Bills to televise court proceedings tabled for first reading

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KUALA LUMPUR: Three Bills were tabled for first reading today to amend court-related Acts that would allow court proceedings to be televised live or through video streaming or any other electronic communication medium.

These include proceedings in the Federal Court, the Court of Appeal and the High Court by amending Section 3 of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964 to include a new definition of “remote communication technology” and a new Section 15A.

Subsection 69 (1) of the Act was also proposed to be amended to allow receiving statements via remote communication technology.

Apart from that, it will also involve proceedings in the Sessions Court and the Magistrate’s Court by amending Section 2 of the Subordinate Courts Act 1948 to include the new definition of “remote communication technology” and inserting the new Section 101B.

Both amendments to the Act, however, do not affect the provision of evidence by child witnesses by means of a direct network under the Evidence of Child Witness Act 2007 and evidence by witnesses is protected under the Criminal Procedure Code and the Evidence Act 1950.

Also to be amended is the Subordinate Courts Rules Act 1955 including Subsection 3 (2) in relation to the membership of the Subordinate Courts Rules committee where under the proposed amendment the membership of the senior judge of the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court will be replaced by the members of the Federal Court Chief Registrar.

The Chief Registrar of the Federal Court is the Head of Department and is responsible for the administration of the Judiciary in Malaysia, including the supervision of all State Court directors.

Section 4 of the Act was also proposed to be amended to provide that Court Rules may be made to regulate and prescribe procedures regarding the hearing of any matter or proceedings through remote communication technology.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan when tabling the three bills, namely the Courts of Judicature (Amendment) Bill 2020; Subordinate Court (Amendment) Bill 2020; and the Subordinate Court (Amendment) Rules Bill 2020, said the second reading will be made in the same session. – Bernama

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