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Pulau Pinang Court History

The Prince of Wales Island, now called "Penang," was conquered at the beginning of Malaysia's legal history. The conquest was led to success on 11th August 1786 by Captain Francis Light.

 

Captain Francis Light had to seek legal assistance from the Governor-General in India to govern the island’s populace as the island was developing rapidly into a prominent trading hub .

 

Against that backdrop, John Dickens was chosen as the first serving Magistrate of Penang in 1801. The Supreme Court was established some time later, in 1807, as a result of the Penang State being granted "The Royal Charter." Sir Edmond Stanley was appointed as the first Recorder in 1808, a newly created office known as a "Recorder" who serves as a judge. As this was taking place, the construction of the first Court building in Malay Peninsula had also begun. 

 

The first “Supreme Court of Penang” was located at Fort Cornwallis. It was, later, relocated to the official residence of John Dickens, the first appointed Magistrate of Penang, as a building of its own. The building was, then, demolished in 1903. The new Supreme Court was subsequently constructed on a plot of land close to its’ original site which it is currently the existing High Court building in Lebuh Light. The Supreme Court was sitting throughout that same year. The design was inspired by King George's reign in the British Empire in the 18th century.

 

Over the years, the said building has undergone several phases of renovations and repairs. The upgrades done to the Penang Supreme Court building (presently known as the High Court of Penang) was completed in 2007. It was officiated by the Yang Di-Pertua Negeri Pulau Pinang, Tun Dato’ Seri Utama (Dr) Haji Abdul Rahman bin Haji Abbas on 28th February 2009. 

 

The 200-year history of the state's judicial system accompanied with more than a century-long history on the High Court building brings nostalgic sense to all practitioners practising in the state. In fact, the Penang High Court building was designated by the UNESCO as a “World Cultural Heritage Site” on 7th July 2008. 

 

 

Bangunan ini telah melalui beberapa fasa pengubahsuaian dan pembaikan dari tahun ke tahun. Penambahbaikan bangunan Mahkamah Agung Pulau Pinang (sekarang dikenali sebagai Mahkamah Tinggi Pulau Pinang) telah disiapkan pada tahun 2007 dan dirasmikan pada 28 Februari 2009 oleh Yang di-Pertua Negeri Pulau Pinang, Tun Dato' Seri Utama (Dr) Haji Abdul Rahman Bin Haji Abbas.

 

Sistem kehakiman di Pulau Pinang yang telah menjangkau usia 200 tahun dan bangunan Mahkamah Tinggi yang berusia lebih 100 tahun ini telah meninggalkan nostalgia yang mendalam kepada semua pengamal undang-undang di negeri ini. Malah, bangunan Mahkamah Tinggi Pulau Pinang ini telah mendapat pengiktirafan UNESCO sebagai "World Cultural Heritage Site" pada 7 Julai 2008.

 

Sessions and Magistrates' Court are now housed in two brand-new buildings that were built in 2006.They house five Sessions’ Courts and six Magistrates’ Courts. Each court chamber is equipped with a broadcast system (known as the “Voice to Text Recording System” (RVT)).  Whereas, one of each court has a ‘Vulnerable Witness System’. This system allows witnesses to provide evidence without physically being present in court, especially children involved in hostile situations which require such special assistance. This complex also has office spaces allocated for the use of government departments that has business with the courts, such as a room for the Deputy Public Prosecutor, Legal Aid Bureau and the Insolvency Department. It began in full operation from 15th April 2008. 

 

During the construction of the said complex, the Logan Monument was moved from the premises of the High Court to the front of the Sessions and Magistrates’. 

 

The street adjacent to the complex is known as Jalan Tun Syed Sheh Barakbah and the said street was named after the first local appointed as the Chief Judge of Malaya in 1962 and thereafter as the first Malaysian to hold the position of Chief Justice of Malaysia in 1966. The Right Honorable Tun Syed Sheh Barakbah was also appointed as the third Governor of Penang serving from 1st February 1969 to 1st February 1975. 

Bukit Mertajam Magistrate's Court Old Building Located On Lot 965, Section 4, Bukit Mertajam Town. The Building Site Is Owned By The State Government While The Building Is Owned By The Federal Government. The location of this building is located on Jalan Arumugam Pillai which is in the middle of Bukit Mertajam. It is located next to the National Registry Office, Public Works Department, Telecom and Post Office.

