UPDATE | Feedback On Online Hearings For The Kuala Lumpur Commercial High Courts And Civil Subordinate Courts

Circular No: 189/2021
Date: 7 August 2021

Dear Members of the Kuala Lumpur Bar,

On 29 March 2021, the Civil Practice & Court Liaison Committee (“CPCLC”) issued Circular No. 052/2021 requesting feedback regarding online hearings for the Kuala Lumpur Commercial High Courts and Civil Subordinate Courts.
Upon reviewing the feedback received, the CPCLC had issued a memorandum to the Office of the Managing Judge of the Commercial High Courts and Civil Subordinate Courts. The said memorandum had raised the pertinent issues received from members as well as proposed solutions for the Courts to consider implementing.
Kindly be informed that the office of the Managing Judge has since responded to the memorandum with the steps taken to address the relevant issues. We wish to share the following feedback from the Courts:
  1. The response time from the Court for matters conducted by way of e-Review and/or Email.
    Lawyers will be notified by the respective Court on whether the e-Review is fixed on a real-time basis or flexi-time basis. Kindly take note that for matters fixed in real-time, the Court is expected to respond to the parties immediately. In the event there is a need to defer the time, the Court will inform the parties of the new directions and stand down the matters. For matters conducted in flexi-time, the Court will respond as and when it is ready, provided that the lawyers have been informed in advance so that the lawyers are not required to wait for a response from the Court. In addition, the Court may also start the conversation instead of waiting for the lawyers to start. As a general guideline, hearings will be conducted on a real-time basis while Case Managements will be conducted on a flexi-time basis.
  2. That hearings have been fixed by way of e-Review and/or email for complex matters.
    The Courts have informed us that hearings by of e-Review or email are only for uncontested matters. All contested matters will be conducted via Zoom for Counsel to be able to submit orally and exchange arguments. In situations where the Judge wishes to rely solely on a written submission and will not hear any further oral submission/clarification, the hearing may be made via email provided that Counsel is told in advance. Lawyers do not have to repeat their submission in emails.
  3. There have been instances where parties have attended Court physically for the hearing only to be informed at the Court that the hearing would be conducted by way of email and/or e-Review.
    The Court will upload the notification to the EFS and lawyers are advised to constantly check the cause list on the EFS to find out which platform will be used for their matters. Email notification will also be sent to the default email address registered in the EFS. If lawyers need further assistance, kindly contact the Managing Registrar.
  4. Parties are only notified in the morning of the day that a dry run has been fixed in the afternoon in preparation for online hearings at the Appellate Courts. This makes it difficult for parties to attend the dry run as they may already have prior engagements which cannot be rescheduled at such a late juncture.
    The Court responded that a dry run is important but it is only technical in nature. Therefore, non-lawyers may log in to test the technical accuracy of the Zoom sessions, if the lawyers are not available. The Court will provide the Zoom link for the dry run and the actual sessions in advance.
  5. Another concern is that in conducting e-Reviews, Registrars and/or Judges are issuing directions and locking the system before parties are able to submit, respond and/or seek clarification.
    The Court informed that parties will be given sufficient opportunities to address further issues before the Court ends the sessions. The Court will enquire if parties have any further issues to address before ending the session and will wait for a response before ending the session.
  6. The Courts are using different platforms (e.g. Skype and Zoom) for hearings conducted by way of video-conference.
    The Court has increased the Zoom accounts and most of the hearings have been conducted via Zoom platform which will be the default option. In the event there is no option and the hearing is fixed via Skype, the Registrar or Interpreter will first inform and consult the lawyers to ensure that they are able to install a different application/software and make new arrangements.
The CPCLC hopes that the above clarifies matters for members and are able to assist in the carrying out of their duties and obligations in respect of clients and the Court. If members have any further concerns or feedback, please do not hesitate to reach out to the CPCLC.
Vivekananda Sukumaran
Kuala Lumpur Bar Committee
Nizam Bashir
Nimalan Devaraja
Civil Practice & Court Liaison Committee

Kuala Lumpur Bar Committee




Kuala Lumpur Bar Committee
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