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What is a Court of Appeal? What are the jurisdictions of the Court of Appeal?

Prior to 1985, the Privy Council was the final court of appeal for Malaysia. It was abolished and replaced with the Supreme Court until the establishment of the Court of Appeal (Malay: Mahkamah Rayuan) in 1994. Consequently, the Supreme Court was renamed the Federal Court.

The Court of Appeal in Malaysia was established in 1994 pursuant to Article 121(1B) of the Federal Constitution. The Court of Appeal consists of the President of the Court of Appeal and ten (10) other Judges. Every proceeding in the Court of Appeal shall be heard and disposed of by three Judges or such greater uneven number of Judges as the President may in any particular case determine.

The Court of Appeal is limited to only perform the function of an Appellate Court.

The Court of Appeal is the highest court of appeal on matters decided by the High Court in its appellate or revisionary jurisdiction. It is the second highest court in the judiciary system in Malaysia.

The following specialised panels have been constituted to expedite the disposal of appeals:

  • Criminal Panel
  • Commercial Panel
  • Civil Panel
  • Interlocutory Panel
  • Leave to Appeal Panel
  • Prerogative Writs Panel
The principal registry of the Court of Appeal is located at the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya.

Article 121, Part IX of the Federal Constitution

Part IX THE JUDICIARY

Judicial power of the Federation


  1. (1b) There shall be a court which shall be known as the Mahkamah Rayuan (Court of Appeal) and shall have its principal registry at such place as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may determine, and the Court of Appeal shall have the following jurisdiction, that is to say -

    (a) jurisdiction to determine appeals from decisions of a High Court or a judge thereof (except decisions of a High Court given by a registrar or other officer of the Court and appealable under federal law to a judge of the Court); and

    (b) such other jurisdiction as may be conferred by or under federal law.


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Criminal Jurisdiction

Either in the exercise of its original jurisdiction or in the exercise of its appellate revisionary jurisdiction in respect of any criminal matter decided by the Sessions court, the Court of Appeal has the jurisdiction to hear and determine any appeal against any decision made by the High Court.

However, an appeal for decision made by the Magistrates Court in any criminal matter shall be confined only to questions of law which have arisen in the course of the appeal or revision and the determination of which by the High Court has affected the event of the appeal or revision.

An appeal must be filed within 14 days from the date on which the decision was pronounced by the High Court and shall be with the leave of the Court of Appeal. If the notice of appeal by the Public Prosecutor has been given by or with the consent of that officer in writing, no leave is required.

Except as otherwise stated above, an appeal can lie on a question of law, question of mixed fact and law or on question of fact.

Civil Jurisdiction

In any civil cause or matter, the Court of Appeal also has the jurisdiction to hear and determine an appeal from any judgment or order of any High Court in any civil cause or matter, whether made in the exercise of its original or of its appellate jurisdiction, subject to any written law regulating the terms and conditions upon which such appeals are brought.

Notwithstanding, there are matters, which are non-appealable to the Court of Appeal. Under Section 68 of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964 [Act 91], the list of cases involves any of the following:

  • When the amount or value of the subject matter of the claim (exclusive of interest) is less than RM250,000, except with leave of the Court of Appeal;
  • Where the judgment or order is made by consent of parties;
  • Where the judgment or order relates to costs only, which by law are left to the discretion of the Court, except with the leave of the Court of Appeal; and
  • Where by any written law for the time being in force, the judgment or order of the High Court is expressly declared to be final.
Section 68 (3) of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964 [Act 91] further provides that:

No appeal shall lie from a decision of a Judge in Chambers in a summary way on an interpleader summons, where the facts are not in dispute, except by leave of the Court of Appeal, but an appeal shall lie from a judgment given in court on the trial of an interpleader issue.


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Knowledge Base ID :   1006
Last Reviewed :   December 26, 2015
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