 

 

This Court Building Has Existed Before The First World War Again. In 1926, this court shared the building with the Bukit Mertajam Police Station. The cases were tried by a 'district officer' named Mr. Av Aston while a 'senior district officer' named Mr. Fred acted as a circuit judge. In 1948, a Permanent Magistrate, Tuan Abdul Rahman Bin Mat, was appointed to this Court. At that time the position was known as Class 1 Referee. In 1948 this court building was taken over by the court and the Bukit Mertajam Police Station moved to a separate building on the existing site.

 

 

 

This Court Building Was Originally Made Of Timber Clad With Asbestos And The Walls Were Made Of Tightly Woven Bamboo Called 'Blister Walls'. From Time to Time This Court Building Has Been Repaired Including Its Walls That Were Changed To Wooden Boards. This court building contains a courtroom, lockup, magistrate's room and a room that accommodates 7 staff members. In 1972 the Bukit Mertajam Court had an increase in staff and in 1995 this court had 11 staff members.

 

The New Bukit Mertajam Court Building is Built on the Site of Lot 2198, Mukim 10, Seberang Perai Tengah And the Area Is 2.55 Acres (910302.70 Sq.m). This building is worth Rm4,107,000.00. Construction Work Started On 26.6.1998 And Completed On 30.6.2000. Bukit Mertajam Court Began Operation On 15.10.2000.

 

The New Bukit Mertajam Court Building Has 2 Courtrooms, 2 Chambers, 1 Registrar's Room, 1 Administrative/Finance Room, 1 Criminal And Civil Registry Room, 1 Meeting Room, 1 Library Room, 1 Staff Room, 1 File Room, 2 Vaults .

 

The Bukit Mertajam Magistrate's Court has 2 Magistrates and 11 Staff. This Court Handles Criminal And Civil Cases, Juvenile Cases, Traffic Summons And Department Summons.

The name Butterworth is taken in conjunction with the name of Colonel W.J. Butterworth, the Governor of the Straits Settlements. The town of Butterworth is the development and administrative center of Seberang Perai Utara District. Seberang Perai is part of the State of Penang and is divided into three districts namely North, Central and South and 53 sub-districts. Its area is 285.1 square miles or 738.41 square km. The Penang State Map also shows the overall jurisdiction of Seberang Perai which is Seberang Perai North, Seberang Perai Central and Seberang Perai South is in APPENDIX 'M'.

 

 

According to history, Penang first fell into the hands of the British on August 11, 1786 and was given the name Prince of Wales. Next, His Majesty the Sultan of Kedah agreed to hand over Seberang Perai to the British East India Company because he needed British support to strengthen his position. In 1800, an agreement was signed between the British East India Company and His Majesty the Sultan of Kedah where the Company agreed to pay RM10,000.00 a year to His Majesty to occupy Penang and Seberang Perai. At that time, Seberang Perai was known as Province Wellesley by the British. From an agricultural area, now Seberang Perai in general and Butterworth in particular has started to establish itself as an industrial area. The Mak Mandin and Perai Free Trade Zones and Penang Port have attracted a lot of foreign investment and trade.

 

 

 

Due to the rapid economic and social development, the number of cases in the Butterworth Court has increased. The old Butterworth Sessions/Magistrate Court building is located on Jalan Pantai which is next to the Butterworth Health Clinic. This old building was built in 1880 and at first this building was occupied together with other government offices until 1987 where this building was only reserved for the Court.

 

In the beginning, the Butterworth Court had only one Magistrate. The President of the Central Court (the title at the time) only came on a circuit. From 1 November 1987 a permanent Sessions Court Judge has been stationed here. This new 4-storey building was built on 14 December 1992 with a construction cost of RM9.1 million. It is located in an area of 9000 square meters (0.9 hectares) and the total floor area is 7980 square meters. The location of this building is on Jalan Bagan Jermal and it is 4 km from Pangkalah Sultan Abdul Halim and 11 km from Penang Department. This court became fully operational on 16 May 1995 and was inaugurated by His Highness the President of the State of Penang on 26 March 1996.

