Law Entry Requirements and Qualifying as an Advocate and Solicitor in Malaysia According to the Legal Profession Qualifying Board
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It is important for students to choose top private universities in Malaysia with law degrees that are recognised by the Malaysian Bar and the Legal Profession Qualifying Board, Malaysia for purposes of the CLP examinations. In addition, check the entry requirements with the Malaysian Bar to ensure that you qualify. Students after SPM or O-Levels in Malaysia should go for the A-Levels or Australian Matriculation before pursuing the law degree.
Part of finding the right college or university in Malaysia for you will be picking out the criteria that matters to most to you, and then seeing if any of the top private colleges or universities in Malaysia that you’re looking at fit those criteria. Choosing a university to study in Malaysia is one of the most important decisions you will make in your life. Your decision will be influenced by many criteria such as the reputation & ranking of the university, accreditation of its courses, the suitability of the course against your academic results and career goals, tuition fees, quality of lecturers, facilities, friends & family, and more. To help you develop a good list of criteria, you need to talk to the right counselors or education consultant who are knowledgeable and experienced.
A knowledgeable counselor or education consultant in Malaysia would be able to provide detailed information about the university and its courses, facts & evidence to support the job prospects for the course and in-depth information about which university would be suit you. While an experienced counselor or education consultant would be able to analyse your results, understand your personality & skills to figure out which course and career suits you.
The information for the Admission Requirements for the Legal Profession Qualifying Board Malaysia and Qualifying as an Advocate and Solicitor in Malaysia is taken from the Malaysian Bar website. Please contact the Legal Profession Qualifying Board Malaysia for the latest guidelines. EduSpiral Consultant Services accepts no liability from actions arising from reading the blog.
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Admission Requirements for the Legal Profession Qualifying Board Malaysia and Qualifying as an Advocate and Solicitor from the Malaysian Bar website
Admission Requirements for the Legal Profession Qualifying Board Malaysia is taken from the Malaysian Bar website. For the latest guidelines, please contact the Legal Profession Qualifying Board Malaysia at:
Tel: (603) – 2691 0054 / (603) – 2691 0080
Fax: (603) – 2691 0142
Guidelines on Qualifications and Requirements for Recognition of holders of Australian and New Zealand Law Degrees to become ‘Qualified Person’ under the Legal Profession Act 1976.
All matters pertaining to the qualifications and requirements for admission to the Bar in Malaysia are governed by the provisions under the Legal Profession Act 1976 (the Act). To be eligible for admission, a candidate must satisfy all requirements as are provided in the Act which may be broadly categorised as follows:
- academic requirements
- practical requirements
- formal requirements
As to the academic requirements, this is satisfied if a candidate can show that he/she is a ‘qualified person’ within the meaning of section 3 of the Act. Under the Act, ‘qualified person’ means any person who:
- 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;
- is a barrister-at-law of England; or
- in possession of such other qualification 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.
Such person must then satisfy the practical and formal requirements before he/she may petition for admission.
In exercise of the powers conferred by para (c) above, the Legal Profession Qualifying Board (the Qualifying Board) has declared various qualifications, thus making a holder of any one of those qualifications a qualified person under the Act. Indeed, all law degrees (LL.B) from Australia and New Zealand, which are at present recognised for the purposes of the Act, have gained recognition through various Gazette Notifications made under para (c) above.
For the recognition of Australia and New Zealand law degrees, the approach taken by the Qualifying Board in the past is to determine the university whose LL.B degree is to be recognised and to specify additional requirements to be satisfied before the holder of that LL.B degree is deemed to be a qualified person for purposes of section 3 of the Act. This is then declared by notification in the Gazette.
At present a person who has passed the final examination leading to the degree of Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) from 14 universities in Australia and 5 universities in New Zealand, as listed in the relevant Gazette Notifications, and who is qualified to gain admission as a barrister or solicitor in New Zealandand in the case of Australia, in the State in which the university is situated, and having passed the requisite subjects prescribed by the respective Barristers/Solicitors Board or its equivalent, is a qualified person for the purposes of section 3 of the Act.
In 1994, the Qualifying Board decided to review the recognition of all qualifications under the Act including the present position of the LL.B degrees from Australia and New Zealand. This review was necessary taking into account the changes that have taken place since those qualifications were first considered and the recent trends and practices in legal education and training of lawyers. The Qualifying Board also felt that it had to specify its own requirements in order to conform to the new Malaysian needs in achieving and maintaining the required standard for admission to the Malaysian Bar and to provide for a uniform criteria for admission.
