KUCHING: Lawyers in Sabah and Sarawak will have to fulfil a certain number of hours attending courses, to have their annual practising certificates renewed from 2018.
Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Richard Malanjum, who mooted the move, said discussions were ongoing between him, the Attorney General and relevant stakeholders from both states to come up with the implementation mechanism.
As chief judge for Sabah and Sarawak , Malanjum said he had the authority to formulate the rules, but preferred the final decision to be a consensus by all parties.
“At the moment, we are still discussing the matter as there are pros and cons. We need to look into how we formulate the rules.
“Nevertheless, a consensus among associations and the Attorney General is needed before we can implement this.
“Hopefully, it can be implemented in 2018,” he told reporters after opening the Third Advocacy Skills Seminar here.
The initiative is akin to the issuance of annual practising certificates to medical practitioners by the Malaysian Medical Council.
In his speech earlier, Malanjum said Sabah and Sarawak lawyers had been called jaguh kampung (local hero) due to the lack in advocacy skills and discipline to follow fundamental court rules and guidelines.
“Actually, it is good for lawyers to attend refresher courses. If they do not attend these courses for the requisite number of hours in a year, then they will not have their practising certificates renewed.
“We are mulling with this idea to improve the standard of the profession,” he added.
Judging by the number of participants at the seminar on Saturday, Malanjum believes the proposal will receive positive response from the law fraternity here.
The Sabah Law Association and the Advocates’s Association of Sarawak respectively regulate about 3,000 lawyers in both regions.
He also advised junior lawyers to widen their scope of knowledge apart from legal matters.
Meanwhile, some 50 law practitioners attended the two-day seminar that offers nine continuing professional development points from the Bar Council.