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Malaysian Mobile Court Helps to Bring Undocumented People Under Rule of Law

March 11, 2020 (1 min read)


People living in the remote jungles of Malaysia can now claim their nationality and prove their identities through documents issued by a mobile court

GAYTHRI RAMAN, MANAGING DIRECTOR OF LexisNexis Southeast Asia, and a team of magistrates, lawyers, medical officers, government officials, and former Malaysian Chief Justice Tan Sri Richard Malanjum traveled to Kampung Matanggal, Sabah, a village in the Malaysian jungle. The team set up makeshift law offices and court chambers. Villagers were asked to register before being directed to the appropriate officials for the issuance of birth certificates, marriage certificates, and other government documents. Attorneys were assigned to assist in preparing paperwork. Judges then approved the paperwork, applicants had their pictures taken, and certificates were issued.

Among the applicants was Rosnah, a 16-year-old girl who had attended school, but was unable to sit for exams because she could not prove her identity until she obtained a birth certificate issued to her by the mobile court.

An estimated 10 million people around the world are undocumented, leaving them outside the rule of law, often because of their inability to travel to urban areas to obtain the necessary papers. Mobile courts like this one are helping to address the issue, one village at a time.

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In support of its rule of law activities, LexisNexis established the LexisNexis Rule of Law Foundation in 2019.