Zaki replaces Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamed who retires today. His elevation comes just one year after his appointment as a Federal Court judge.
A former legal counsel for Umno who had also served on the party's Disciplinary Committee, Zaki is the first ever person elevated directly from the Bar to the Federal Court.
Archives on Tan Sri Zaki: go here
Rulers nominate Zaki as new CJ
K Kabilan Oct 16, 08 5:47pm
The Conference of Rulers has today decided to stick to convention and name Court of Appeal president Zaki Azmi as the new chief justice to replace the retiring Abdul Hamid Mohamad.
The decision was made in Kuala Terengganu today, sources told Malaysiakini.
Abdul Hamid will retire tomorrow and Zaki, who is the second most senior person in the judiciary, will now assume the top post.
The federal constitution provides for the rulers to appoint the chief justice on the advice of the prime minister.
The appointment, yet to be made official, will surely cause an uproar following Zaki's previous links with Umno.
He was only appointed to the Federal Court last September and two months later he was made Court of Appeal president.
He is 63 and will be at the helm for at least three year unless his tenure is extended by the government.
The rulers also agreed to nominate Chief Judge of Malaya Alauddin Mohd Sheriff to replace Zaki as the Court of Appeal president.
Similarly Federal Court judge Arifin Zakaria has been nominated to be the new chief judge of Malaya. - Malaysiakini