The establishment of the court would increase investors’ confidence in the disposal of cases, he said at the swearing in of 13 judicial commissioners at the Palace of Justice here.
“During this trial run, we will monitor the speed of the disposal of cases,” he said, adding that the cases would carry a special number and the files will be colour-coded.
He also said that due to efforts of the judiciary, the backlog of civil cases had dropped by 12 per cent to 50,895 while the criminal cases had fallen by 15 per cent to 1,528 between March and June.
He attributed the substantial reduction to the strict policy on granting last-minute postponments and the upgrading of the judiciary’s IT system to allow for speedier hearings.
Zaki stressed that the judiciary had monitored closely requests for last-minute postponements and in the Federal Court, deterrent costs would be awarded to discourage frivolous attempts.
“Reasons such as ‘I have another case fixed in another court’ or ‘I have just been engaged’ should not be accepted,” he said.
He also highlighted other measures that the judiciary had undertaken to improve its delivery system, such as increasing the number of judges, organisation of its registry and court files to reduce retrieval time and misplacement of files to eradicate the opportunity for corruption.
Zaki said the Malaysian Bar was expected to support the judiciary’s policy to expeditiously dispose of cases.
“If they (lawyers) know their cases well, as many do, then they do not need to contest every issue. Hearings will be shortened. Judges who have read and know their files well can also assist and encourage parties to simplify and speed up hearings. These are all tests of a good and efficient judge,” he said.
Malaysian Bar vice-president Lim Chee Wee, who was at the ceremony, said the Bar acknowledged the steps taken by the judiciary to improve its delivery system.
“Its quite good. Our members do tell us that there is a substantial improvement in the disposal of cases. We acknowledge the substantial increase in the disposal of cases.
Zaki also said that the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) for the judiciary had also been established to monitor and motivate speedier case disposals and the KPI could assist the judiciary to understand the problems and was a good way to identify efficient judges.
“We, at the top, will continuously monitor and assess who are the able ones with potential for promotion. You must also have heard that only the best is expected from you all. Hard work is required from all, the old and the new” Zaki told the new judicial commissioners.
They are Anantham Kasinater, Amelia Tee Hong Geok Abdullah, Has Zanah Mehat, Ahmad Nasfy Yasin, Datuk Zakiah Kassim, Datuk Nik Hasmat Nik Mohamad, Choong Siew Khim, Nurmala Salim, Datuk Asmabi Mohamad, Siti Khatijah S.Hassan, Mohd Amin Firdaus Abdullah, Teo Say Eng and Chew Soo Ho. — BERNAMA