Summary on the Amendments of Subordinate Courts 2020 – Act A1622

Oct 31, 2020


The amendments made to the Subordinate Courts Act 1948 (“SCA 1948”) are to enable the lower courts to conduct the proceedings of any cause or matter, be it civil or criminal, or to hold any inquiry through live video links, live television links or any other medium of electronic communication.

After receiving the Royal Assent on 10 October 2020, the Subordinate Courts (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 SCA 1948

  1. Amendment to Section 2 of SCA 1948
  • 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.


  1. Insertion of Section 101b of the SCA 1948
  • The introduction of this section allows the Sessions Court and the Magistrates Court to conduct civil or criminal proceedings, or to hold any inquiry by way of remote communication technology.


  • The lower Courts are deemed to have conducted or heard any cause or matter, civil or criminal matter, or to hold any inquiry through the remote communication technology within its constitution and territorial jurisdiction or ultimately within the jurisdiction of Malaysia under sections 59 or 76 of the SC 1948.


  • Further, this aforementioned section 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.


  • The section has also defined place to mean cyberspace, virtual place or virtual space.


  1. Insertion of Section 107a of the SCA 1948

This newly added section empowers the Chief Justice to issue such practice directions which as may be necessary upon consulting the President of the Court of Appeal or the Chief Judge.


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