PETALING JAYA: Law degrees offered by some educational institutions have not been recognised by the Legal Profession Qualifying Board.
The Malaysian Bar said it has received reports that some institutions have said their programmes will be recognised by the board in “a matter of time” and will have retrospective effect, when in reality, there was no such assurance.
“Such schools may be accredited with the Malaysian Qualifications Agency, but mere accreditation is not adequate to satisfy the applicable criteria where entry into the legal profession is concerned,” said Malaysian Bar president Lim Chee Wee.
“These institutions must still seek the approval of the Board for their law programmes,” he said in a statement yesterday.
He also urged those who intend to pursue a law degree to verify with the Board the status of the educational institution and law programme.
For Universiti Utara Malaysia and Multimedia University students who enrolled before the 2009/2010 intake, Lim said the Board had stipulated that their graduates could be admitted to the Bar, provided they successfully undergo additional training courses in drafting of pleadings, opinion writing, and conveyancing practice.
He said the graduates are also required to attend lectures, complete assignments and secure passing grades in the assessment exercises.
“No such provision has been made for other non-recognised law programmes,” he said.
He added the Board's evaluation team recently reviewed Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin's law programme and will decide whether and how their law graduates would be eligible to join the legal profession.
Lim called on the Bar, the Attorney-General's Chambers, the judiciary, Malaysian Corporate Counsel Association, the public and private law schools to work together to review legal education in the country.