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Subordinate Courts are now State Courts

The Subordinate Courts will be renamed State Courts and the office of Chief District Judge elevated to one held by a judge or judicial commissioner of the Supreme Court.

The minimum statutory requirement for a legally qualified person to be a magistrate will also be raised from one to three years' experience, and from five to seven years for a district judge, reported The Straits Times online.

Senior Minister of State for Law and Education Indranee Rajah said yesterday that the changes reflect the primary role that the lower courts play and the growing complexity of the cases.

Calling them State Courts underlines their important national function.

They handle more than 95 per cent of the judiciary's total case load, or about 350,000 cases a year on average.