The legal profession is essentially a rule-based discipline where the written law is the primary source. A good law library, therefore, is the lifeline of a legal practitioner as well as his indispensable workshop. The Bar Council Library was set up to fulfil the research and information needs of the practitioner as required by statute under section 42 of the Legal Profession Act 1976.
The Malaysian Bar Library was established in 1979 and housed in the then Bar Council Secretariat at Wisma Central, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur.
In 1984, the library was moved to a separate location in the Federal Court Building, and in 1987 to the fifth floor of the Straits Trading Building. In 1997, due to the rapid growth of the Bar, the library was again relocated to larger premises on the ground floor of the Loke Yew Building.
When Bar Council purchased its own premises in 2003, the library was relocated to the fourth floor of the building at No 15 Leboh Pasar Besar, 50050 Kuala Lumpur.
In 2020 with the purchase of a new building by Bar Council, the library was relocated to the third floor of Wisma Badan Peguam Malaysia, Jalan Leboh Pasar Besar, 50050 Kuala Lumpur where it remains till today.
A comprehensive collection in a library catering to the research and information needs of the legal practitioner should have a good collection of both the primary and secondary sources of law. Primary sources contain the actual law. Secondary sources which exclude cases statutes and regulations are materials, which comment, explain and annotate on the primary sources.
The past 20 years or so have seen a gradual increase in the number of law reports and textbooks and the updating of existing law reports and local legislation. The library has a policy of purchasing all local legal practitioner textbooks and law reports and selected foreign textbooks.
The library strives to provide at least one essential current resource for each practice area but collection development in certain practice areas is subject to change due to budgetary constraints, escalating costs, usage and ongoing collection reassessments.
Please click on the links below to view the list of books acquired by the Library from:
(1) 1 January 2021 to 30 September 2021 (latest acquisition); and
(2) 1 January 2011 to 30 September 2021.
The Federal and State Legislation are continuously being updated as amendments are made by the Malaysian Parliament and the respective State Legislative Assemblies. Apart from the current Federal and State Laws, the collection also includes older laws such as Laws of the Federated Malay States, Laws of the Straits Settlements, Laws of Johore, Laws of the State of Kedah, etc, which were donated to the library in 2002 by the late Philip Hoalim Junior and Miki Goh (husband and wife) who practised in Penang under Syarikat Goh Guan Ho.
The index database on Malaysian legislation is constantly updated with annotations as regards dates of coming into force of Acts, amending Acts, state enactments and subsidiary legislation, authoritative text of Acts (whether National Language or English), repeal/revocation of legislation, etc.
Current Federal Legislation can be accessed and downloaded for free from the E-Federal Legislation portal on the Attorney General’s Chambers website, which started gazetting subsidiary legislation, namely the PU(A) and PU(B), on 26 Apr 2011 and legislation passed by Parliament since March 2011 from 2 June 2011. Recently they have started to include some older legislation as well.
The library has over 40 law report titles dating from the 18th century to the present from the following foreign jurisdictions:
• New Zealand; and
Local law reports in the library include older law reports, general law reports, specialist law reports and Superior Court reports with cases from the 19th century to the present.
All the above law reports and legislation are supplemented with subscription to online databases
Secondary sources include Annotated Statutes, Precedents and Forms, Court Forms, Encyclopaedic Works, Court Practice Books, Digests, Law Dictionaries, Papers presented in conferences, seminars, etc, participated by, or organised by Bar Council, Loose-leaf services and Textbooks.
Practice Directions/Court Circulars
Practice Directions issued by the court are intended to supplement the Rules of Court by clarifying the proper practice under the rules and the manner of compliance therewith.
An updated compilation of the Practice Directions/Court Circulars relevant to a practitioner is kept in the library. They can also be found in the Malaysian Court Practice and accessed on the Malaysian Bar Website by clicking on Members and then on Laws, BC Rulings and Practice Directions in the drop down menu. New Practice Directions are circulated via email to all Members of the Bar. An Index to Practice Directions with notes is maintained by the Library
Practice Directions and Court Circulars are available in full text in PDF format on the Federal Court website under e-Arahan Amalan portal.
Bar Council Rulings
The Bar Council issues Rulings from time to time, which relate to matters of practice, to preserve fundamental principles required in maintaining the dignity of the legal profession, and serve as a guide to Advocates and Solicitors as well as pupils reading in chambers.
The Rulings are contained in Rules and Rulings of the Bar Council Malaysia, an updated print edition of which is available in the library. The Rulings are also accessible on the Malaysian Bar website by clicking on Members and then on Laws, BC Rulings and Practice Directions in the drop down menu.
The library is open to the following persons:
• All Members of the Bar (who possess valid Practising Certificates), free of charge;
• Pupils in chambers, free of charge;
• Anyone who has completed the period of pupillage may continue to use the library for a period of four months, free of charge; and
• Lawyers who have been admitted to the Bar, but have not yet received their Practising Certificates, are permitted to use the library without charge for two months after their date of admission, after which they will be charged RM20 per entry.
The Library provides regular updates to recent library acquisitions on the Malaysian Bar Website, which can be viewed if you are a registered user of the website by logging in your username and password.
|REFERENCE AND INFORMATION|
|Permitted use||As the library is essentially a reference library, all the materials in its collection are for use within the library premises only.
