Malay Mail Online

Malaysia

Islamic varsity’s student-run law journal is first in Malaysia, predates UM

Leeroy Ting says upon further research, UM was pipped by IIUM which came out with its student-run law journal 26 years ago. — Picture by Yusof Mat IsaKUALA LUMPUR, July 22 — A law journal run by the students at the International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM) was the first law journal in Malaysia, the editorial team at University of Malaya’s Law Review has acknowledged.

Earlier this week, University of Malaya’s Law Review founding editor-in-Chief Leeroy Ting had touted his university to have the first student-run law journal in the country with its inaugural publication due out end of this month.

But Ting has now admitted that upon further research, UM was pipped by IIUM which came out with its student-run law journal 26 years ago.

“However, as of now, we are the only student-run law review in the country, and there have not been one for 15 years. Hence the obscurity surrounding the status of who was first,” he told Malay Mail Online in an emailed statement when contacted for clarification.

“Regardless, we still hold ourselves up as being ‘first’ in many ways. As the only student-run law journal in Malaysia we distinguish ourselves from other journals in that we set the highest standards for ourselves, our journals are referred and have been reviewed academically and editorially within UM and internationally by qualified legal professionals,” he added.

IIUM’s Law Majalla was first published in 1991, but went into a long hiatus before it was published again in 2002.

It has not been published again since.

Izwan Iskandar Ishak, one of the members of the team that worked on IIUM’s law journal in 2002, told Malay Mail Online that almost all the articles in the journal were written by students, and all of them were cited.

Despite its name, the IIUM journal was “not a magazine” and also was purely student-run as opposed to a faculty journal, he said.

One of the team members who put together the Law Majalla, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) law professor Shahrul Mizan Ismail said that the experience of being part of such journals can help put students at a faster track to gain experience and readiness to face the working world compared to their peers.

“Complaints about law graduates not being able to do legal research is very commonplace among employers nowadays. Recent feed-backs seem to indicate that majority of law graduates are not ready for the industry and lack many needed legal and soft skills,” he said.

“The opportunity of being involved as a member of the editorial board of a student-run journal will be highly valuable in this regard. It not only exposes the students to the much sought after research and writing skills, but also editing, managing, publishing and marketing the journal,” he added.