Court Procedure and Court Processes

Court Procedure and Court Processes


What happens in court

Magistrates listen to all the evidence and decide whether the defendant is guilty or not. The Magistrate will decide on the sentence for the convicted defendant. There is also a prosecutor to prosecute. There may be a lawyer who argues on behalf of the defendant in Court. The proceeding will be interpreted by an interpreter if necessary. In Court, there may be other people such as the police & welfare officers, newspaper reporters and members of the public.

Before You Go To Court:-

  • Bring all relevant documents/papers with you.

  • Inform the Court clerk in advance if you need an interpreter.

  • Make sure you have the right address of the Court.

  • You can bring someone for company if you wish.

When You Arrive At Court:-

  • Upon arrival, give the receptionist the name of the defendant and the relevant documents.

  • Keep the evidence for your case only to yourself, prosecutor, lawyer or anyone involved.

  • You are free to leave the Court if you are told so.

  • Inform the clerk/interpreter before the case starts if you have important reasons to leave.

  • You can take a look at the court room before your case starts.

  • You can ask the police officer/prosecutor to get a copy of your statement if you wish to see it.

  • Some cases are delayed or adjourned to another date because of some circumstances.

  • Inform the clerk/interpreter if you wish to leave the court for any reason.

When You Give Evidence:-

When you are at the witness box, remain standing for the swearing in. You can request to sit down if you are experiencing any physical conditions which make it difficult for you to stand.


Your evidence will help the court to decide whether the defendant is guilty.

  • Be honest if you are unsure about the answer.

  • Speak slowly and clearly.

  • You may request for the question to be repeated if you can’t understand or hear.

  • During your testimony as a witness of the prosecution, the prosecutor will ask you questions first as your Evidence-In-Chief. Then the Defence will ask you questions under Cross-examination. The the prosecution may ask you final questions under Re-examination.

  • If you are the witness for the Defence, you will be examined by the Defendant’s lawyer first. The magistrate or the judge may also ask you questions.

  • You have the choice to leave the court or stay and listen to the rest of the case after you have finished giving evidence.







Criminal and Civil cases in the Court of Appeal, High Court, Intermediate Court, Magistrate’s and Juvenile Courts, Bankruptcy, Probate and Inquests.


Government Agencies and registered law firms have full access to the EFS portal. Members of the public can only download or extract signed document.


For Public: Go to the ‘Service Bureau Counter’ to file a case. The court will send an e-mail notification for document to be extracted. To check, go to the EFS portal and enter the extraction code number provided in the e-mail and download the documents. For registered users:


Yes. If the portal is down or you do not have internet connection, you can go to the ‘Service Bureau Counter’ to scan your documents and file it.


Yes, filing via EFS is accessible only to Government Agencies and registered law firms.


The EFS is free of charge until further notice. You just have to pay the normal filing fees for documents.


The CMS is for the internal use of officers and staff of the courts.


1: a. Go to a kiosk;
    b. Select ‘Enquire Case Details’ for parties’ information;
     c. Enter case number.

2: a. To register attendance, select ‘Register Attendance’;
    b. Enter case number;
    c. Select either ‘All Plaintiff Present’ or ‘All Defendant Present’;
    d. Select ‘Yes’ to confirm attendance.


By not registering in the QMS, the court will not be able to manage your attendance or call out your case.


Using the kiosk is free of charge. However, to use the SMS Notification service (when it is available) you will need to register for the service and each SMS notification will be chargeable.


“It is a Court Order authorising the executor(s) appointed by the deceased person under his will to administer his estate according to the direction contained in his will.”

What Happens To The Property Belonging To A Person When He Dies?

  • A person will be appointed by the Court to manage the deceased person’s property.

  • An executor(s) will be appointed to take charge of his estate when the deceased person had made a will.

  • An administrator(s) will be appointed to take charge of his estate when the deceased person died without leaving a will.

  • An administrator or an executor is legally recognised by applying for Probate or Letter of Administration.

What Is Probate?

It is a Court Order authorising the executor(s) appointed by the deceased person under his will.

What Are Letter Of Administration?

It is a Court Order in authorising persons to manage the property of the deceased person.

Can I Apply For Probate Or Letters Of Administration?


Probate can be applied by a person who is specified as the executor in the will of the deceased person.

Letters Of Administration:-

  • Anyone who is full age, is entitled to apply to be appointed as administrator.

