Chief Judge of Sabah & Sarawak Tan Sri Richard Malanjum at the forefront of the annual pilgrimage to the altar of justice. (Photo: SabahBar.org)

Chief Judge of Sabah & Sarawak Tan Sri Richard Malanjum at the forefront of the annual pilgrimage to the altar of justice. (Photo: SabahBar.org)

Sabah and Sarawak hope to cut down the disposal time of civil cases from two or three years, to 18 months, Chief Judge of the High Court in Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Richard Malanjum said on Friday.

In efforts to clear the backlog of outstanding court cases, he said the Sabah and Sarawak magistrate and high court judges, the prosecution and defence lawyers, were ‘working very hard’ to cut down the disposal time for civil cases from two or three years to 18 months.

“In the magistrate’s court, about 80 percent civil cases are disposed in less than 18 months at present while in the High Court, we hope it could achieve at least (80 percent of the civil cases disposed) by March or April next year.

“Hopefully we can cut down the time as it is not fair to the parties involved to wait for too long,” he told reporters after launching a new Business Law textbook for undergraduates, authored by Dr Lee Mei Pheng and her son, Ivan Jeron Detta, a lawyer, here on Friday.

On commercial cases, Malanjum said it would take three to six months to dispose such cases.

Meanwhile, Malanjum said Sabah and Sarawak Native Laws and Native Customary Right (NCR) Land Law need to be reviewed so that existing lacunae or missing gaps can be remedied.

“We can keep the good ones those which are not applicable to the modern society can be updated. Otherwise, people may not follow the law when it is not updated,” said Malanjum adding that the Native Law could help natives in Sabah and Sarawak to preserve their cultural heritage.

The new Business Law textbook for undergraduates, published by Oxford University Press, is a fundamental title, first and foremost for law, finance and business undergraduate students while also a useful reference for bankers and financiers and businessmen.

— BERNAMA