Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak

The Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak (Malay: Hakim Besar Sabah dan Sarawak; Chinese: 沙巴和砂拉越首席法官), formerly the Chief Justice of Borneo, is the office and title of the head of the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak. The title has been in use since 24 June 1994, when the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak was renamed from the High Court of Borneo.

Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak
Hakim Besar Sabah dan Sarawak
沙巴和砂拉越首席法官
Incumbent
Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim
since 25 February 2020
High Court of Sabah and Sarawak
StyleYang Amat Arif

The Right Honourable The Very Wise

His Lordship
Member ofFederal Court of Malaysia
SeatPalace of Justice, Putrajaya
NominatorPrime Minister of Malaysia
AppointerYang di-Pertuan Agong
on the recommendation and advice of the Prime Minister
Term lengthmandatory retirement age at 65 or 66 (at request for minimal extension), extension retirement age at 68 or 70
Constituting instrumentFederal Constitution of Malaysia
Inaugural holderThomas Jamieson Laycock Stirling Boyd
as Chief Justice of Sarawak (1930)
Charles Frederick Cunningham Macaskie CMG
as Chief Justice of North Borneo (1934)
Sir Ivor Llewellyn Brace
as Chief Justice of Combined Judiciary of Sarawak, North Borneo and Brunei (1951)
Sir William Campbell Wylie ED QC
as Chief Justice of Borneo (1963)
Mohamad Jemuri Serjan
as Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak (1994)
Formation24 June 1994
SalaryRM30,000 monthly[1]
Websitewww.kehakiman.gov.my

The High Court of Sabah and Sarawak is the third highest court of Malaysia alongside the High Court in Malaya. As such, the Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak is the fourth highest position in Malaysian judicial system after the Chief Justice of Malaysia, President of the Court of Appeal of Malaysia and the Chief Judge of Malaya.[2]

Constitutional basis

The office of Chief Judge of the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak is established under Article 122 of the Constitution of Malaysia, which establishes the then-Supreme Court (now Federal Court) as consisting of a Lord President (now Chief Justice), the Chief Judges of the High Courts of Malaya together with that of Sabah and Sarawak and at least four other judges and such additional judges as may be appointed pursuant to Clause (1A).[3]

Role

The Chief Judge is first among equals among the judges of the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak, and the position differs little from that of the other judges. All judges, including the Chief Judge, are appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (King of Malaysia), on the advice of the Prime Minister of Malaysia. Under Article 125 of the Malaysian Constitution, they can be removed only by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, on a recommendation from a tribunal consisting of at least five judges who are current or former Federal Court judges.[4][3] Reasons for removal include the Chief Judge:

  • not following the Judges’ Code of Ethics; or
  • being physically or mentally unable to carry out his or her duties.

The prime minister will then provide the Yang di-Pertuan Agong the reason(s) why the Chief Judge should be removed. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong will then proceed to set up the tribunal to make a decision.[4]

List of Chief Justices and Chief Judges

Chief Justices of Sarawak (1930 to 1951)

Name Born Alma mater Tenure started Tenure ended Duration
The Right Honourable
Thomas Jamieson Laycock Stirling Boyd
23 October 1886
(died 1 January 1973(1973-01-01) (aged 86))
Trinity College, Oxford 02009-10-01-031930 02009-10-01-031939 8–9 years
The Right Honourable
H. Thackwell-Lewis
 ?
(died ?)
 ? 02009-10-01-031939 02009-10-01-031945 5–6 years
Japanese occupation of Sarawak (December 1941–September 1945)
The Right Honourable
Robert Yorke Hedges
6 August 1903
(died 29 May 1963(1963-05-29) (aged 59))
Victoria University of Manchester 02009-10-01-031946 02009-10-01-031951 4–5 years
Harvard University
Gray's Inn

Chief Justices of North Borneo (1934 to 1951)

Name Born Alma mater Tenure started Tenure ended Duration
The Right Honourable
Charles Frederick Cunningham Macaskie
CMG
26 March 1888
(died 26 November 1969(1969-11-26) (aged 81))
Gray's Inn 02009-10-01-031934 02009-10-01-031945 10–11 years
Japanese occupation of North Borneo (December 1941–September 1945)
The Right Honourable Sir
Ivor Llewellyn Brace
September 1898
(died 24 October 1952(1952-10-24) (aged 54))
University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire 02009-10-01-031945 02009-10-01-031951 5–6 years
London University

Chief Justices of the Unified Judiciary of Sarawak, North Borneo and Brunei (1951 to 1963)

Name Born Alma mater Tenure started Tenure ended Duration
The Right Honourable Sir
Ivor Llewellyn Brace
September 1898
(died 24 October 1952(1952-10-24) (aged 54))
University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire 02009-10-01-031 December 1951 02009-10-01-0324 October 1952 329 days
London University
The Right Honourable Sir
Ernest Hillas Williams
JP
16 August 1899
(died 5 February 1965(1965-02-05) (aged 65))
Trinity College Dublin 02009-10-01-031957 02009-10-01-031957 0 years
The Right Honourable Sir
John Ainley
MC
10 May 1906
(died 19 January 1992(1992-01-19) (aged 85))
Corpus Christi College, Oxford 02009-10-01-035 December 1959 02009-10-01-031 January 1963 3 years and 28 days
The Right Honourable Sir
William Campbell Wylie[5]
ED QC
14 May 1905
(died 17 August 1992(1992-08-17) (aged 87))
Victoria University of Wellington 02009-10-01-032 January 1963 02009-10-01-0315 September 1963 1 year and 347 days