  • For non-Muslims, the marital status of the deceased person will be one of the factors for consideration, as the law gives priority to certain family members over others.

  • A person can renounce his/her right to be an executer or administrator by filing up a Renunciation Consent.

  • These documents are required when applying for Probate or Letters of Administration: –

    1. The Petition;

    2. Affidavit for Collector of Stamps;

    3. Photocopy of the original extract of the deceased’s Death Certificate;

    4. Photocopies of all documents of title to assets belonging to the deceased person e.g. bank accounts, land property, motor vehicles, businesses registration, etc;

    5. For Letter of Administration, a letter of consent signed by all beneficiaries, agreeing to the Petitioner’s application.

  • Additional Documents Required For Probate:

    1. The Original and Photocopy of the Will;

    2. Renunciation(s) by a person(s) appointed executor(s) by the Will but who does not wish to be the executor(s), if any.

  • Additional Documents Required For Letters Of Administration:

    1. For Muslim’s Estate, photocopy of the Birth Certificates or Identity Cards of all immediate members of the family. (This is to facilitates the application of an inheritance Certificate or “faraid” from the Syariah High Court).

    2. For non-Muslims’ Estate, renunciation of the beneficiaries having a prior right to apply for letters of administration, if any.

    3. Consent of the Co-Administrators, if any.
  • The Petition for Probate or Letters of Administration will be granted if there is no warning filed against the petition by the Probate officer or his Deputy.

  • For Muslim Estate, if the Original Inheritance Certificate (“faraid”) has been issued and received by the Probate Officer, then the Petition will be granted.

What Should I Do After The Petition Is Granted?

After the Petition is granted by the Probate officer or his Deputy, you, the Petitioner, should:-

  1. Resolve estate duty; where applicable.

  2. Resolve the extracting fee.

Probate or Letter of Administration will be granted on the payment of above matters.

Must I Engage A Lawyer?

  • You may engage a lawyer if the property of the deceased person is complex.

  • The Court provides forms of Petition and Affidavit of Collector of Stamps. A Petitioner can complete these forms and on payment of $160 filing fee, the petition will be listed for hearing.

What Should I Do After The Probate & Letter Of Administration Is Granted?

  • The Probate or Letter of Administration must be indicated to the relevant authority and photocopy of the Probate or Letter of Administration be extended to them. This is the procedure for all estate except for land.

  • For landed property, it is different according to the races and religions of the deceased person:-
    1. Muslim- Approval of the Syariah High Court Judge must be obtained for the division of land.

    2. Chinese- The “Kapitan Cina” must be consulted on the beneficiaries of the property are.

    3. Other Indigenous Group- The “Ketua Kampong” must be consulted on who the beneficiaries of the property are.

What If Some Properties Were Not Included In The Petition?

  • The Administrator or Executor will have to declare or swear a corrective affidavit. The filing fee of the affidavit is $5.00.

  • If such an application is made, the original Probate or Letter of Administration must be returned to the Probate Registry at the time of filing the Corrective Affidavit.

  • The Probate Registry will assist in completing the Corrective Affidavit.

What Do I Do If I Object To A Petition?

  • If you object to a Probate or Letter of Administration, you may file a caveat at a cost of $10.

  • The caveat is valid for 6 months. A new caveat would have to be filed thereafter.

Duties Of Administrator/Executor

  1. Collect and recover all the property assets and effects covered by the grant;

  2. Discharge all the debts due by the deceased;

  3. Distribute the residue of the estate according to the beneficiary’s share as decided by the Inheritance Certificate (“faraid”), customs or will, etc.


A Small Claims Tribunal is set up to provide a low cost and expeditious forum to resolves disputes without entering into the realm of a court trial. The procedures are kept simple and informal.


  • It is when the debtor cannot pay his/her debt.

  • If a Receiving Order has been made against a person, he/she must seek professional help before acting.

  • There are two types of bankruptcy:-

    • Voluntary Bankruptcy

      The debtor can apply for Receiving Order to be made against the debtor itself. A “Debtor’s Petition” and a “Declaration of inability to pay” must be filed at the High Court.

    • Forced Bankruptcy

      A Receiving Order and subsequently an Adjudication Order can be applied by the Creditor if the debtor owes more than $10,000.

  • The Official Receiver will handle the debtor’s bankruptcy and take charge of the property. The creditors can only deal through the Official Receiver or his deputies after the Receiving Order (RO) or Adjudication Order (AO).

