COURTS OF JUDICATURE (AMENDMENT) ACT 2020
The amendments made to the Courts of Judicature Act 1964 (“CJA 1964”) are merely to provide an alternative for the Superior Courts i.e. the High Court, the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court to conduct the proceedings of any cause or matter using remote communication technology.
After receiving the Royal Assent on 10 October 2020, the Courts of Judicature (Amendment) Act 2020 (“Amended Act”) was gazetted on 22 October 2020.
The key amendments made under the Amended Act will be addressed below.
Summary of the Key Amendments to the CJA 1964
- Amendment to Section 3 of CJA 1964
- The section introduces a new definition to the provision wherein remote communication technology is defined as a live video link, a live television link or any other electronic means of communication.
- Insertion of Section 15a of CJA 1964
- This section enables the Superior Courts to conduct the proceedings or any cause of matter, civil or criminal using remote communication technology.
- The section however, will not affect the provisions relating to the evidence given by child witnesses via live link under the Evidence of Child Witness Act 2007 and evidence given by witnesses protected under the Criminal Procedure Code and the Evidence Act 1950.
- Further, the section also defines place to mean a cyberspace, virtual place or virtual space.
- Insertion of Section 16(aa) of the CJA 1964
- This section further extends the ambit of the rules of courts to also regulate and prescribe the procedures for proceedings or hearing of any matter conducted through remote communication technology.
- Substitution of Subsection 17(2)(f) of the CJA 1964
- The amendment to the constitution of the Rules Committee replaced the membership of the Senior Judge of the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court with the Chief Registrar of the Federal Court.
- Insertion of Section 17b of the CJA 1964
- This section empowers the Chief Justice to issue such practice directions as may be necessary upon consulting the President of the Court of Appeal or the Chief Judge.
- Amendment of Section 69 of the CJA 1964
- The section was amended to allow evidence to be received through remote communication technology.
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