Wednesday November 8, 2017
05:39 PM GMT+8

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George Varughese said that the Bar is an independent entity that should only allow members from the legal body to participate and make decisions. — Picture by Choo Choy MayGeorge Varughese said that the Bar is an independent entity that should only allow members from the legal body to participate and make decisions. — Picture by Choo Choy MayKUALA LUMPUR, Nov 8 — The Malaysian Bar said today it is opposed to public consultations on its internal management processes as part of the proposed amendments to the Legal Profession Act 1976.

Its president George Varughese said today that such matters should be left for its members to decide.

He stressed that the Malaysian Bar is not opposed to public consultation in its entirety, as some LPA amendments such as the introduction of the Common Bar Course affects the public as well as members of the Bar.

“However, there are also proposed amendments to the LPA that apply to and affect only Members of the Malaysian Bar — for example, the far-reaching changes being proposed to the internal management of the Bar Council and its election processes. 

“Only Members of the Malaysian Bar should be permitted to participate in the decision-making processes on such matters, as they are the sole relevant stakeholders,” he said in a statement.

He said that the Malaysian Bar was informed by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of legal affairs, Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said, that the government will conduct a “public online consultation” on the proposed amendments to the LPA.

“External parties must not be permitted to interfere with, or impede, the internal management and self-regulation of the Bar in any way, including via the public online consultation informed to us by the Minister. 

“It would be unacceptable for the Government to allow non-members of any professional body or membership organisation to determine that entity’s internal management processes,” Varughese added.

In April, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Azalina had said that a special committee will be established to fine-tune the proposed amendments to the Act.

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