He said a lot of minor cases, such as those involving traffic offences, could be solved by the circuit court without having to refer them to the courts in Keningau.
“They (people) need not spend a lot anymore, especially to rent a car just to go to Keningau, for their cases.
“Verification of sworn statements, declaration letters and the likes can now be done here (Sook) with the service of this (circuit) court),” he told Bernama after opening the Sook Circuit Court here yesterday.
The Sook Circuit Court is the latest edition of such court in Sabah after that in Pitas, Kota Marudu, Kota Belud, Ranau, Telupid, Tuaran, Papar, Sipitang, Tenom, Nabawan and several other districts in Eastern Sabah.
Richard said the establishment of the court was approved following the high demand of the people in the rural areas, besides the need for it to function as a training ground for district chiefs, native chiefs and representatives of native chief and headmen to learn how a proper trial should be carried out.
“They must learn how the magistrates are handling the trial as they might need to use that knowledge at the Native Courts,” he said, adding that secondary school students were also encouraged to attend the trial at the circuit court to learn the system.
While calling on the people to make optimal use of the circuit court, the Chief Justice also reminded them not to turn every trial into a war of words.
“What I’m saying is that the court is a place to solve a dispute in a peaceful manner, a place for mediation of a case,” he added.