The Rt. Hon. Ariffin bin Zakaria was born on 1.10.1950. After completing his secondary education, he went to read law at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom.Upon graduation he joined the Judicial and Legal Services of Malaysia in September 1974. In 1979 he pursued the Master of Laws course at the University College, London and the Bar Final Course at the Council of Legal Education. In June 1980 he was called to the English Bar, and in the same year he was awarded the LLM degree by the University of London.
Prior to his elevation to the High Court Bench of Malaysia, His Lordship had served in various capacities in the Government of Malaysia both in the Judicial Office, as well as in the Legal Department. Among the positions held by him were Magistrate, President of the Sessions Court, Senior Assistant Registrar of the High Court, Federal Counsel and Senior Federal Counsel, Legal Advisor to Ministry of Primary Industries, Legal Advisor to the Public Services Department, Legal Advisor to the State of Malacca and Perak, Deputy Parliamentary Draftsman and Senior Federal Counsel of the Inland and Revenue Department.
On 1.3.1992, His Lordship was appointed Judicial Commissioner of the High Court of Malaya and two years after, he was appointed as a High Court Judge of Malaya.
In 2002, His Lordship was elevated to the Court of Appeal. In 2005, He was elevated to the Federal Court. The Rt. Hon. Arifin was appointed to the present post of the Chief Judge of the High Court of Malaya effective 18.10.2008. His Lordship's elevation as the Chief Justice was on 12th September 2011.
In recognition for his services to the nation, His Lordship had been bestowed the following awards;