How to lodge a complaint
What you need to provide:-
a) Typewritten Letter of Complaint that contains:-
i) Name of the Complainant (as in Identity Card/Passport)
ii) Full particulars of the Complaint
iii) Signature of the Complainant
iv) Full Address of the Complainant
v) Full name of the Advocate & Solicitor responsible for the subject matter of the complaint at the material time and the Firm he/she is currently practising with
vi) Name and address of the present Solicitor acting for the Complainant in the complaint (if any)
b) A Statutory declaration in support of the said complaint
c) Copy of the Complainant’s identity card / Passport
d) Supporting documents
e) Fee for processing – non refundable, currently in the sum of RM100.00 (Kindly make your payment by cheque/postal order. The cheque/postal order is to be made payable to “BAR COUNCIL-DISCIPLINE FUND”.
IT / DC Proceedings
In arriving at its decision, the Board relies on the recommendations put forward by the Investigating Tribunal and/or Disciplinary Committee. The main purpose of appointment of the IT/DC is to investigate the factual basis of a particular complaint and to ascertain if an advocate & solicitor concerned has committed ‘misconduct’ as defined under the Legal Profession Act, 1976. The IT is required to make finding of fact. The DC is required to make findings of liability and to recommend punishment.
i) Investigating Tribunal (“IT”)
Upon receipt of a complaint that has complied with the Investigating Tribunal and Disciplinary Committee Rules 1994, the Board will ascertain if there is merit in the complaint. If there is merit in the complaint, an IT will be constituted to investigate the complaint (See S.100 of the LPA)
An IT consists of 3 members: 2 advocates & solicitors of at least 7 years standing and 1 lay member. The more senior member of the advocates and solicitors will normally chair the IT in the capacity of chairperson.
Upon concluding its investigation, the IT will submit its Report and Record of Proceedings to the Disciplinary Board. The recommendation that the IT may make is either to dismiss the complaint or order the advocate and solicitor concerned to pay a fine, or to refer the complaint to a DC for further formal investigations.
Upon consideration of the IT’s recommendation, the Board may either accept or disagree it them. The Board may also elect to deal with the complaint summarily by requiring the advocate & solicitor concerned to appear before it to make his representations before the Board (S.102 & S.103 of the LPA).
ii) Disciplinary Committee (“DC”)
If the Board decides that a formal investigation into the complaint is necessary, a DC will be constituted. The DC’s composition is similar to that of the IT with 1 exception i.e. the 2 advocates & solicitors must be of at least 10 years standing. Upon conclusion of its investigations, the DC will submit its Report and Record of Proceedings for the Board’s consideration. The DC may recommend the striking off the Roll of the Advocate and Solicitor concerned, order a suspension for a term of not more than 5 years, or impose a fine or dismiss the complaint.
Upon consideration of the DC’s recommendation, the Board may make either an order striking off the Roll of the advocate and solicitor concerned, suspend the advocate and solicitor for a term of not more than 5 years or impose a fine. The Board can also dismiss the complaint at this stage. If the Board intends to increase the recommended punishment or when the Board disagrees with the DC’s finding of liability, the Board will require the advocate & solicitor concerned to appear before it and make representations to the Board (S.103C & S.103D of the LPA).
The Bar Council can make an application to the Board under S.94(4)(c) of the Legal Profession Act 1976 (“LPA”) in cases where monetary dishonesty is involved for an order of immediate suspension of the Advocate and Solicitor concerned, pending investigation of the complaint by a DC under S.103A(c) of the LPA.
Right to Appeal
a) All decisions of the Disciplinary Board are appealable under S.103E.
b) For procedure relating to appeal, please see S.103E and the Legal Profession (Disciplinary Proceedings) (Appeal) Rules 1994.