Chief Justices of Borneo (1963 to 1994)

Name Born Alma mater Tenure started Tenure ended Duration
The Right Honourable Sir
William Campbell Wylie[5]
ED QC
14 May 1905
(died 17 August 1992(1992-08-17) (aged 87))
Victoria University of Wellington 02009-10-01-0316 September 1963 02009-10-01-0327 August 1965 1 year and 346 days
The Right Honourable Sir Tan Sri
Philip Ernest Housden Pike[5]
PMN QC
6 March 1914
(died ?)
Middle Temple 02009-10-01-0311 September 1965 02009-10-01-0327 August 1968 2 years and 352 days
Yang Amat Arif Tan Sri Dato'
Ismail Khan Ibrahim Khan[5]
PMN PSM PPT BKT
18 June 1905
(died 18 April 2000(2000-04-18) (aged 94))
University College, London 02009-10-01-032 September 1968 02009-10-01-0331 December 1973 5 years and 121 days
Middle Temple
Yang Amat Arif Tan Sri Datuk Amar
Hun Hoe Lee[5]
PMN DA SPDK PGDK PNBS ADK
27 September 1925
(died 8 July 2005(2005-07-08) (aged 79))
University of Southampton 02009-10-01-031 January 1974 02009-10-01-0331 December 1990 17 years and 0 days
Lincoln's Inn
Yang Amat Arif Tan Sri Datuk Amar
Mohamad Jemuri Serjan[5]
PMN DA SPDK PNBS JMN JBS PPC
10 September 1929
(age 93)
- 02009-10-01-0311 March 1991 02009-10-01-0323 June 1994 3 years and 105 days

Chief Judges of Sabah and Sarawak (1994 to present)

Name Born Alma mater Tenure started Tenure ended Duration Prior senior judicial roles
Yang Amat Arif Tan Sri Datuk Amar
Mohamad Jemuri Serjan[5]
PMN DA SPDK PNBS JMN JBS PPC
10 September 1929
(age 93)
- 02009-10-01-0324 June 1994 02009-10-01-039 September 1994 78 days Judge of the Supreme Court of Malaysia
(1989–1994)
Yang Amat Arif Tan Sri Datuk Amar
Siew Fai Chong[5]
PSM DA PNBS
4 January 1935
(died 23 January 2006(2006-01-23) (aged 71))
Lincoln's Inn 02009-10-01-0316 June 1995 02009-10-01-033 July 2000 5 years and 18 days Judge of the High Court of Malaysia
(1980–1994)
Judge of the Federal Court of Malaysia
(1994–2000)
Yang Amat Arif Tan Sri Datuk Amar
Steve Lip Kiong Shim
PSM DA PJN JBK KMN PPB
20 January 1940
(age 83)
Inner Temple 02009-10-01-032 July 2000 02009-10-01-0319 July 2006 6 years and 24 days Judge of the High Court of Malaysia
(1992–2000)
Vrije Universiteit Brussel Judge of the Federal Court of Malaysia
(2000–2006)
Yang Amat Arif Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima
Richard Malanjum[6]
PSM SPSK SSAP SIMP SPDK PGDK
13 October 1952
(age 70)
MARA University of Technology 02009-10-01-0326 July 2006 02009-10-01-0311 July 2018 11 years and 351 days Judge of the High Court of Malaysia
(2004–2006)
University of London Judge of the Court of Appeal of Malaysia
(2002–2005)
Gray's Inn Judge of the Federal Court of Malaysia
(2005–2018)
Yang Amat Arif Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima
David Dak Wah Wong[7]
PSM SPDK PGDK
20 August 1953
(age 69)
University of New South Wales 02009-10-01-0311 July 2018 02009-10-01-0319 February 2020 1 year and 224 days Judge of the High Court of Malaysia
(2007–2013)
Judge of the Court of Appeal of Malaysia
(2013–2018)
Judge of the Federal Court of Malaysia
(2018–2020)
Yang Amat Arif Dato'
Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim[8]
DSPN
3 July 1959
(age 63)
University of Malaya 02009-10-01-0325 February 2020 02009-10-01-03Incumbent 2 years and 340 days Judge of the High Court of Malaysia
(2009–2013)
Judge of the Court of Appeal of Malaysia
(2013–2018)
Judge of the Federal Court of Malaysia
(2018–2020)

See also

References

  1. Lim, Ida (18 June 2018). "A look at the resignation of Malaysia's two top judges and what's next". Malay Mail. Retrieved 11 April 2019.
  2. "The Malaysian Judiciary: Operation of the court". Malaysian Court. Archived from the original on 9 July 2011. Retrieved 15 April 2007.
  3. "Constitution of Malaysia 1957". CommonLII. Retrieved 11 August 2019.
  4. "My Constitution: Judges and the judiciary". Malay Mail. Malaysian Bar. 30 December 2010. Retrieved 11 August 2019.
  5. "Former Chief Justices". The High Court in Sabah and Sarawak. 2006. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  6. "Ex-sportsman among new Sabah Datuks". The Star. 16 September 2006. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  7. "Richard Malanjum Ketua Hakim Negara yang baharu". Bernama (in Malay). Berita Harian. 11 July 2018. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  8. "Abang Iskandar is the new Chief Justice of Sabah and Sarawak". Bernama. Malaysiakini. 25 February 2020. Retrieved 25 February 2020.
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