1 Name of Course Malaysian Legal System I
2 Course Code LAC1023
3 Instructor
4 Rational for the Inclusion of the Course in the Programme LAC1023 is a compulsory subject for SMSU program. This course is intended to expose students to the fundamentals of learning law and provide them with a background of the English and Malaysian legal systems.
5 Semester and Year offered Semester 1 (Year 1)
6 Student Learning Time

Face to face Independent learning Formal Assessment Total

Teacher centered

Student Centered Learning Non face to face Revision Assessment Preparation Continuous Assessment Final Exam
Lecture T O
28  12  4  16  28  19  15  3  125
7 Credit Value 3 (125 / 40 = 3.125)
8 Pre-requisite (if any) None
9 Learning outcomes Upon successful completion of this course, students should have the ability to:

  1. identify legal terminology and apply the rules of statutory interpretation in reading law (LO2-P1);
  2. describe the historical background of the present Malaysian legal system (LO6-P1); and
  3. discuss the sources of law and describe the process of enacting law (LO9-A2).
10 Transferable skills Students should be able to develop good written and interpersonal communication skills, teamwork, leadership and problem-solving skills through a process of lectures and tutorials.
11 Teaching-Learning and Assessment Strategy Teaching-learning strategy:

The course will be taught through a combination of formal lectures, exercises, group work, using authentic materials, informal activities and various textbooks. Practical experience and collaborative teamwork will be fostered throughout the course. The use of examination and internal reporting assessment will assess the student’s ability to apply theoretical concepts in context.

Assessment strategy:

  • Formative
  • Summative
12 Synopsis This course is intended to teach students the different legal schools of thought, classifications of law and the terms and phrases that are commonly used in law. Students will also be taught the historical background of the Malaysian legal system and the sources of law including the Federal Constitution, statutes, common law, equity, judicial precedents, Islamic law and customary laws. This course will also discuss the meaning of binding precedent, persuasive authority, ratio decidendi, obiter dictum and the methodology on how to read, interpret and apply case law in dealing with legal issues. In addition, the procedure to enact law and the rules to interpret statutes will also be highlighted.
13 Mode of Delivery Lecture, tutorial, class discussion, mini seminar or presentation.
14 Assessment Methods and Types
Item Percentage
1. Continuous Assessment 40%
2. Final examination 60%
Total: 100%
15 Mapping of the Course Learning Outcome/Module to the Programme Learning Outcomes Refer to attachment
16 Content Outline and Topics covered:

Week Topic
1-2 What is Law?
3-4 Methodology of Reading Law
4 -6 Written Law
7 Unwritten Law
8-9 History of Malaysian Law
10-12 Islamic Law, Custom
13 Law-making Process
14 Interpretation of Legislation

*Note: Total = 125 hours.

17 Main references


  1. Ahmad Ibrahim & Ahilemah Joned. (1995). Malaysian Legal System. 2nd Edition. Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka
  2. Farid Sufian Shuaib. (2001). An Introduction to the Malaysian Legal System, Kuala Lumpur: MHR Creative.
  3. Noor Aziah Mohd Awal. (2003). Sistem Perundangan di Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur: International Law Books Services.
  4. Syed Ismail Syed Omar, Court-Martial: Comparative Aspects of Trial Practice [1998] 1 MLJ xxv
  5. Wan Arfah Hamzah. (2009). A First look at the Malaysian Legal System. Kuala Lumpur: Penerbit Oxford Fajar Sdn Bhd.


1.     Federal Constitution

2.     Civil Law Act 1956

18 Additional references
  1. Glanville Williams. (2002). Learning the Law. 11th Edition. London: Stevenson & Sons Ltd..Ismail Mohamad and Hakimah Yaakob. (2005). Introduction to Malaysian Legal History. Ilmiah Publishers.
  2. Rau & Kumar. (2008). General Principles of the Malaysian Legal System. Kuala Lumpur: International Law Book Services.
  3. Sharifah Suhana Ahmad. (2007). Malaysian Legal System.(2nd Edition) Selangor: Penerbit Lexis Nexis.
  4. Sethu, R.R,(1999) “Redefining the Appellate Role of the Federal Court”, 4 MLJ cxlx-cxxii;