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Introduction

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 -

  1. has passed the final examination leading to the degree of Bachelor of Laws of the University of Malaya, the University of Malaya in Singapore, the University of Singapore or the National University of Singapore;
  2. is a barrister-at-law of England; or
  3. is in possession of such other qualifications as may by notification in the Gazette be declared by the Board to be sufficient to make a person a qualified person for the purposes of the Act.

The list of bodies/institutions and the respective qualifications recognised for entry into the legal profession in Malaysia is as follows:

LIST OF BODIES/INSTITUTIONS AND THE
RESPECTIVE QUALIFICATIONS RECOGNISED FOR ENTRY
INTO THE LEGAL PROFESSION IN MALAYSIA

Country
Body/Institution 
Qualification
Malaysia

   1. University of Malaya
   2. Qualifying Board
   3. Institut Teknologi MARA

   4. International Islamic University
   5. Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
   6. Institut Teknologi MARA
   7. Universiti Utara Malaysia *
   8. Multimedia University **

LL.B
CLP
Advanced
Diploma in Law
LL.B (Honours)
LL.B (Honours)
LL.B (Honours)
LL.B (Honours)
LL.B (Honours)

Singapore

   1. University of Singapore
   2. National University of Singapore
   3. University of Malaya in Singapore

LL.B
LL.B
LL.B

United Kingdom

   1. Inner Temple
   2. Middle Temple
   3. Gray’s Inn
   4. Lincoln’s Inn
   5. The Law Society
   

 

  6. Solicitors Regulation Authority



Barrister-at-Law
Barrister-at-Law
Barrister-at-Law
Barrister-at-Law
Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Judicature of England
Solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales

Ireland

   1. King’s Inn, Dublin, Eire

Barrister-at-Law

Australia***

   1. University of Adelaide
   2. Australian National University
   3. Macquaire University
   4. Monash University
   5. University of Melbourne
   6. University of New South Wales
   7. University of Queensland
   8. University of Sydney
   9. University of Tasmania
   10. University of Western Australia
   11. University of Technology,Sydney
   12. Murdoch University
   13. Queensland University of Technology
   14. Bond University, Queensland

LL.B
LL.B
LL.B
LL.B
LL.B
LL.B
LL.B
LL.B
LL.B
LL.B
LL.B
LL.B
LL.B
LL.B

New Zealand***

   1. University of Auckland
   2. University of Canterbury
   3. Victoria University of Wellington
   4. University of Otago
   5. University of Waikato

LL.B
LL.B
LL.B
LL.B
LL.B

Note:

* Law degree holders from this university are required to attend the "Training Programme on Conveyancing Practice, Drafting Pleadings and Opinion Writing" conducted by the Bar Council Malaysia during their pupillage and obtain a "Certificate of Completion".

**Law degree holders from the intake session before 2009/2010 are required to attend the "Training Programme on Conveyancing Practice, Drafting Pleading and Opinion Writing" conducted by the Bar Coucil Malaysia during their pupillage and obtain a "Certificate of Completion".

*** Effective 1 May 1999, any person who has passed the final examination conducted by any of the universities as listed above leading to the degree of Bachelor of Laws and the examination for the CLP conducted by the Board shall be a qualified person for the purposes of Act 166. Refer to the Guidelines for Recognition of Australian and New Zealand Law Degrees issued by the Board on 30 April 1998 read together with the Statements and Press Releases issued from time to time.


Qualifications for admission to the Malaysian Bar

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:

  1. he/ she has attained the age of eighteen years;
  2. is of good character;
  3. is either a Federal citizen or a permanent resident of Malaysia;
  4. has satisfactorily served in Malaysia the prescribed period of pupilage for qualified persons; and
  5. as from 1 st January 1984, has passed or is exempted from the Bahasa Malaysia Qualifying Examination conducted by the Board.
Origin of the Special Course leading to the Certificate in Legal Practice

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
by C.A. Morrison, Q.C. LL.D (Hon), 31 August 1989

The CLP Examination

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 –

  1. all Malaysian citizens or permanent residents of Malaysia; or
  2. citizens of Brunei Darussalam; and
  3. holders of LL.B. degrees conferred by universities in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand as recognized by the Board;  Bachelor of Jurisprudence (B.Juris), University of Malaya; and Bachelor of Legal Studies (Hons), University Technology MARA.

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:

  1. General Paper;
  2. Civil Procedure;
  3. Criminal Procedure;
  4. Evidence; and
  5. Professional Practice.

The Board has set the following guidelines on qualifications and requirements to qualify to sit for the CLP examination:

    1. New Guidelines on Qualifications and Requirements to Qualify to sit for The Malaysian Certificate in Legal Practice (CLP) Examination (For Law Degrees from the United Kingdom).
    2. Guidelines for Recognition of Australian and New Zealand Law Degrees.

In addition, press releases and notifications are issued by the Board from time to time.

Bahasa Malaysia Qualifying Examination

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.

 

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Address: Unit 3-01, 3rd Floor
Straits Trading Building
No. 2 Jalan Lebuh Pasar Besar
50050 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Tel:03-26910054 / 26910080
Fax:03-26910142
Email: admin@lpqb.org.my
Website: www.lpqb.org.my