In March 1995, the Qualifying Board announced a new set of Guidelines for holders of LL.B degrees from universities in the United Kingdom (U.K.) to qualify to enter the Malaysian Certificate in Legal Practice examination (CLP) with the view of admission to the Bar. The Qualifying Board has now decided to introduce new Guidelines on the academic requirements for holders of Australian and New Zealand law degrees which are outlined below:
Guidelines on the New Academic Requirements
These Guidelines shall specify the requirements and criteria before a law degree from Australia and New Zealand is deemed to have satisfied the academic requirements and making a holder of such a law degree a qualified person for the purposes of section 3 of the Act. These new Guidelines are contained in Part One and Part Two.
It should be emphasised that these new Guidelines are applicable only to those who intend to use such law degrees to qualify for admission to the Bar in Malaysia and not to bar any person from acquiring such law degree for other purposes.
These Guidelines are introduced after careful study and discussions since 1994. In particular, they take into account of the following:
- a special report commissioned by the Qualifying Board on law degrees in Australian and New Zealand;
- visits and discussions the Qualifying Board had with the relevant authorities in Australian and New Zealand;
- changes that have taken place in the area of legal education and training of lawyers in Australian, New Zealand and Malaysia; and
- the need to streamline all academic qualifications which are being used for purposes of admission to the Bar in Malaysia.
These Guidelines consist of TWO parts:
- Part One : New academic requirements and criteria to be satisfied before the holder of a law degree is deemed to be a qualified person under the Act.
- Part Two: The qualifying degrees. The list of universities and their respective law programmes recognised by the Qualifying Board.
A. Certificate in Legal Practice
A person who has passed the final examination conducted by any of the universities listed in Part Two leading to the degree of Bachelor of Laws after 1 May 1999 is required to sit for and pass the examination for the Malaysian Certificate in Legal Practice (CLP) conducted by the Qualifying Board before he/she is deemed to be a qualified person under section 3 of the Legal Profession Act. 1976.
B. New Criteria
In addition to the requirement in (A) above, a candidate with any of the law degrees as are listed in Part Two must satisfy the following criteria as pre-requisites to sit for the CLP examination:
- Entry requirements
- Duration of the law degree
- Twinning Programmes
- Joint Degrees
- Modes of Study
- Branch Campus
- Mature Student Entry
- Entry requirements
Candidates must have obtained the minimum grades as the entry requirements into the law programmes which are as follows:
1.1 Achievement at the SPM level or its equivalent. All candidates must have obtained a minimum of 3 credit passes at the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) or its equivalent which passes must be obtained in the one and the same sitting of the examination.
1.2 Achievement at STPM level or its equivalent
1.2.1 All candidates must have obtained a minimum of 2 principal passes at the Sijil Tinggi Pelajaran Malaysia (STPM) or its equivalent which passes must be obtained in the one and same sitting of the examination;
1.2.2 The duration of the STPM course of study or its equivalent SHALL be a minimum of one academic year.
1.3 For the purposes of these Guidelines :
1.3.1 The qualifications which are accepted as equivalent o the SPM are:
a. the ‘O’ levels examination by the various Boards in the United Kingdom
b. the School Certificate examination in Australia, and
c. the School Certificate examination for New Zealand schools, colleges and high schools.
1.3.2 The qualifications which are accepted as equivalent o the STPM are:
a. the ‘A’ levels examination by the various Boards in the United Kingdom,
b. the Australian Matriculation examination,
c. the New Zealand Bursaries examination, and
d. any other qualifications which may be accepted by the Qualifying Board as equivalent to the STPM.
- Duration of the law degree
2.1 The duration for the law degrees SHALL be a minimum of 3 academic years.
2.2 In the case of a full-time study at a university, the law degree which is obtained must be completed within 6 years of initial registration with that university.
