PUTRAJAYA, Oct 3 — Tan Sri Richard Malanjum introduced a new alert system today that will allow lawyers to better plan their time or attend to other matters while waiting for case hearings at the Palace of Justice here.

The new system involves television screens displaying in real time the status of cases to be heard at the Court of Appeal and Federal Court, such as whether a case is in hearing or will be heard soon.

The screens also display the case numbers and the parties involved in a case.

The Chief Justice, who was spotted at the court canteen here inspecting the television display of the new system, explained to reporters that it will make it more convenient for lawyers.

Prior to the system’s introduction, he said lawyers could spend hours or up to an entire day waiting in courtrooms for their hearings, which he said was unfair to them.

“Now with this, if say in 10 minutes’ time the case is going up, I take my bag and go up, I don’t have to sit in the courtroom,” he said, noting that lawyers’ attention could be freed up for other matters.

“It’s for the benefit of everybody,” he added, confirming that the system was initiated yesterday.

Prior to this innovation, Federal Court or Court of Appeal panels may have to hear several cases in a day, with hearings sometimes lasting hours, but lawyers would have no way of knowing when their case is to be heard unless they wait inside the courtrooms.

It is understood that the real-time alert of hearings, known as the Queue Management System (QMS), will go “live” this Friday.

It is also understood that the QMS will operate at various locations including at the case management rooms for the Court of Appeal and Federal Court, as well as near the Court of Appeal courtrooms at the ground floor.

Malanjum said this system is also expected to be expanded later to the courts in Kuala Lumpur.

A new online case management system will also be implemented soon at the Palace of Justice, before subsequent expansion to other courts such as in Kuala Lumpur and Shah Alam, he added.

“The next thing we are going to do is e-review, so lawyers don’t have to come to get a date. It can be done in the comfort of his office and he can get the (case) management.

“That’s the idea: make life easier for everybody. Now everybody comes to court to get case management and just to get a date — not fair, wastes a lot of time and money. (When) everything’s online, saves parking space,” he said.

The CJ acknowledged that there may be teething problems during the implementation of the new systems, but said improvements will be made.

Malanjum is known for previously introducing the Integrated Court Solution system for the Sabah and Sarawak courts when he was Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak, which was integrated with online filing of court documents and case management done either online or through teleconferencing.