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Legal Dictionary

native court

Legal Definition of native court

Noun

  1. (Malaysia, law) a court having jurisdiction on matters of native law and custom in Sabah and Sarawak.

Further reading

Jurisdiction of Native Courts

Every Native Court shall exercise original jurisdiction to the extent set forth and subject to the provisions of the Native Courts Enactment 1992 to hear, try, determine and dispose of the following cases:

  • cases arising from breach of native law or custom in which all the parties are natives;
  • cases arising from breach of native law or custom, religious, matrimonial or sexual, if the written sanction of the District Officer acting on the advice of two Native Chiefs has been obtained to the institution of the proceedings, where one party is a non-native;
  • cases involving native law or custom relating to
    1. bethrothal, marriage, divorce, nullity of marriage and judicial separation;
    2. adoption, guardianship or custody of infants, maintenance of dependants and legitimacy;
    3. gifts or succession testate or intestate; and
  • other cases if jurisdiction is conferred upon it by the Native Courts Enactment 1992 or any other written law.

The Native Court shall exercise jurisdiction in respect of cases referred to above where

  • the cause of action arose; or
  • the breach is alleged to have been committed; or
  • the facts on which the proceedings are based exist or alleged to have occurred,

as may be appropriate, within the territorial jurisdiction of the court.

In any matrimonial or sexual case where the parties are not of the same race, the Native Court shall be guided by the native law or custom of the woman's race.

In any case relating to gifts or succession testate or intestate, the Native Court shall be guided by the native law or custom of the race of the grantor, the testate or intestate, as the case may be.

In any case relating to adoption, guardianship or custody of infants, maintenance of dependants and legitimacy, the Native Court shall be guided by the native law or custom of the race of the person in respect of whom the proceedings are instituted.

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