3.1 The law degree SHALL contain a minimum of 12 substantive law subjects,
3.2 The 12 law subjects, SHALL include the following 6 core- subjects:
a. Law of Contract
b. Law of Torts
c. Constitutional Law
d. Criminal Law
e. Land Law, and
f. Equity and Trusts
3.3 Each of the core-subjects as in (3.2) above, SHALL be studied for the duration of one academic year
3.4 Candidates must have passed all the core-subjects mentioned in (3.2) above.
- Twinning Programmes
If the law degree is conducted through twinning or other collaborative arrangements between universities in Australia and New Zealand and local colleges in Malaysia, such programmes must satisfy the following criteria:
4.1 The twinning arrangement SHALL consist of the maximum of 2 academic years of study in Malaysia followed by a minimum of one academic year of study in Australia or New Zealand.
4.2 The curriculum and coverage of the 2 academic years of study in Malaysia SHALL be the same as that conducted and covered internally by that Australian or New Zealand university which is the partner in that twinning arrangement and SHALL be validated annually and supervised by the same Australian or New Zealand university.
4.3 The 2 academic years course of study in Malaysia under a twinning arrangement and the local colleges conducting such programmes must be approved by the Ministry of Education of Malaysia or any body established by statute for that purpose.
- Joint Degrees
Where two or more different and distinct disciplines or branches of learning are combined and studied in one degree programme, that degree is a joint degree for the purposes of these Guidelines.
Such joint degrees are recognised under these Guidelines only if the duration is extended to 5 years or more.
6.1 A law degree from any university is not recognised under these Guidelines if a holder of that degree was in the first instance a failed student from another law school who had obtained transfer to that university from which he graduates with a law degree and who was not required to commence the course afresh.
6.2 Where a student has failed a part of his course or obtained only a conditional pass in any university and subsequently transfers his studies to another university where he is provided credit for any part of the course which he has passed and is allowed to proceed to the next year of study without being required to pass the complete examination diet of the equivalent year that he failed or was referred in his original university, his final law degree is NOT accepted under these Guidelines. This does not include a failed student who commences his course afresh at a different university after failure at his original university and thereafter successfully completes his course and awarded a degree.
- Modes of Study
A law degree is accepted only if it involves full-time study either wholly at a university in Australia and New Zealandor partly at a local college in Malaysia and partly at a university in Australia and New Zealand under a twinning arrangement as in (4) above.
- Branch Campus
A law degree which is acquired from any university through its branch campus located in Malaysia or elsewhere SHALL be given the same treatment as though it is granted by the parent university in Australia or New Zealand.
- Mature Student Entry
IN LIMITED CASES, mature students may be admitted to pursue a law degree. Such students :
9.1 shall have a minimum of 3 credits passes at SPM level or its equivalent, AND
9.2 shall possess a minimum of 5 years of proven working experience in the related field, AND
9.3 must be declared as suitable and proficient to follow the law programme by a special panel comprising of officials of the admitting university in concurrence with the Qualifying Board.
Rules 1 to 9 above shall NOT apply to a candidate who has joined any of the universities listed in Part Twofor the law degree programme before 1 May 1999.
The Qualifying Board hereby declares that effective 1 May 1999, only the universities and their respective law degrees as listed below are recognised as qualifying degrees enabling the holders of the law degrees to sit for the CLP examination for purposes of Part One of these Guidelines and with the view of admission to the Bar in Malaysia:
- Australian National University – LL.B.
- University of Sydney – LL.B.
- University of Adelaide – LL.B.
- Monash University – LL.B.
- University of Melbourne – LL.B.
- University of Western Australia – LL.B.
- Macquaire University – LL.B.
- University of New South Wales – LL.B.
- University of Queensland – LL.B.
- University of Tasmania – LL.B.
- University of Technology, Sydney – LL.B.
- Bond University, Queensland – LL.B.
- Murdoch University – LL.B.
- Queensland University of Technology – LL.B.
- University of Auckland – LL.B.
- University of Canterbury – LL.B.
- Victoria University of Wellington – LL.B.
- University of Otago – LL.B.
- University of Waikato – LL.B.
The above list shall be reviewed from time to time and the Qualifying Board may add to or vary the list if it considers necessary to do so. Fresh applications for recognition may also be considered by the Qualifying Board from universities not included in the list.
These Guidelines were issued by the Qualifying Board on 30 April 1998.
How to be a member
Admission – Qualifying as an Advocate and Solicitor in Malaysia
The provisions governing admission and qualifications for admission to the Malaysian Bar can be found in Sections 10 – 19 of the Legal Profession Act 1976 (the Act) and the Notifications made from time to time under section 3 thereof. In any event, all decisions regarding the recognition of qualifications for the purposes of admission come under the jurisdiction of the Qualifying Board which is established under Part II of the Act. The Board has issued several guidelines for admission.
