Notes of Meeting with the Managing Judges of the Civil and Commercial Courts in Kuala Lumpur

Dear Members of the KL Bar,

We have had two recent meetings with the Managing Judges of the Civil and Commercial Courts in Kuala Lumpur to address some regular issues which had been raised by you. The following are the notes from the meetings for your attention. Kindly note that several specific problems were also raised by members and each and every of these problems did receive individual attention and we have reverted back directly to those who had raised it. Please continue to give us your feedback be it positive or negative, so that we would be able to speak on your behalf in the continuous consultative meetings that we have with the Managing Judges.

Pushpa Ratnam
Civil Court Liaison Committee

Meeting between Members of the Kuala Lumpur Bar Committee (KLBC),
Civil Court Liaison Committee (CCLC) and the Managing Judges of the Civil
and Commercial Divisions of the KL High Court
YA Tan Sri James Foong Cheng Yuen and YA Dato’ Seri Md Raus bin Sharif
and Deputy Registrars on 22.10.2010 and 26.11.2010

The following issues were raised and discussed:

1. Issues by KLBC/CCLC:

i. Filing of Draft Orders and Fair Copies
By way of Fax
Tan Sri stated there is no Practice Direction on this issue and would leave it to the Chief Justice to decide on the matter.

Sealed Copies
Tan Sri agreed that counsel should be allowed to file up to 3 copies. However, he would raise this matter and revert thereafter.

Certified True Copies (CTC)
Tan Sri agreed in principle that the CTC could be done together with the sealed copies for the sake of convenience. However, it was brought to the attention of the Meeting that there is a Practice Direction from the Registrar of the High Court indicating that CTC can only be obtained after the sealed copy is extracted.

The Court will contact the Registrar concerned and revert on the matter.

Time Frame for Extraction of Court Orders
Tan Sri informed the Meeting that they are currently working on a flow chart to standardise the extraction of Court Orders to ensure a promised time frame is met. The system is in its final stages and will be tried out in the Penang Courts before being implemented nationwide.

ii. Filing Documents at the High Court Registry
Counsel to see the Senior Assistant Registrar (SAR) on duty or the Managing Deputy Registrar should their documents be rejected by the counter clerks.

iii. Fixing of Hearing Dates
Counsel to write to the Court if unhappy with the short notice.

iv. Injunctions
Certificate of Urgency must be decided/addressed by a Judge. Counsel therefore have the right to insist on seeing the Judge on duty to obtain the hearing date.

v. Striking out cases and reasonableness in allowing adjournments
Tan Sri will raise this matter at the Judges Conference.

vi. Staggered Hearing
It was indicated that the Court will look into the matter though they felt that it would be difficult to implement staggered hearings because hearings are only scheduled on the day itself.

vii. CRT – the process of obtaining notes of proceedings
Tan Sri agreed to our suggestion that counsel may write to the Court to get consent on the transcription after a reasonable time had passed and the other side had not responded by agreeing with the transcript.

viii. Language/comments/insinuations used by decision makers
Tan Sri agreed to raise this matter at the Judge’s conference.

ix. Audio Conferencing
This had been implemented and the procedure has been put in place and it is hoped that the Members of the KL Bar would be encouraged to participate in this audio conferencing. It was felt that there was a lack of awareness in the use of audio conferencing.

x. Court Facilities
Insufficient benches
Additional benches had been added to the Lobby area at Level 3.

More LCD screens to avoid counsel converging in the middle
The Court explained that the 2 screens have different functions. They are aware that there is a need to have additional screens but currently they do not have the budget for it.

xi. Admission to the Bar
Tan Sri will discuss with the Chief Judge of Malaya on how to improve the procedure for Admission to the Bar.

xii. Postponement/Stand Down Matters – Federal Court to be more flexible
Tan Sri stated that postponement will only be granted in exceptional cases. However he would take this issue up with Puan Jumirah (Registrar of the Federal Court).

xiii. Judges should prepare written Judgments upon request
Tan Sri suggested that counsel should ask for grounds for every decision that is made.

xiv. Unable to get Trial Dates for matters that were initiated in 2008, 2009 and 2010
Tan Sri stated that the Judiciary is short-handed and are looking at appointing more Judges to clear the backlog.

xv. Commissioner for Oaths Counter perpetually closed
Puan Rasyihah Binti Ghazali (Deputy Registrar of the KL Court Administration) will address this issue.

xvi. Issues pertaining to the KL Subordinate Courts
Delay in the Extraction of Orders
Tan Sri will discuss this issue with Puan Ong Wee Ching (Senior Registrar of the KL Subordinate Courts)

Problems faced at Basement 1 (Confined space and no handphone coverage)
The Court will look into the suggestion to move mentions at Basement 1 to Level 4.

QMS System
Counsel not aware that another form has to be filled besides keying in their case number at the kiosk. Puan Rodziyah Bt Ab. Halim (KL Court Administration) will raise this matter with Puan Ong Wee Ching.

2. Issues by KL Courts:

i. Witness Statement
Witness statement should be sent to the Court a week before trial, and not brought on the day itself by counsel causing the other party to request for a stand down to enable them to read/go through the said document.

ii. Affidavit late/lost
It was requested that counsel have extra copies on them for the Judge to read.

iii. Filing
Counsel must always follow the filing system i.e. Case Number must be stated clearly at the top right hand corner together with the mention or hearing date.

iv. NCC
Dato’ Seri cautioned counsel that NCC has specific time line for its cases. Counsel should file their interlocutory applications within the first 3 months and not wait for the 7thmonth before doing so.

v. BC Boxes
Some firms share the BC box. This gives rise to some documents being accidentally collected and not received by the actual counsel. This is because the despatch who collects all documents from the BC box fails to check the documents properly.

vi. Reminder Letters
Puan Hamidah Binti Mohd Deril (Managing Deputy Registrar, OCC) informed the Meeting that there were counsel who send documents to the wrong registry. Counsel must ensure that they send their letters/documents to the right registry and to also obtain an acknowledgement from the registry concerned.

vii. Bundles of Documents
Puan Rohani Binti Ismail (Head of Civil Sessions & Magistrates Courts) urged counsel to send their bundles of documents one or one and half months before the hearing date.

viii. Submissions
Tan Sri requested that counsel be reminded that submission must not exceed 5 pages and in Font Arial size 12.