The ‘New’ Malaysian Criminal Procedure: Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Act 2006
University of Sydney - Faculty of Law
October 4, 2010
Asian Journal of Criminology, Vol. 4, No. 2, pp. 129-144, 2009
Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 10/91
This paper explores the reform process surrounding the recent changes to the Malaysian Code of Criminal Procedure concerning statements made to police officers, discovery, body searches, rights to legal advice and detention. The Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Act 2006 was the first major piece of legislation to reform the criminal process in Malaysia for 20 years and represented an attempt not only to deal with specific problems relating to police practice and the pre-trial process, but also to single out Malaysia as a progressive state within Asia committed to the Rule of Law. The problem which this paper seeks to address, however, is that while many of the reforms appear to be a welcome attempt to protect suspects in police custody from abuse (a startling contrast to the recent legislative measures introduced in the UK as part of the “war on terror”), to better regulate police investigations and to improve the overall quality of justice administered pre-trial, a doubt lingers as to the direction of that reform and of the values guiding the criminal process. It will be argued that, without clear cultural markers, implementation of the new measures is likely to be piecemeal and previous cultural practices will continue to undermine even the best of legislative intentions.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 17
Keywords: Malaysia, pre-trial, suspects’ rights, criminal process, reform
JEL Classification: K10, K14, K30
Date posted: October 6, 2010
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