Govt moots mandatory chambering for would-be Shariah lawyers

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Mujahid Yusof Rawa is pictured at Parliament in Kuala Lumpur July 1, 2019. ― Picture by Firdaus Latif
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Mujahid Yusof Rawa is pictured at Parliament in Kuala Lumpur July 1, 2019. ― Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, July 11 — Prospective Shariah lawyers will undergo six-month of mandatory chambering if the Bill for the Shariah Legal Professional (Federal Territories) Bill 2019 is approved.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mujahid Yusof Rawa said that it was aimed at familiarising themselves with the substantive laws and procedures which must be complied with in the handling of a case.

“Chambering will help prospective lawyers who will be assisted by a senior Shariah lawyer who has broad knowledge and experience in Shariah laws,” he said when tabling the Bill for second reading in Dewan Rakyat today.

The Bill was aimed at proposing professional Shariah lawyer’s practices, behaviour and code of conduct other than setting up the Shariah Legal Profession Qualifying Board, Shariah Lawyers’ Body and the Federal Territories Shariah Lawyers Council.

Commenting further, Mujahid said the Administration of Islamic Laws (Federal Territories) Act 1993 which was in use today was limited and did not cover all aspects pertaining to the administration and regulation of the Shariah lawyers’ profession.

“For example, the methods of the Shariah lawyers do not have provisions on the need to do chamberings,” he said.

During the debate session, Nor Azrina Surip (PH-Merbok) said that the Bill would raise the professional standard and quality of Shariah lawyers, because they are governed and regulated more professionally.

“I am confident one more history will be created with the approval of the Bill as it will change the landscape of the Islamic justice system,” she said.

Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan (BN-Pontian) on his part suggested that the process of the Shariah lawyer to become a civil lawyer be simplified because those with Bachelor’s degree in Shariah had formal basic education in civil legislation and the criminal code.

“What I want to raise is that it is quite easy for a civil lawyer to become a Shariah lawyer, have a bachelor’s degree in law and then add a year in a Diploma in Shariah Law and Legal Practice, interview, and immediately can become a Shariah lawyer.

“On the contrary, the Shariah lawyer is forced to do akin to a first degree again, add four years more despite having sat for a four-year Shariah bachelor’s degree,” he said.

The sitting resumes on Monday. — Bernama

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