New Native Courts Bill to be tabled at DUN meeting in May 2024

Sikie presenting his winding-up speech in DUN on Nov 27, 2023.

By Ashley Sim

KUCHING, Nov 27: The new Native Courts Bill will be tabled at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) meeting in May next year, says Datuk John Sikie Tayai.

The Minister in the Premier’s Department highlighted that based on the recommendations in the Master Plan, the current Native Courts will be restructured and elevated from being just a unit under the Premier’s Department to being a full-fledged judiciary which is independent and autonomous.

“The other major change would involve the hierarchy and organisational structure of the current native court system.

“In terms of court hierarchy, the recommendation is to restructure our current six-layer court to a four-layer structure comprising the Native Magistrates Court and the Native High Court.

“The Native High Court would comprise three layers, namely the Native High Court, Native Court of Appeal, and Native Supreme Court,” he said when presenting the ministerial winding-up speech during the Second Meeting for the Second Term of the 19th Sarawak State Legislative Assembly (DUN), which was held at the DUN complex here today.

Sikie, who is also Kakus assemblyman, went on to say that for the changes to take effect, the recommendation in the Master Plan is for the Government to repeal the current Native Courts Ordinance 1992 and Native Courts Rules 1993 and to enact a new Native Courts Ordinance and new Native Courts Rules.

“The functions, powers, and jurisdiction of the new Native Courts will be spelled out in the new Native Courts Bill, which will be tabled at this Dewan.

“At this juncture, our target is to table the New Native Courts Bill during the next sitting of this august House,” he added. — DayakDaily