All loose-leaf services including law reports in loose-leaf format, loose copies of updated Acts, current cases in unbound format and the full text databases of cases and legislation are only available for use in the reference room.
|Enquiries||The library entertains inquiries from all Members of the Bar, whether received in person or via telephone, facsimile, mail or email.|
|Requestes for copies||Requests for copies of legislation, cases and other information available in the library are emailed to Members.|
|Charges||At pre-determined rates. See services and charges below.|
|LIBRARY SERVICES AND CHARGES|
|WITH ASSISTANCE OF LIBRARY PERSONNEL|
|Photocopy||Using Xerox Cards:-
(yielding 96 copies, at approximately RM0.31 per page)
(yielding 192 copies at approximately RM0.26 per page)
|(a) Internal Users (Members):
RM0.50 per page or RM0.60 per page, depending on the type of assistance needed
(b) Request from counter by Members/law firm personnel:
RM0.60 per page
(c) Request at counter from non-Members / non-practising Advocates and Solicitors:
RM1.00 per page + RM5.00 service charge
(d) Photocopy sent via e-mail:
RM0.60 per page + RM5.00 service charge per email for Members
RM1.00 per page + RM10.00 service charge per email for non-Members/ non-practising Advocates and Solicitors
|Printing||–||RM0.60 per page|
|Usage of Online Subscription Databases||RM5.00 per 30 minutes of usage + RM0.60 printing per page|
|Computer Usage (Use of Microsoft Word)|
|Library Usage Fee for Non-Practising Advocates and Solicitors (RM20.00 per day)|
|Please note that all requests for photocopies that are received by fax or email, or during walk-ins, will only be attended to once payment has been received in full.|
|CLJ Legal Network||Local online database providing access to case laws, statutes, articles, practice directions, unreported Malaysian case law from 1894 onwards.|
|Lawnet||An online service which gives access to full text of all Acts and amending Acts, subsidiary legislation from 1999 onwards, current bills, main gazettes and State laws.|
|MyCase Law||This is a case citator (1932 -- Mar 2013), on CD-ROM that encompasses all reported cases, from MLJ, Current Law Journal ("CLJ") and All Malaysia Reports ("AMR").|
(with Commonwealth content)
|Lexis-Nexis Online service provides MLJ Reported Cases from the Federal Court, Court of Appeal and High Courts (1932 to current), MLJ Unreported Cases (1992 to current), Industrial Law Journal (ILJ), Malayan Cases, MLJournal in Focus - Contract Law, MLJournal in Focus - Law of Evidence, Shariah Law Reports (ShLR) principal Acts, subsidiary legislation, amending Acts and bills, MLJ, ILJ, ShLRA articles and Unannotated Statutes of Malaysia - State of Sabah & Sarawak, and All Commonwealth Cases & Legislation (Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, India, New Zealand, Singapore, UK, USA . The documents are found in PDF format.|
|Westlaw Malaysia||Local online service providing access to case laws from the All Malaysia Reports [AMR], Unreported Judgments [AMEJ], All Malaysia Commercial Reports [AMCR], All Malaysia Tax Cases [AMTC], Borneo Law Reports [BLR] and Malaysian Company and Securities Law Cases [MSCLC]. It also provides coverage to federal legislation, subsidiary legislation and articles from Asian Legal Business [ALB], The Law Review [LR] and Malaysian Journal on Human Rights [MJHR].|
|eLaw.my||Local online search engine providing judgments from Malaysian Legal Review High Court [MLRH], Malaysian Legal Law Review Appellate Court [MLRA], Malaysian Employment Law Review [MELR] dating back to the year 1900s and updated legislation of Malaysia including amending acts, PU(A)s, and PU(B)s.|
|JustisOne||Online legal research platform that helps to search multiple jurisdictions including Malaysian cases to find leading cases, articles and legislation. JustisOne indexes and links to full-text documents from all major online legal publishers.|
|Malaysian Bar Library’s Catalogue (CHAMO)||To determine whether a law library has print materials by title, author, subject or keyword, Members may search the library's computerised catalogue --CHAMO.
A computerised index of textbooks, articles, seminar papers, Federal Acts together with the Amendment Acts and the corresponding subsidiary legislation (PU(A) and PU(B), State Enactments and the corresponding subsidiary legislation is also maintained and available for in-house use.
|Access and Assistance||Two computers are placed outside the reference room to access the library's catalogue (CHAMO), MyCaseLaw index of cases, and JustisOne caselaw search, with no charges.
Assistance will be provided by the staff members if Members find difficulty in using the catalogue.
Given the immense explosion in legal publications and the media, it is well-nigh impossible economically for any library to be completely comprehensive in its holdings. However, with the judicious use of online databases and information sharing avenues open to law librarians, the Bar Council Library staff members have been able, to a large extent, to satisfy the information requests from Members of the Bar.
Librarian: Dr. Pathmavathy Satyamoorthy
Assistant Librarian: Anuradha a/p N. Andiappan, Ain Syahirah bt Abd Rahim and Marlina bt. Mohd Nor
Library Assistant: Chandramalar a/p K. Muthu and Edna P. Sta Ana
Monday to Friday: 8:30 am – 5:30 pm
Saturday: 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
Sunday and public holiday: Closed
Bar Council Library
Wisma Badan Peguam Malaysia
2 Leboh Pasar Besar
50050 Kuala Lumpur
Hotline: +603 2050 2084
Fax: +603 2050 2085
Please click here to read the Rules of the Malaysian Bar Library.
Updated as at 2 August 2021.