mediation before a Judicial Officer.

The Asian International Arbitration Centre [AIAC] has adopted facilities for online hearings in line with the other International Arbitration Centres worldwide. The AIAC Arbitration Rules incorporate the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules 2010 which provide, among other things:

• A model arbitration clause for contracts;

• Procedures for the appointment and challenge of arbitrators;

• Procedures for the conduct of arbitration proceedings.

Malaysia is a party to the Convention on Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards 1958 (“New York Convention”). The Malaysian Arbitration Act 2005 and the Rules of Court 2012 set out the procedures for registration of New York Convention Awards.

The Rules have provisions for the appointment of Emergency Arbitrator and the Malaysian Arbitration Act 2005 has provisions recognizing Emergency Arbitrator Awards allowing recognition of such Awards in Malaysia. AIAC also administers statutory adjudication under the Construction Industry Payment and Adjudication Act.

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