What Happens To The Debts After Ro And Ao?

  • Unsecured Creditors

The creditors may lodged for ‘Proof of Debt’ with the Official Receiver.

  • Secured Creditors

The creditors who hold security of the debtor’s property can sell the property. If there is any shortfall, the creditors may apply for “Proof of Debt”. If the selling price is more than the debt owed, the balance will be paid to the Official Receiver.

  • A creditor can claim under a guarantee and recover payment from the guarantor. A person who jointly signed a loan agreement with the debtor is still liable for the total amount outstanding on all debts. It is an offence under the Bankruptcy Act if the debtor cannot pay the debts and incurs further debts.

  • The Bankruptcy Act stops creditors from recovering monies from the debtors except for a secured creditor with whom the debtor has made arrangements to retain secured property as described above.

  • The issuing bank of finance company will decide whether to extend credit to the debtor. It is an offence if the debtor obtains credit of over $100 and fails to disclose that he/she is under RO or AO.

  • Bankruptcy might prevent the debtor from getting or keeping employment in certain jobs or holding various licences.

What Is A “Statement Of Affairs”?

The debtor is required to file ‘Statement of Affairs’ provided by the Official Receiver’s Chamber. The Debtor has to list his/her debts and income/assets in the statement. It is an offence if the debtor omits any materials or makes a misstatement relating to his affairs.

What Is A Creditor’s Meeting?

A Creditor’s Meeting is held upon written request by the Creditor. This meeting is usually held as the same time as the public Examination of the Debtor. The creditor is required to file “Proof of Debt” before being allowed to attend the meeting.

The meeting is called:-

  1. to consider and, if thought desirable, accept the offer of composition of full settlement of debts;

  2. to pass an ordinary resolution to adjudge the debtor bankrupt.

What Is A Public Examination Of Debtor?

It is an investigation about the financial matter that needs the debtor attend in person.

Rights And Responsibilities Of A Bankrupt

Obtain Credit

It is an offence if the debtor alone or jointly with any other person, obtain credit to the extent $100 above from any person without informing the person that the debtor is an undischarged bankrupt.

Operating Business

The debtor can still operate a business while bankrupt. The debtor has to disclose his bankrupt status to whoever he obtains credit from. The debtor is not permitted to be a director of a company or be involved in its management without the permission of the Court.

Change of Address

The Official Receiver should be informed in writing when the debtor changes his address.

There are several offences under Bankruptcy Law:-

  • Disposing of property before bankruptcy with intent to defeat the creditor’s claims;

  • Failure to disclose assets;

  • Deliberately obtaining credit when the debtor knows he/she cannot pay;

  • Gambling and speculation which results in bankruptcy;

  • Incurring debts during bankruptcy for over $100 without disclosing that the debtor is bankrupt;

  • Operating a business under an assumed name, without disclosing the debtor’s real name and bankruptcy.


  • Couples who wish to be married at the registry under section 23 of the Marriage Act (Cap 76).

  • Marriage Act: “An act to provide for the solemnisation and registration of church and civil marriages.

  • Commencement: 3rd August 1948.

Legal Education/Institutions

Legal Education/Institutions


Sultan Sharif Ali Islamic University (UNISSA) - Laws and Syariah Degree Programme

The Faculty of Syariah and Law in UNISSA was established in 2007 (1428H) to offer students formal education in Syariah and legal studies. The faculty has 192 students, and 21 staff members. The credit-hour system is followed, and Arabic is the medium of instruction. In addition, Malay and English are also used in limited number of courses.


Syariah deals with many aspects of day-to-day life, including politics, economics, banking, business, contracts, family, sexuality, hygiene, and social issues


Law is a system of rules, usually enforced through a set of institutions. It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways and serves as a primary social mediator of relations between people.

For the LLB program, the medium of instruction is English. A student must complete a minimum of 130 credit hours or 62 subjects to obtain a university degree. The Faculty programs have theoretical and practical components, with the latter involving memorization and recitation of the Quran.

They offer three major programs; Fiqh and Usul, Fiqh and Judiciary, and Law. The Faculty also offers Postgraduate program in Syariah and Law. They encourage students’ involvement in seminars, contests, trips and research.

UNISSA has signed Memorandum of Understading (MoU) with 56 other universities in Malaysia, Indonesia, Jordan, Thailand, Egypt, United Kingdom, Bangladesh, India and the Republic of Kazakhstan for cooperation in research, student and staff exchange and other cooperation that benefits both parties.