A. Legal Profession Professional Qualifying Board, Malaysia.
B. 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)
Legal Profession Professional Qualifying Board, Malaysia
Legal Profession Qualifying Board of Malaysia (the Board) was established under the Part II of 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:
a. has passed the final examination leading to the degree of Bachelor of Laws of the University of Malaya, the University Malaya in Singapore, the University of Singapore or the National University of Singapore;
b. is a barrister-at-law of England; or
c. is in possession of such other qualification as may by notification in the Gazette be declared by the Board to be sufficient to make a person a qualified person for the purpose of the Act.
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:
a. he / she attained the age of eighteen years;
b. is of good character;
c. is either a Federal citizen or a permanent resident of Malaysia;
d. has satisfactorily served in Malaysia the prescribed period of pupillage for qualified persons: and
e. as from 1st January 1984, has passed or is exempted from the Bahasa Malaysia Qualifying Examination conducted by the Board.
Bahasa Malaysia Qualifying Examination
By virtue of section 5(f) and 11(2) of the Act, the Board is granted the powers to conduct and organise the Bahasa Malaysia Qualifying Examination (BMQE). This examination consists of an oral test on the proficiency in Bahasa Malaysia for admission to the Malaysian Bar. For applicants who are able to provide proof of their proficiency the Board grants exemptions to such applicants.
Membership of Board
By virtue of section 7 of the Act, the Board consists of:
a. the Attorney General who is the Chairman;
b. two judges nominated by the Chief Justice;
c. the Chairman of the Bar Council; and
d. a Dean of the Faculty of Law nominated by the Minister of Education.
Apart from the persons mentioned above, the Chief Registrar of the Federal Court is the Secretary to the Board. The Board is further granted powers to appoint other officers and staff to perform its day to day functions. The CLP Examination is headed by the Director of Examinations appointed by the Board. THE BMQE is conducted by the special panel appointed by the Board.
The office of the Board
The office of the Board is located at:
Legal Profession Qualifying Board Malaysia
3rd Floor, Wisma Straits Trading
No 2, Jalan Lebuh Pasar Besar
50050 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2691 0054, 03-2691 0080
Fax: 03-2691 0142
Notifications made under section 3 of the Legal Profession Act 1976.
Which Private University to study in Malaysia for Recognised Law Degree?
Students after SPM or O-Levels would need to take the A-Levels or South Australian Matriculation first before pursuing the Law degree in Malaysia. To succeed in the A-Levels or Australian Matriculation, it’s best to take the January intake as they are longer in duration which helps you to prepare better.
The best private colleges in Malaysia for the A-Levels programme are Taylors College,HELP Academy, KDU Penang University College, KDU College Damansara Jaya and UCSI University. Best College in Malaysia for the 1-year Cambridge Pre-Law A-Levels is KDU College.
The best private colleges in Malaysia for South Australian Matriculation (SAM)/SACE International Pre-University programme are Taylors College Subang Jaya, Taylor’s College Sri Hartamas and Disted College Penang.
After you obtain at least 2 principals in the A-Levels, you can either go for the law degree i.e. LLB (Hons) from recognised universities such as Taylor’s University or KDU College. Taylor’s University Bachelor of Laws degree. is recognised by the Malaysian Bar and the Legal Profession Qualifying Board, Malaysia for purposes of the CLP examinations.
You may also take up the UK Law Degree Transfer (UKT) at Taylor’s University or HELP University and study 2 years in Malaysia and go to their top UK university partner for your final year. Upon completing your degree, you may choose to take up the Bar Vocational Course (BVC) in the UK and be called up to the English Bar or choose to come back to Malaysia to sit for a qualifying exam in order to obtain the Certificate in Legal Practice (CLP).
When you complete all the required exams, you will undergo a 9-month training commonly known as chambering or pupilage. This is the period where one is exposed to the working world of law. You can be paid between RM300-RM1000 for this period.
While serving the 9-month pupilage you will still need to sit through some exams conducted by Malaysian Bar and partake in Malaysian Bar legal aid programme before you can be called to the Malaysian Bar to become a qualified lawyer
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