Moratorium on law graduates to be reviewed

A REVIEW of a 15-year moratorium on law graduates will be carried out to determine if there are adequate lawyers in the country, says Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Dr Noraini Ahmad.

“The ministry is carrying out a study on the impact and direction of legal studies in Malaysia, to look at the impact of the moratorium on law graduates.

“This includes identifying proposals to improve and strengthen law programmes that are being offered,” she told Wong Hon Wai (PH-Bukit Bendera).

Based on a study carried out on the moratorium in 2017, she said it was forecast that the nation should have a ratio of one lawyer per 1,305 population (1:1,305) in 2020 compared to a ratio of 1:1,857 in 2016.

She said this ratio was comparative to the number of lawyers in the United Kingdom which had a ratio of 1:1,500 based on a population 63.74 million.

She added that the ratio of lawyers in the country was also comparative to that in South Korea (1:3,891) and Singapore (1:1,203).

At present, Noraini said 1,704 students obtained their law degrees from local universities in 2020.

Of this, she said 1,098 were graduates from local public universities while 606 were from local private universities.

On medical graduates, Noraini said 2,967 students had obtained their medical degrees from universities in the country.

Of this, 958 got their degrees from public universities while 2,009 had graduated from local private universities.

This is still below the Health Ministry’s target of having a ratio of one doctor per 400 population (1:400) by 2025, she said.

However, she noted this was offset by graduates who obtained their medical degrees from abroad.

This is because these graduates are required to register with the Malaysian Medical Council before they can undergo mandatory service with the government.

At present, she said, there was a quota on the intake of medical students at local universities at 4,820 students a year.

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