ADMISSION OF ADVOCATES AND SOLICITORS
—(1) There shall be established a body to be called the Board of Legal Education.
(2) The Board shall be a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal, with powers subject to the provisions of this Act —
to sue and be sued in its corporate name;
to acquire and dispose of property, both movable and immovable; and
to do and perform such other acts as bodies corporate may by law perform.
4. The purposes of the Board shall be —
to register qualified persons seeking admission as advocates and solicitors;
to provide for the training, education and examination, by the Board or by any other body, of qualified persons intending to practise the profession of law in Singapore;
to exercise supervision over qualified persons during their period of pupillage and to assist masters and principals with regard to the instruction given to pupils;
to consider and from time to time make recommendations to the appropriate authorities on the syllabus, the contents of courses of instruction and examinations leading to the qualification of persons as qualified persons; and
to grant prizes and scholarships and to establish and subsidise lectureships in educational institutions in subjects of study relating to law.
—(1) In addition to the powers given by the other provisions of this Act, the Board may —
purchase or lease any land or building required for any of the purposes of this Act;
sell, surrender, lease, exchange or mortgage any land or building as may be found most convenient or advantageous;
receive grants from the Government or from public funds or the Society or from any other person;
borrow money whether by way of bank overdraft or otherwise for such of the purposes of the Board as the Board may from time to time consider desirable; and
(2) The Board may —
invest its moneys in such manner as it thinks fit, including the deposit of moneys with financial institutions and other business or professional bodies; and
engage in any financial activity or participate in any financial arrangement for the purpose of managing or hedging against any financial risk that arises or is likely to arise from such investment.
(3) Subject to the provisions of this Part, the Board shall have power to make rules to carry into effect the objects of this Part.
(4) In particular and without prejudice to the generality of subsection (3), the Board may make rules —
for regulating the meetings and proceedings of the Board;
with respect to the taking and retaining of pupils by masters and the conduct, duties and responsibilities of the parties;
for regulating the manner in which pupils keep dining terms and serve their period of pupillage;
for specifying the subjects in which pupils shall attend courses of instruction;
for the examination from time to time of pupils;
for the exemption of pupils from courses of instruction or examination;
for the appointment of lecturers and examiners and for the payment of fees to them;
for regulating the procedure whereby qualified persons who have satisfied the provisions of this Act are admitted as advocates and solicitors by the Supreme Court; and
for prescribing the forms to be used and the fees to be paid for the purposes of this Part.
—(1) The Board may, in its discretion, upon an application made to it by any person who is not otherwise entitled to become a qualified person but who, in the opinion of the Board, possesses such qualification or expertise as would contribute to, promote or enhance the quality of legal services in Singapore or the economic or technological development of Singapore, approve the person as a qualified person for the purpose of this Act and issue to him a certificate to that effect.
—(1) The Board shall consist of —
the President of the Society;
the Dean of the Faculty;
4 advocates and solicitors nominated by the Senate of the Academy after consultation with the Council; and
3 other members nominated by the Senate of the Academy.
(2) The members of the Board, other than the Attorney-General, the President of the Society and the Dean of the Faculty, shall be nominated to hold office for a term of 3 years.
(3) If for any reason the Attorney-General, the President of the Society or the Dean of the Faculty is unable to attend a particular meeting of the Board, he may nominate some other legal officer or some other member of the Council or the Faculty, as the case may be, to attend the meeting and when so attending that alternate member shall be deemed for all purposes to be a member of the Board.
(4) The persons nominated under subsection (1) shall be eligible for re-nomination.
(5) When any vacancy in the Board occurs by death, resignation, insanity, bankruptcy or otherwise, the Board shall as soon as practicable take the necessary action to have the vacancy filled by the appropriate authority.
(6) Any casual vacancy arising among the nominated members shall be filled by nomination by the appropriate authority and any such new member shall hold office for so long as the member in whose place he is appointed would have held office.
