PUTRAJAYA (Bernama) – The judiciary is contemplating setting up a specialised environmental court for civil cases, said Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria.
He said this was in light of the recent natural disaster that had hit a number of states.
“We hope that this will help to expedite the disposal of environment-related cases both at the High Courts and at the subordinate courts.
“The Chief Judge of Malaya’s and Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak’s office will conduct a study to assess the need for such courts in the respective High Courts,” said Arifin in his speech at the opening of the Legal Year 2015 yesterday.
The present Environmental Courts which became operational from Sept 10, 2012 only deal with prosecution of environmental offences and do not handle civil claims.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Bar President Christopher Leong said there was a need for the judiciary to expand the purview of the present Environmental Courts to include civil claims.
“And to establish specialist environmental courts at the High Court having civil claims and administrative actions concerning environmental issues under its purview.
“We have seen that people and communities are directly affected by environmental issues and do resort to the courts for recourse,” he said in his speech.