The Legal Profession Qualifying Board, Malaysia (‘the Board’) was established under Part II of the Legal Profession Act 1976 [Act 166] (‘the Act’). One of the functions of the Board is to decide on the qualifications which may entitle a person to become a “qualified person” within the meaning of section 3 of the Act for purposes of admission as an advocate and solicitor in Malaysia.
“Qualified person” means any person who -
The list of bodies/institutions and the respective qualifications recognised for entry into the legal profession in Malaysia is as follows:
Under sections 10 and 11 of the Act, and subject to section 14 of the Act, a “qualified person” may be admitted as an advocate and solicitor in Malaysia if he/she satisfies the following conditions:
The Special Course leading to the Certificate in Legal Practice (‘CLP') came into existence in 1984 through the generous decision of the Board of Legal Education to try to alleviate the plight of Malaysian students. They had been hoping to take the Bar Examinations in London to qualify them for eventual admission to practice in Malaysia but were stranded by a decision of the Senate of the Inns of Court and the Bar in London. It had been the tradition for several decades for students from many Commonwealth countries to obtain the qualification of Barrister-at-Law at one of the four Inns of Court in London and thereafter to return to their own countries, with, or sometimes without, a period of pupilage before commencing practice. Not only was it the tradition, but for many of these countries it was the only way of becoming qualified for legal practice.
Despite the ending of colonial or imperial connection with England from 1947 onwards and, with increasing pace, in the 1950s and 1960s, and despite the subsequent establishment of universities offering law degrees in the newly independent countries, the number of overseas students at the Inns of Court did not diminish, though there were changes in the countries they normally came from and in their educational backgrounds and attainments. At the same time the number of home students at the Inns of Court had increased greatly because of the expansion in the number of universities and polytechnics in the UK. The combination of these threatened to overpower the Inns of Court, and the Bar's official law school, the Inns of Court School of Law, as well as the resources of the Bar itself in providing pupillages and reasonable career opportunities for the new entrants.
The Senate took the view that the prime purpose of its School of Law was to prepare students for practice at the English Bar and that as a private professional body without supporting Government funds it could not afford the expansion needed to meet the role thrust upon it of being of an international university of law. It also wished to raise the standard of home entrants to the profession, as it had been doing steadily since 1968.
In 1981 it was announced that as from 1983 a graduate entrant to a Inn of Court, to the Inns of Court School of Law and the Bar Examination would be acceptable only if he or she had obtained a degree of second class (lower division) honours standard (IIii) or better. The English Bar had accepted an honours degree of any standard, including a general or pass degree, and the new requirement placed many students in extreme difficulties.
For Malaysian students who were unable to reach the IIii standard, it meant that there was no avenue left to them to acquire the qualification of Barrister so that they could rank as “qualified persons” within the terms of the Legal Profession Act. Consequently they were unable to proceed to pupillage with a view to seeking admission to the roll of Advocates and Solicitors in Malaysia, and after spending several years in legal studies at considerable cost, they found themselves unable to proceed towards legal practice in Malaysia.
The Board of Legal Education in Malaysia in 1984 mounted a “rescue operation” for such students by offering a Special Course leading to a Certificate in Legal Practice which would enable them to become “qualified persons” and so proceed to pupillage and practice. In so doing the Board acted under s.5 of the Legal Profession Act, which provides that one of the functions of the Board is: “(e) to provide courses of instruction for and examinations for persons whose qualifications are not sufficient to make them qualified persons for the purposes of the Act except after undergoing the course and passing the examination”.
Source: “ Report On The Special Course Leading To The Certificate In Legal Practice ”
The CLP is one of those qualifications entitling the holder to become a qualified person. The examination is conducted by the Board by virtue of section 5(e) of the Act. Applications to sit for the CLP examinations are open to –
The CLP examination is conducted twice a year i.e. the Main Examination in July and the Supplementary Examination in October for candidates who obtained conditional passes in the Main Examination. Candidates are examined on the following subjects:
The Board has set the following guidelines on qualifications and requirements to qualify to sit for the CLP examination:
In addition, press releases and notifications are issued by the Board from time to time.
By virtue of sections 5(f) and 11(2) of the Act, the Board is granted the powers to conduct and organise the Bahasa Malaysia Qualifying Examination (‘BMQE'). The BMQE consists of an oral test on the proficiency in Bahasa Malaysia for admission to the Malaysian Bar. The BMQE is conducted by a special panel appointed by the Board. The Board has issued a notification on the BMQE. Also see the BMQE (Qualified Persons) Fees Rules 1984.