The Abolishment of the CLP

It was announced today that the Certificate of Legal Practice (CLP) will be scrapped in favour of a Common Bar Course. The Bar Council has affirmed its support of such a proposal. Since 1993, the Malaysian Bar has been advocating the establishment of a Common Bar Course (CBC) as a single entry point into the legal profession for all law graduates (both local and foreign. The CBC is intended to replace the CLP and all law graduates must enroll and successfully complete the CBC in order to practise law in Malaysia.In his article ‘The CLP – A change would do us all good’, Weng Tchung explained in detail the history of the CLP course, and I gratefully refer to his in-depth analysis of the background of the CLP. The same author has also made many points in his piece entitled ‘The CLP and the Proposed Common Bar Course’.

I would like to also emphasise the points he has made that practical subjects must be part of the syllabus. Under the present CLP system, students learn by rote and purely regurgitate procedural rules they have memorised. There are no subjects in relation to conferencing, negotiations or advocacy. Singapore itself is considering a revamp and a move towards a common Vocational Training Course.

While I think the abolishment of the CLP and a move towards the CBC is a step in the right direction, the present lack of details about the implementation of this proposed CBC leaves me cautious. Will this CBC act as a gatekeeper to ensure high standards are met before an individual can enter the profession? Or will some form of unseen quota system be enforced behind the scenes? Or even worse, the doors will be left wide open to let all and sundry in?

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6 thoughts on “The Abolishment of the CLP

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