Sunday, April 14, 2019

Bar Council Malaysia & College Of Law Australia on-line Masters students not protected: College does not have real presence in Malaysia,and Australian regulators including the Attorney General NSW will act to protect it from complaints made in Australia

by Ganesh Sahathevan

Stephanie Booker, another (College Of Law )  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.”
(from  Malaysian Bar Council "menu" candidate Roger Chan continues to stonewall queries about his promotion of an Australian "Practical Masters", despite obvious problems)

The mystery surrounding the  Bar Council & College Of Law Australia's Master of Laws (Applied Law) in Malaysian Legal Practice grows.The link  at the course website  for the  course no longer works.Readers can see for themselves by clicking the links The Master of Laws (Applied Law) in Malaysian Legal Practice " and "Find out more about our Malaysian LLM programme" located in this paragraph:

The Master of Laws (Applied Law) in Malaysian Legal Practice is designed to meet the needs of the Malaysian legal profession for higher level, practice-based skills acquisition across a range of specialised practice areas. It has been developed by The College of Law in collaboration with Bar Council Malaysia. Find out more about our Malaysian LLM programme.

Consequently it is hard to say if YA Daryl Goon still endorses the course,which does not appear to have the approval of the Legal Profession Qualifying Board (see story below).

Meanwhile, a new website has emerged at this link:

A course handbook can be downloaded at the link Download the Malaysian LLM Handbook. YA Goon's name is no longer  listed among the experts who have contributed to the course.

All of the above raises the question:Who can Malaysian lawyers sue if they are not happy with the course? Fees are estimated to be around RM 10,000 per subject,so this will not be a cheap exercise.Total cost are likely to be in RM80,000-RM 100,000 range.

Course delivery is entirely on-line, and this writer can tell from personal experience that the College's IT systems are prone to failure. Complaints are not welcome and in this writer's experience are regarded as a form of harassment,threat and intimidation.

The College is supervised by the Legal Profession Admission Board  (LPAB) which ultimately reports to the Attorney General New South Wales, Mark Speakman SC.

This writer's investigation into the College's business which was prompted by his own experience with poor teaching and infrastructure in the College's local on-line Professional Legal Training program which is compulsory for all lawyers seeking admission in New South Wales,has met with a hostile reception from the LPAB and Speakman. 
The investigation into the business of the College as it expands into Malaysia has been met with official findings of misconduct, in this writer's  work as a journalist.

The LPAB and AG's findings of misconduct include a finding that this writer's referral of queries to then  Attorney General Malaysia  with regards its business in Malaysia are  grounds for a finding that this writer is not fit and proper for admission to practice. 

The College's basic Practical Legal Training course from which its teaching methods for all its other courses are derived, has been found to be not very useful in practice, as reported in the Australian industry paper Lawyers Weekly in 2006. The College's PLT includes work experience at  a law firm,after which students are required to submit a journal of their work experience and explain how what was learnt at  the College was applied at work. This writer's report that the College's lessons were of no use at work was rejected and in correspondence with this writer the College's  Chair  Of Academic Studies, Lewis Patrick  said:

Please note that in assessing your work experience journal the College is not assessing the quality of your work experience, but rather the quality of your reflections on that experience. 

Malaysian lawyers can determine for themselves if this is the standard by which they would like their practical experience to be judged,in a course with the emphasis on the practical.

In Kuala Lumpur the College operates out of a virtual office and all queries sent the College Of Law Asia (or College Of Law Asia Pacific) Director Peter Tritt,  have been ignored.

The queries included claims by the College that it had in 1985 or thereabouts, under contract with the MARA Law School, produced the inaugural Legal Practice Handbook with instructional details, materials and resources for Malaysian law and practice. A query was sent the Registrar Federal Court Malaysia, requesting a copy.The  Registrar has responded via her Chief Librarian who says:

Please be informed on the revision of the Web OPAC System in Palace of Justice Library, the material is not in our collection.

I have also referred to the librarians network at 12 Law Libraries in Malaysia as well as the National Library of Malaysia. However, it is regretted that the material is not in their possession.

The issues above add to the normal  issues of cost and inconvenience of suing is foreign jurisdiction. Unsatisfied College customers from Malaysia would be obviously better off suing the College in Malaysia, but as mentioned above, they will find nothing to which they can attach judgement.

It is up to the Bar Council Malaysia and the Minister For Education to insist that the College have a physical presence in Malaysia, just like all other Australian colleges and universities offering courses in Malaysia. Their physical presence in Malaysia provides provides a limited assurance that they will provide what they promise.

Additionally,as reported on this blog the tertiary education standards regulatory board,TEQSA, cannot be relied on to ensure standards are maintained: 

Australia's education sector putting money ahead of standards :The trend continues, aided and abetted by TEQSA


Saturday, Augus8, 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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