Sabah Legal Sector More Progressive With Advocates Ordinance Amendments

File photo of the Sabah legal fraternity. At the moment, lawyers from outside Sabah needs special permission before they can appear in courts in the State.
File photo of the Sabah legal fraternity. At the moment, lawyers from outside Sabah need special permission before they can appear in courts in the State.

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KOTA KINABALU – The Advocates Ordinance (Sabah) (Amendment) Bill 2016 has been tabled for second reading at the Dewan Rakyat Monday, to liberalise the legal service sector in Sabah.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said said the bill was aimed at streamlining the amendments to the Legal Profession Act 1976 via the Legal Profession Act (Amendment) 2012.

“Legal service sector will be liberalised only to involve the entry of foreign legal service, subject to the Sabah Advocates Ordinance,” she said when tabling the bill for the second time at the Dewan Rakyat in Kuala Lumpur.

She added the bill would contain a new section which would provide for the establishment of the Sabah Law Society to be representative and regulatory body for the profession.

Azalina said the bill also gave powers to the Sabah Law Society to issue annual certificates to legal practitioners, apart from the power to set rules to regulate its issuance which should be signed by the society’s president and published in the Sabah government gazette.

Azalina said the amendments on the Advocates Ordinance were a positive move to strengthen the country’s legal and service sectors.

“With the entry of foreign lawyers, the legal service sector in Sabah will be more progressive and productive, as well as encourage healthy competition at international level,” she said.