 

The design of this building is a unique result of the expertise of the Public Works Department architects. This building is equipped with 7 courtrooms, 7 rooms, 3 Registrar's rooms, 2 administrative offices i.e. civil and criminal registration, meeting rooms, library rooms, 2 vaults, 4 file rooms, surau, witness rooms, recreation room and canteen. Special rooms are also provided for Juvenile Court Counselors, Police, Prosecutors, Federal Attorneys, Social Welfare Officers, Lawyers and Journalists. This Court building is equipped with an air conditioning system, fire prevention system, camera security control system, security alarm system and a sophisticated speaker system. This court has 4 Sessions Courts and 2 Magistrates Courts. The jurisdiction of the Sessions Court covers the entire North, Central and South Seberang Perai District while the jurisdiction of the Magistrate Court covers the North Seberang Perai District.

Mahkamah Majistret Balik Pulau telah ditubuhkan sejak zaman British lagi. Ianya terletak di Jalan Sungai Pinang bersebelahan dengan Pejabat Daerah Dan Tanah Barat Daya. Semasa awal penubuhan, Mahkamah Majistret Balik Pulau dijadikan sebagai Mahkamah Litar. Kakitangan Mahkamah ketika itu hanya terdiri daripada seorang Kerani dan Penghantar Notis serta bersidang seminggu sekali di mana Majistret daripada Mahkamah Sesyen Georgetown akan datang menjalankan perbicaraan kes.

 

 

Di pertengahan tahun 80an Mahkamah Majistret Balik Pulau telah dinaiktaraf daripada Mahkamah Litar menjadi Mahkamah yang mempunyai Majistret tetap serta penambahan kakitangan seperti Jurubahasa dan Bailif selain daripada Kerani dan Penghantar Notis.

 

Pada tarikh 22 Februari,2010 Mahkamah Majistret yang terletak di Jalan Sungai Pinang telah pun berpindah ke Jalan Balik Pulau yang terletak bersebelahan dengan Perpustakaan Daerah. Bangunan yang terletak di atas tanah seluas 5 ekar dengan kos pembinaan sebanyak Rm 13,530,000.00 dikenali sebagai Kompleks Mahkamah Balik Pulau.

 

Pada tarikh 1 November,2013 Mahkamah Majistret Balik Pulau telah dinaiktaraf.Mahkamah Sesyen Khas Rasuah telah diwujudkan. Hakim pertama yang dilantik ialah Puan Caroline Bee Majanil. Majistret pada ketika ini ialah Tuan Muhammad Najib Bin Ismail.

 

Puan Caroline Bee Majanil telah memulakan tugas pada 15 November,2013 dengan Gred Jawatan L 54 Memangku Gred Khas C.

 

Bermula pada tarikh 15 November,2013 Mahkamah Sesyen/Majistret Balik Pulau mempunyai 2 orang Pegawai dan 12 orang Kakitangan yang terdiri daripada Hakim Memangku Jusa C, Majistret Gred L44, 2 orang Jurubahasa Gred L22, 1 orang Pembantu Tadbir N22, 3 orang Jurubahasa Gred L17, 2 orang Pembantu Tadbir N17, 1 orang Pembantu Tadbir Kewangan, 1 orang Pembantu Tadbir Undang-Undang, 1 orang Penghantar Saman dan 1 orang Pembantu Am Pejabat.

The Jawi Magistrate's Court is a Lower Court that covers the entire Seberang Perai Selatan District, Penang. The area is between Simpang Ampat Tasek to Jalan Sempadan Matang Tok Mahat. It is located near the District Office, Public Library and Seberang Perai Selatan Syariah Court. This court started operating in 1981 replacing the old court in Nibong Tebal. It consists of a one-story building and has a roof shaped like the roof of a Minangkabau house. Originally this building consisted of the main office room, court room, Magistrate's Chamber, witness room and locker.

 

 

After several additions were made to its original structure, it now houses a file room, a store room and a prayer hall. The entire area is surrounded by a wire fence that measures 8'' for the base and a V-shaped iron is added to place the 8" high mesh wire. It has two gates to get in and out, which is the main gate at the front and a small gate at the back. A hut for security guards is located near its main entrance. In terms of administration, this Court is located under the PTJ of the Sessions Court, Penang and under the control of the Regional Judge of the Sessions Court, Butterworth. It has a Magistrate who is also the head of the department with ten support staff.