A Supreme Court was established under the Federation of Malaya Agreement 1948. The Supreme Court was replaced by the Federal Court and three High Courts of coordinate jurisdiction, namely the High Court in Malaya, the High Court in Singapore and the High Court in the Borneo States. After Singapore’s departure from Malaysia on 9 August 1965, only the High Court in Malaya and the High court in the Borneo States remain.
On 1st January 1985, the Federal Court was renamed “Supreme Court” by the Constitution (Amendment) Act 1983. By that same Act, Article 131 which allowed appeals from the Federal Court to be referred to the Privy Council, was repealed. With the repeal, the avenue of appeal to the Privy Council came to a complete end. The repeal of Article 131 effectively meant that the 2-tier appeal process for decisions of the High Court was reduced to just one tier. Some 9 years later, the Supreme Court regained its former name of “Federal Court” when amendments were made to the Federal Constitution on 24th June 1994 by the Constitution (Amendment) Act 1994. The title of “Lord President” was however changed to “Chief Justice”. The Federal Court’s appellate jurisdiction now includes the determination of appeals from the Court of Appeal which was established by amendments made by the same Act.