Syariah judges in Malaysia Syariah courts will need to have at least a Masters degree and undergo special, designated courses in Europe and Egypt, The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Ahmad Zahid Hamidi told The Star, on Monday. Zahid took the new ministerial role during the recently announced Malaysia cabinet members.
Currently, there are over 200 Syariah judges in the country, with some of them had gone overseas, undertaking Masters programs in the United Kindom and Egypt.
A number of other judges have also been enrolled for various part time programs in the Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia, UIAM, Gombak, Selangor.
“Progress has led to intricacies in dealing with such cases. If in those days divorce meant giving weapons to the man and the cutlery to the wife, today it is not just about who takes the house or land, but also division of shares, stocks and bonds, and also EPF savings.
Judges also have to deal with issues outside the syariah law such as financial laws. Hence, the need for the 200-odd syariah judges to constantly keep themselves abreast with knowledge to help them deal with `difficult’ cases brought before them,” he said.
The Star, 7 April 2004
The move is part of the effort to produce more highly caliber judges, and to face the challenge of the increasing complexity of cases fought in court. According to Zahid, the Syariah court’s cases today do no only involve divorce settlement, child custody or dealing with a number of religious offences.