In its capacity as the regulatory authority for all Advocates and Solicitors in Peninsular Malaysia by virtue of the Legal Profession Act 1976, the Bar Council has from time to time issued Rules and Rulings pursuant to section 57 of the Legal Profession Act 1976. These Rules and Rulings relate to matters of practice and etiquette. They are made in order to maintain and/or clarify fundamental principles required in preserving the professionalism, integrity and dignity of the legal profession, and to guide Advocates and Solicitors as well as pupils reading in chambers as to proper conduct in matters of practice and etiquette.
The Rules and Rulings contained in this compilation have been issued over a period of time, the last comprehensive edition of which was issued in March 2015. Since then, some Rules and Rulings have been revised or updated to ensure that they remain relevant and applicable to an ever-evolving professional environment, and some new ones adopted. We appreciate the specific enquiries made by Advocates and Solicitors, pupils reading in chambers and/or members of the public, which have given rise to an opportunity to reflect on, and perhaps review, these Rules and Rulings.
It cannot be gainsaid that in these challenging times, a ready-to-hand and detailed code of conduct is essential to guide legal practitioners in the carrying out of their everyday professional practice. This updated edition should be an indispensable tool for all Advocates and Solicitors, and pupils reading in chambers.
In addition to the Rulings themselves, Advocates and Solicitors and pupils reading in chambers should be familiar with and observe the Legal Profession (Practice and Etiquette) Rules 1978 and the Legal Profession (Publicity) Rules 2001. Non-compliance with any of the Rules and Rulings may be regarded as “misconduct” within section 94(3) of the Legal Profession Act 1976, and may lead to disciplinary proceedings being taken against an Advocate and Solicitor or pupil reading in chambers.
The Rules and Rulings should however not be read pedantically. While they have been drafted to address numerous and diverse situations of practice and etiquette, they cannot cover all circumstances that might arise in professional life. Like all rules and regulations, when in doubt the question to be asked is, “What is the harm or mischief that this Rule or Ruling seeks to address?”
This rule of construction should be borne in mind when confronted with novel or new situations. Nevertheless, Advocates and Solicitors and pupils reading in chambers are invited to seek clarification from the Bar Council if there is doubt.
On behalf of the Malaysian Bar I would like to record my sincere thanks and gratitude to all those who have made it possible for this compilation to be produced.
It should always be borne in mind that we are an honourable profession and it is incumbent on us to conduct ourselves with professionalism, integrity and dignity. Our conduct should always reflect these values.