Link to UNISSA official website:

Administrative and Regulatory Bodies

Administrative and Regulatory Bodies

Brunei Darussalam Arbitration Centre (BDAC)

Established to provide arbitration facilities and administrative services and mediation to meet the needs of domestic and international consumers. Through the services provided, it will promote the adoption of arbitration and mediation services in resolving commercial issues and disputes as a speedier alternative to the usual settlement through civil proceeding in court.


8th Floor, BEDB Building,

Jalan Kumbang Pasang,

Brunei Darussalam.

Tel: (673) 2240731 (direct line)

(673) 2224645 / 2223626 ext. 1503

Fax: (673) 2229593 / 2233742



Brunei Intellectual Property Office (BruIPO)

Established to restructure the national IP administration. Currently, BruIPO is responsible for the registration of Patents, Trademarks, Industrial Designs and Plant Varieties Protection (PVP).


Design & Technology Building

Simpang 32-37

Anggerek Desa Technology Park

Jalan Berakas BB3713

Brunei Darussalam

Telephone: +673 2380966

Fax: +673 2380545



Authority Monetary of Brunei Darussalam (AMBD)

Act as the central bank of Brunei Darussalam which undertakes several core functions; formulation and implementation of monetary policies, the regulation and supervision of financial institutions as well as currency management.


Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam

Level 14, Ministry of Finance Building

Commonwealth Drive​

Bandar Seri Begawan BB3910

Brunei Darussalam

Telephone: + 673- 238 4626

Fax: + 673- 238 3787



The Law Society Of Brunei Darussalam

The Law Society Of Brunei Darussalam

Legal Profession Act (Chapter 132)

Establishment of the Law Society.

Section 3

“There is hereby established the Law Society of Brunei Darussalam.”

Purposes and powers of the Law Society.

Section 4 (1)

“The purposes of the Society shall be —

  1. to maintain and improve the standards of conduct and learning of the legal profession in Brunei Darussalam;

  2. to facilitate the acquisition of legal knowledge by members of the legal profession and others;

  3. to assist the Government and the Courts in all matters affecting legislation submitted to it, and the administration and practice of law in Brunei Darussalam;

  4. to represent, protect and assist members of the legal profession in Brunei Darussalam and to promote in any manner the Society thinks fit the interests of the legal profession in Brunei Darussalam;

  5. to establish a library and to acquire or rent premises to house the library, the offices of the Society and other amenities for the use of members;

  6. to protect and assist the public in Brunei Darussalam in all matters touching or ancillary or incidental to the law;

  7. to make provision for or assist in the promotion of a scheme whereby impecunious person on non-capital charges are represented by an advocate and solicitor;

  8. to grant prizes and scholarships and to establish and subsidise lectureships in educational institutions in subjects of study relating to law;

  9. to grant pecuniary or other assistance to any association, institute, board or society in Brunei Darussalam in the interests of the profession of law or of students for that profession;

  10. to afford pecuniary and other assistance to members or former members and to the wives, widows, children and other dependents, whether of members, former members or deceased members, who are in need of such assistance;

  11. to promote good relations and social intercourse among members and between members and other persons concerned in the administration of law and justice in Brunei Darussalam; and

  12. to establish and maintain good relations with professional bodies of the legal profession in other countries and to participate in the activities of any international association and become member thereof.”

Section 4 (2)

“In addition to the powers conferred by the other provisions of this Order or of any other written law, the Society may —

  1. purchase or lease any land or building required for any of the purposes of the Society;

  2. sell, surrender, lease, exchange or mortgage any land or building as may be found most convenient or advantageous;

  3. borrow money, whether by way of bank overdraft or otherwise, for such of the purposes of the Society as it may consider desirable; and

  4. do all such other things as are incidental or conducive to the achievement or betterment of the purposes of the Society.”

Section 4 (3)

“In addition to rules that may be made by the Society, with the approval of the Chief Justice, under the other provisions of this Order, the Society may, subject to the provisions of this Order and with the approval of the Chief Justice, make rules for giving effect to this Part.”


