Friday, November 16, 2018

Malaysian Bar Council "menu" candidate Roger Chan continues to stonewall queries about his promotion of an Australian "Practical Masters", despite obvious problems

by Ganesh Sahathevan

The current secretary of the Malaysian Bar Council ,Mr Roger Chan, has put himself up for election as part of a "menu",reminiscent of  that ill-fated 1990s "Team Wawasan":

Meanwhile  he and the current  Bar Council Executive have maintained a stony silence with regards their promotion of an "applied masters" offered via Sydney's College Of Law. Being offered out of Sydney  local approvals from Malaysia's Ministry of Education may not be required,but that sounds like too clever a scheme.

The Australian  College Of Law “ Practical LLM” is based on the Practical Legal Training course . It survives to this day due to government support.
Lawyers in Sydney refer sarcastically to the College Of Law as the "College Of Knowledge".

Students at the College tend to be careful about what they say for fear of being denied admission to practice ,as this writer discovered,but that is a story for another day.

Nevertheless, in 2006 some did speak to local industry paper  Lawyers Weekly.This is what they had to say:

In a report on practical legal training (PLT) this week, Lawyers Weekly reveals that some students feel that a $6,000 fee could be lessened and considerable time saved if PLT was actually more practical, with more hands-on hours. One student, who wanted to remain anonymous, said his PLT course offered him little that he could not have picked up in a law firm.
Now working part-time in a firm, our source said he is being exposed to many things he did not encounter during his PLT. “You can only learn so much in the theoretical sense. On my first day of work I had to write an affidavit for a man who’d punched his wife out. It was totally different to be doing this on real cases. If I hadn’t done college, I don’t think it would have been that much different. Maybe I would have had to ask the partners a couple more questions, or looked at a few more websites. But I don’t think that’s enough to warrant a $6,000 fee,” he said.
“I drafted forms and affidavits in college. But I didn’t get a real idea about what it was about until I worked, and got this job. Maybe that says I wasn’t sufficiently involved in the learning process. But I still maintain that you have to be in the law to learn from it,” he said.
It would be more useful to have internships within law firms, so that students can really understand what it is like to work in private practice, our source claimed. “I think three internships would be much more effective. Many people I study with agree with me. Most of my peers online think [the course] is a real hassle. 
“You can’t teach practical application in an educational institution. Universities should have a system where you can do many internships… When it is taught by professionals, rather than on the job, you are losing an essential part of the learning process,” he argued.
“My solicitor friends say that some things are quite important to do in college, such as trust accounting. But, on the whole, it isn’t the kind of diploma that is giving you a great deal of hands on knowledge. Ninety per cent of what I have learnt so far I learnt through work experience,” he pointed out.
Stephanie Booker, another PLT student, questioned whether ‘practical legal training’ is an accurate term. “[My course] certainly taught me where to look for things that I may need — rules, areas of law... As for helping me to apply these rules, there is a huge difference between the reality of my workplace and the comfort of my PLT course. For example, I find that the way I draft letters for [my course] is not acceptable in my workplace, and vice versa.”




Programme Director: James Jung

Further faculty to be appointed

Saturday, August 18, 2018

YA Daryl Goon , the Malaysian Applied Law LLM ,and YAA Richard Malanjum

by Ganesh Sahathevan


This writer has spent much time this week, and the last praying that the newly appointed Yang Ariff Daryl Goon might condescend to explain why he has has endorsed something called the Master of Laws (Applied Law) in Malaysian Legal Practice.

Goon has been asked to explain given the fact that this LLM (and indeed no others) have been approved by the Legal Profession Qualifying Board..

The Malaysian Bar Council seems to have played some part in promoting the course (see below) but its President and Secretary have refused numerous requests for information about what

approvals if any the Malaysian Bar Council had obtained to promote the course in Malaysia.

The course website , hosted by the private college in Australia that manages the course (with a faculty of one person) shows prominently the Bar Council's logo. YA Daryl Goon is listed among its advisers.

The private college also claims that it produced in 1985-86 the first group of "elite" law graduates from MARA who were admitted to practice in Malaysia. This does come as a bit of surprise to this writer and others like him who know and know of Malaysian lawyers who graduated from MARA in the 1970s. In the latter category (for I do not know him personally) is the current Chief Justice , YAA Tan Sri Richard Malanjum, who graduated in 1973.
One hopes that the newly minted YA will at least have an explanation for his YAA.


The questions (see below) remain despite this promotion by the Bar Council Malaysia:


Circular No 147/2017
Dated 11 July 2017n
To Members of the Malaysian Bar
Providing Assistance to The College of Law, Australia | Development of Localised Master
of Laws Programme
The Bar Council Malaysia has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with The College of
Law, Australia and New Zealand in order to create further legal education and training platforms
for the benefit of Members of the Bar.
In this regard, The College of Law is interested to localise the content of its existing Australian
Master of Laws (“LLM”) in Applied Law programme for Malaysia, and is interested in working
with Members of the Bar who have relevant legal research and writing, and practical legal
experience. This is to be carried out on a project basis, and the Members will be remunerated.
The first six subjects in this new LLM programme are near completion and will be offered in
September 2017 as part of a new LLM (Applied Law) with a major in Malaysian Legal Practice.
The next 11 LLM subjects that The College of Law is interested in localising are listed below:
Alternative Dispute Resolution Practice;
Banking and Finance;
Family Law Practice;
Intellectual Property Practice;
Islamic Banking and Finance;
Mergers and Acquisitions Practice;
(10) Negotiation; and
(11) Wills, Estates and Trusts.
If you are interested in pursuing this opportunity, please send your expression of interest together
with your detailed resume and any queries, directly to:
Peter Tritt
Director | Asia-Pacific
The College of Law Australia and New Zealand
Level 23, Nu Tower 2
Jalan Tun Sambanthan,
50470 Kuala Lumpur
Mobile: +6013 305 7660
Thank you.
Roger Chan Weng Keng
Malaysian Bar

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