Judiciary to step up mobile courts programme in Sabah, Sarawak

KUCHING: The judiciary will step up its mobile courts programme in Sabah and Sarawak, not only in remote areas, but also for the urban poor.

Chief Justice Tan Sri Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat said the mobile courts were part of efforts to bring justice to rural and remote communities where it was not feasible to set up physical court buildings.

"In larger states such as Sabah and Sarawak, setting up newer courts may not necessarily alleviate logistical limitations for those in really remote areas.

"For this reason, the judiciary proposes to continue with its mobile courts programme with greater vigour," she said in her keynote address at the national colloquium on access to justice here Thursday (Jan 16), organised by the judiciary and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Malaysia.

In addition, Tengku Maimum said remoteness could also be seen in terms of finances.

"We will find that financial remoteness exists in urban areas as much as they do in more rural ones.

"To this end, the judiciary's mobile courts programme will also be expanded to encompass the urban poor.

"If one cannot access the courts, the courts will then make an active effort to reach out to them," she said.

Tengku Maimun also said the judiciary was introducing various digital initiatives to improve efficiency, which in turn would enhance access to justice.

For instance, she said the new e-Jamin, or electronic bail system, enabled bailors to open a bail account via an app instead of having to travel between the court and bank to do so.

This would make the procedure more efficient, especially in states such as Johor or Kedah where Sundays are working days but banks remain closed.

"E-Jamin circumvents the problem and ensures the liberty of the accused by not allowing him or her to be detained for any longer than necessary and certainly not on account of procedural defects in the payment system," she said.

Keywords: Judiciary, Tengku Maimun, mobile courts, Sabah, Sarawak, e -Jamin

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