Block C, 2nd Floor, Unit 3,

Shakirin Complex, Kiulap,

Bandar Seri Begawan, BE 1518

Telephone: 2232929 / 7132929 Fax: 2232929



The Attorney General’s Chambers

The Attorney General's Chambers

The Attorney General is the principal legal adviser to the Government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan. He is assisted by the Solicitor General and Counsels in advising the Government and representing the Government in civil and criminal cases. The Attorney General is also responsible for the drafting of legislation. In carrying out the task of legislative drafting, the Attorney General’s Chambers work closely with the relevant Government Ministries and Departments.

The Attorney General is vested with the power under Article 81 of the Constitution to institute, conduct or discontinue any offence other than proceedings before a Syariah court or proceedings before a court martial. All criminal prosecutions are instituted in the name of the Public Prosecutor. In carrying out this duty, the Attorney General is not subject to the direction or control of any person or authority. He is assisted by Deputy Public Prosecutors in the conduct of criminal trials held at the Supreme Court and the Subordinate Courts.

Link to Attorney General’s Chamber official website:




There are two parallel systems of law operating in Brunei Darussalam: statutory laws, which regulate mercantile activities and disputes between persons, and Syariah law.

Statutory laws are generally referred to as the common law system and are based upon English codified laws. These courts are also known generally as Civil Courts and have exclusive jurisdiction over all civil and criminal cases in the country. The rules of civil procedure that are used in the higher courts are based on the Supreme Court Act Chapter 5.


An important piece of legislation is the Application of Laws Act Chapter 2. This statute stipulates that UK common law and the doctrines of equity, along with statutes of general application, as administered or in force in England prior to 25th April, 1951 shall also be in force in the Sultanate. The key proviso to this is that the said common law, doctrines of equity and statutes of general application shall only be in force so far as circumstances permit. They are also subject to be qualified by local circumstances and customs. The Contracts Act Chapter 106 and Specific Relief Act Chapter 109 embody a codified system of contract law and laws of equity based on English common law.


The second independent system of courts in Brunei Darussalam is based on Syariah law. The Syariah Penal Code Order 2013 was first introduced publicly in April 2014. Prior to the introduction of the Syariah Penal Code Order 2013, the Syariah court system had limited exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide matters of personal law relating to persons that belong to the Islamic faith on matters pertaining to marriage, divorce, inheritance, maintenance of dependents and the estates of deceased Muslims.

The Syariah Penal Code has greatly expanded the jurisdiction of Syariah courts to now include offences such as murder, rape and theft. Such offences were previously within the jurisdiction of civil criminal courts. Brunei Darussalam now possesses an interesting criminal justice system that allows both the existing Penal Code Chapter 22 and the Syariah Penal Code Order 2013 to be in force.

Link to Syariah Penal Code Order 2013:

Link to Syariah Law Court Website:

Link to Supreme Court Act Chapter 5:

History of its Development

History of its Development


JCMS Implementation

In line with the plan to develop the court to conform to the current technology, the Judiciary Case Management System (JCMS) was implemented on 23rd March 2015, catering to users within the Judiciary as well as stakeholders (lawyers, government agencies and the public).

The JCMS consists of,

  1. Electronic Filing System (“EFS”).

    EFS is an online portal designed to serve the public and the legal community in order for them to gain access to multiple features, ranging from pre-registration of cases, filing of case documents and retrieval of case information and their schedules.

  2. Case Management System (“CMS”).

    CMS is a computerized court operation from end to end, continuing off from EFS by tracking case information from aforementioned pre-registration. Some of the functions of CMS:

    · Assignment of cases
    · Records of case notes and judicial decisions
    · Digital signatures for online documents, secured by officer’s personal passwords.
    · Facilitates archiving, record keeping and search purposes
    · Generate statistics

  3. Queue Management System (“QMS).

    QMS functioned as a simplified calling of cases. Users are required to key in their attendance for cases listed on the day. Judicial officers will be able to monitor the attendances and call cases via QMS for counsels to proceed to chamber hearings or court. The QMS will also record the time taken for each cases from start to end.

Through JCMS, the court were able to eliminate, reduce and improve difficulties that has been faced, such as missing files, documents, delay in processing documents, sharing and issuing of physical files, and much more.

JCMS allows greater efficiency and accuracy in management of courts documents, expedited tracking of status of cases for both lawyers and the Judiciary, and allows more effective data gathering to monitor court efficiency, resulting reports are used by Judiciary management to drive improved performance.

The Subordinate Court Officers

The Subordinate Court Officers

Under Subordinate Courts, it comprises of:

Chief Magistrates
Senior Magistrates
Senior Registrars
14 Registrars
14 Adjudicators