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|Legal Subjects > Legal Professionals > Bar Council|
WHAT IS THE FUNCTION OF THE MALAYSIA BAR COUNCIL ?
The Bar Council is the governing body for lawyers practicing in Peninsular Malaysia.
It was established under s. 47 of the Legal Profession Act 1976 (the Act). It's main function is to manage the affairs of the Malaysian Bar and the proper performance of the functions of the Bar. The Malaysian Bar was established with the purposes which include, inter alia, "...uphold[ing] the cause of justice without regard to its own interests or that of its members, uninfluenced by fear or favour".
Standard of professional conduct which lawyers have to follow is also set by the Bar Council.
I WISH TO COMPLAINT ABOUT THE SERVICE PROVIDED BY A LOCAL LAW FIRM. WHO SHOULD I APPROACH TO MAKE THE COMPLAINT ?
If you are not satisfied with the services provided by your lawyer, firstly you should try to sort it out with him. It may be the result of a misunderstanding or a breakdown in communication. If that is not possible you may write to or contact the Bar Council for assistance.
WHAT IS THE STRUCTURE OF THE BAR COUNCIL ?
The Bar Council consists of the President, the Vice-president, the immediate past President, the Chairman of each of the Eleven (11) State Bar Committees, one (1) member elected by each of the eleven (11) State Bars to be its representative to the Bar Council and twelve (12) members elected from throughout peninsular Malaysia by way of postal ballot. In total there are 36 members. These members will manage the affairs and execute the functions of the Malaysian Bar.
Each member of the Bar Council holds office for one year subject to the right of re-election, however the President, Vice-president and Secretary cannot hold office for more than two consecutive years.
WHAT IS THE MALAYSIAN BAR ?
The Malaysian Bar is an independent Bar whose aim is to uphold the cause the cause of justice and oversee the interest of the legal profession. It is established under the Advocates and Solicitors' Ordinance 1947 which ordinance was subsequently repealed by the Legal Profession Act 1976.
To ensure the effective and efficient management of the affairs of the Malaysian Bar, the Bar Council from time to time delegates its power and functions to Committees in the various States throughout Malaysia or to Committees appointed within the Council itself. The State Bar Committees and Committees of the Council are however not independent and have no authority to air any views on behalf of the Bar.
HOW CAN AN ADVOCATE AND SOLICITOR BECOME A MEMBER OF THE MALAYSIAN BAR ?
The legal profession in Malaysian is a fused one with the membership increasing by 10-15% annually. Each advocate and solicitor is automatically a member of the Malaysian bar so long as he or she holds a valid Practicing Certificate.
WHY WAS THE BAR COUNCIL SECRETARIAT BEING ESTABLISHED ?
The Secretariat is established as the administrative center of the Bar Council, a coordinating center for all Bar Council Activities. It ensures that decisions and policies of the Council are enforced.
The Secretariat is headed by an Executive Director and assisted by four (4) legally qualified executive officers and is divided into several departments - Petitions for Admission, Annual Practicing Certificates, Human Rights, Legal Aid, Continuing Legal Education, Accounts, Directory Inquiries, Computerization and General Inquiries relating to the practice of law in Peninsular Malaysia to name a few.
The Secretariat also organizes and coordinates seminars, lectures and talks for members of the Bar and pupils-in-chambers, sports, and social events between members of the Malaysian Bar and neighboring Bars, convening Extraordinary General Meetings or Annual General Meeting of the Bar and fund raising activities..
DOES THE BAR COUNCIL LIBRARY PROVIDES ITS FACILITIES TO THE PUBLIC ?
The Bar Council Library was established in 1979 to provide basic library facilities to members of the Malaysian Bar.
Members of the Bar requiring assistance may contact the librarian or assistant librarian
The Bar Council Library is open from 8.00 am to 5.00 pm (Monday - Friday) and 8.00 am to 12.30 PM (Saturday).
WHAT IS BAR COUNCIL LEGAL AID SCHEME ?
This Bar Council Legal Aid Scheme launched in 1983 is to provide legal aid to poor persons with legal problems by volunteer lawyers who are all members of the Bar. The scheme is currently fully financed by members of the Bar themselves who pay a levy of RM100 each per annum to the centrally operated Bar Council Legal Aid Fund.
Under the Scheme, Bar Council Legal Aid Centres are being set up to enable persons seeking legal aid to meet volunteer lawyers at a central point.
The scope of legal advice and assistance is given only in cases involving
As the Scheme is meant only for the poor and needy, every person seeking legal aid is required to undergo a mandatory means test. To qualify for the assistance under the Scheme the applicant will be asked their income and their expenditure in order to ascertain their disposable income. Another criteria considered is their assets. Applicants who own assets of above a certain level may not qualify for legal aid. In addition to the mean test, certain applications may also be considered under the Merit Test.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE BAR COUNCIL LEGAL AID SCHEME AND THE GOVERNMENT LEGAL AID BUREAU ?
The main difference between Legal Aid provided by the Bar Council and Government Legal Aid Bureau, also known as BBG (Biro Bantuan Guaman) is that BBG is government-funded legal aid and their lawyers consist of salaried government officers and a panel of lawyers who may be assigned cases. These lawyers are paid certain assigned fees when litigants are assigned counsel from the Government panel of lawyers. This is in contrast for lawyers providing Legal Aid services to the clients of the BCLAC - these lawyers provide their services for free.
HOW CAN I CONTACT THE BAR COUNCIL ?