KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 21 ― A Cabinet paper is being prepared regarding the proposal to separate judicial and legal services at the lower court levels, Chief Justice Tan Sri Arifin Zakaria said today.
“There is progress, the Cabinet paper is being prepared,” Arifin told reporters after attending the Malaysia Bar’s International Law Conference there.
Arifin, who has been pushing for the separation, previously said in July that the proposal has been submitted to the Judicial and Services Commission for approval.
However, he did not give a specific deadline as to when the proposal will come into effect.
Arifin stressed that while he believes magistrates and sessions court judges acted independently despite coming under the Attorney-General, their position within the hierarchy did not encourage such a view.
“Independence must not only be done, it must also be seen to be done,” he said.
Under the proposal, the judicial arm in the lower courts will be under the Chief Registrar while legal services will be under the AGC.
However, transfer between both services is still possible with approval from both the Chief Registrar and the AGC.