[ms] Literature Review on the Sultan’s Authority in the Islamic Judiciary

Mashitoh Mohamad Hashim, Mohd Al Adib Samuri


The Sultan is the head of the state Islamic religion such as enshrined in Article 3 of the Constitution. The doctrine of separation of powers is also incorporated in the Constitution. However, there are cases which show the Sultan’s authority or jurisdiction in the Islamic Judiciary, such as in the case Timbalan Pendakwa Syarie Pahang v Kartika Sari Dewi binti Shukarno [2010] 1CLJ 172. In this case, the Sultan mitigated sentence for the offence committed by Kartika Sari Dewi binti Shukarno, changing punishment to community service. Hence, this research is conducted to study the extent of the Sultan’s jurisdiction in the Islamic Judiciary. This research uses methodology of semi-structured interview with five Chief Judges of the Shariah Court from five different Malaysian states. Research findings are analysed using thematic and descriptive approach. Results of a literature review find that the Sultan has jurisdiction in the Islamic judiciary. However, this does not mean that the Sultan may exercise his powers arbitrarily as Malaysia practises the principle of separation of powers. The importance of this research is to assist in upholding the concept of Constitutional Monarchy.


Sultan’s judicial authority; Islamic judiciary; doctrine of separation of powers

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ISSN 0126-5636

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Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
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