Civil Law in Malaysia

Updated on Tuesday 18th September 2018

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Civil Law in Malaysia is concerned with various legal matters such as Business Law or Family Law, being based on personal retribution principles, the case where a penalty can consist of the charge of a financial sum in comparison to Criminal Law where the individuals are subject to state prosecution. So the Civil Law is the branch of law which copes with disputes between individuals or organizations in which one of them, considered being the victim, may be awarded a compensation. 

Regarding court proceedings, the examination of evidence in the case of Civil Law is based on proving guilt on a balance of possibilities, whereas in Criminal Law the prosecution has to prove the defendant guilty.
The list below summarizes the main issues treated in the Civil Law Act:
  • General matters: the applicability of the English common law in commercial matters and those involving the insolvency of companies; also discussed in the first part is the treatment of immovable property.
  • Compensations: this section treats the right for obtaining compensation in case of personal injury accidents and the manner in which the surviving family of a victim who has deceased as a result of such an accident can claim compensation.
  • Torts: the treatment of individuals who commit a tort and how parties who have been wronged can commence the legal proceedings.
  • Contributory negligence: the principle of liability is discussed here when the plaintiffs have also contributed to the suffered accident.
  • Contracts: the manner in which individuals can act in court when they have been wronged after entering into an agreement.
  • Apportionment and disposal of property: two distinct parts of the Civil Law Act, they treat the division of assets and restrictions on accumulation of income as well as intestacy and estate planning.
  • Miscellaneous: other amendments and additional laws can treat issues like repeal, the treatment of infants in civil law cases and others.
Please remember that this list is not exhaustive and the Act incorporates different sets of amendments. Our Malaysian attorneys can help if you need legal assistance in matters concerning Civil Law in Malaysia. Our Malaysian attorneys can help if you need legal assistance in matters concerning Civil Law in Malaysia.

General aspects of Malaysian laws

The Malaysian Constitution provides a unique legal system, based on both secular laws - criminal/civil and sharia laws. Being divided into two types of laws, written and unwritten, there are cases in which if there is no common law applicable to the Malaysian law, English law will be applied. Moreover, in similar cases, Indian, Singaporean and Australian laws can be used as persuasive authorities.

An important thing must be kept in mind - the fact that only when there is no specific legislation enacted, the English law would be applied. Even though there were several intents in replacing it with Islamic/sharia law, the Malaysian Bar Council decided that there is no need to do so, since Malaysian legal system performs adequately in the present legal conditions. 

Our law firm in Malaysia can offer further details on the matter, whether you are interested in specific legal procedures regarding business issues or any other aspects that involve civilians in trials, proceedings or civil matters.

The following video details the most important aspects of the Malaysian Civil Law:


Malaysian Civil Law 

It is well known that Malaysia was a British colony, but right before obtaining their independence, the Civil Law Act was enacted in 1956, enabling the usage of English rules of equity and common law. As a consequence, if there is no Malaysian case law available for the specific legal issue, English law will be applied. 

There are many controversies on the matter above, given the fact that some of the Malaysian people wish to shift from English common law to Islamic common law. This is because of the overall opinion that England and Malaysia are different societies, with different cultures and beliefs, Islamic common law also dealing with legal issues of all types. 

Despite these aspects regarding Malaysian culture and identity, our attorneys in Malaysia will harmonize all legal systems that need to be used in your case, being sure that they will choose the proper way to solve it. 

Legal services related to civil law in Malaysia

Our team of attorneys who specialize in civil law matters can help you if you are involved in any of the cases described above. For example, one of the issues treated in this law includes the manner in which companies are winded up and the administration of insolvent estates. It is important to note that the application of the English law in commercial matters is extensive.

The following issues are treated as per the English law: commercial issues with companies and corporations, banks in Malaysia and banking matters, the appointment of agents by principals, insurance (life or fire), marine insurance and many subjects related to air, land and sea transportation as well as many aspects of the mercantile law.

Our layers can assist companies in Malaysia who are faced with a civil la trial but can also help individuals who need court representation. We can help families who have lost a loved one due to wrongful death or the negligent act of another. Our lawyers can help victims recover damages and commence the legal actions and/or the negotiations needed to do so.

Please feel free to contact our Malaysian lawyers and ask for their legal guidance.