Source: FMT News
Amendments to Legal Profession Act can affect Bar Council’s ability to function, and members will not be able to obtain practising certificate, says Malaysian Bar president Steven Thiru. Pic taken from FMT News.
PETALING JAYA: Some 17,000 lawyers in the peninsular risk not being able to go to the courts if a government proposal to compel at least 25 per cent of its members attend its annual general meeting (AGM) becomes law.
Malaysian Bar President Steven Thiru said a quorum of about 4,000 members was impossible to achieve in order to start the AGM and have the Bar Council to take office.
“If there is no Bar Council, no annual certificate can be issued and members cannot obtain the practising certificate” he said in a recent interview with the National Human Rights Society.
The council has to first issue an annual certificate to lawyers, who then obtain their practising certificates from the Registrar of the High Court of Malaya to represent clients in courts.
At present, the quorum required for the Malaysian Bar AGM to proceed is only 500 members.
Steven said the AGM would have to be held in an outdoor venue if the 4,000 quorum is imposed but “that is going to be a near impossible number to achieve”.
He said a quorum was merely a comfortable number for organisers to start their meetings.
“Currently, as the AGM progresses, we see between 1,500 and 2,000 members eventually attend the meeting,” he said, adding that the proposal to have a higher number was a sort of “punishment”.
The Government is scheduled to table several amendments to the Legal Profession Act (LPA) 1976, including the quorum requirement, in Parliament next month.