(7) The validity of any proceedings of the Board is not affected by any vacancy among its members or by any defect in their appointment.
—(1) The Board shall every year elect a Chairman and a Deputy Chairman who shall so long as they continue to be members of the Board be eligible for re-election.
(2) The Chairman or, in his absence, the Deputy Chairman shall preside at meetings of the Board.
(3) In the absence of the Chairman and the Deputy Chairman, the members of the Board shall elect an acting Chairman who shall have and exercise all the powers of the Chairman.
(4) The Board shall appoint a Secretary and such other officer as it considers necessary.
—(1) The Board shall meet at such times and such places as the Chairman or the Deputy Chairman may appoint.
(2) Subject to subsection (3), the Board shall have power to fix a quorum for its meetings and shall have the power to fix a different quorum for different purposes.
(3) The quorum at any meeting to make, revoke, alter, add to or amend any rules made under this Part shall be 7.
—(1) The court may, in its discretion and subject to the provisions of this Act, admit as an advocate and solicitor of the Supreme Court —
any qualified person under the provisions of this Part; or
any Malayan practitioner under section 15.
(2) No person who is a qualified person by reason of his having passed the final examination for the degree of Bachelor of Laws in the National University of Singapore shall be admitted as an advocate and solicitor before the degree of Bachelor of Laws is conferred upon him.
(3) A person shall not be disqualified by sex from being admitted and enrolled as an advocate and solicitor.
—(1) Subject to section 15, no qualified person shall be admitted as an advocate and solicitor unless he —
has attained the age of 21 years;
is of good character;
has satisfactorily served the prescribed period of pupillage for qualified persons;
has attended such courses of instruction and kept such dining terms as may be prescribed by the Board; and
has passed such examinations as may be prescribed by the Board.
(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1)(d) and (e), the Board may, in its discretion, exempt a qualified person from attending such courses of instruction, keeping such dining terms and passing such examinations as may be prescribed by the Board if the Board is of the opinion that that qualified person is, by reason of his experience or for other cause, a fit and proper person to be so exempted.
—(1) For the purposes of this Part, a qualified person shall, during his period of pupillage, be known as a pupil and a person with whom a pupil serves his period of pupillage or any part thereof shall be known as a master.
(2) Subject to this section and section 14, the prescribed period of pupillage shall be 6 months.
(3) A pupil shall, before his petition is heard, attend and satisfactorily complete a course of instruction organised or recognised by the Board for the purposes of this section unless exempted therefrom under section 12(2).
(4) No person shall, without the special leave in writing of the Board, hold any office or engage in any employment of whatsoever kind and whether full-time or part-time during his period of pupillage.
(5) Subsection (4) shall not —
apply to a legal officer; or
preclude a pupil receiving remuneration from his master.
—(1) A pupil shall, subject to the approval of the Board, serve his prescribed period of pupillage —
with an advocate and solicitor in active practice in Singapore of not less than 5 years’ standing who, for a total of not less than 5 out of the 7 years immediately preceding the relevant date, has been in such practice or has been a legal officer or both;
with any legal officer in Singapore who is an advocate and solicitor of not less than 5 years’ standing who, for 5 out of the 7 years immediately preceding the relevant date, has been a legal officer or has been in active practice in Singapore or both;
with an advocate and solicitor who has at any time held office as the Attorney-General or as a Judge of the Supreme Court; or
(2) In any case where subsection (1)(b) or (d) applies, 6 months’ pupillage with a legal officer shall count as one month’s period of pupillage with an advocate and solicitor.
[10/91; 41/93; 40/96]
(3) For the purposes of this section and section 13(5), “legal officer” includes a legal officer of the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore or of such other statutory board or authority as the Minister may prescribe.
(4) The Board may approve a request that a qualified person serve different parts of his period of pupillage with different masters.
(5) The Board may, in its discretion, exempt a qualified person from pupillage, wholly or for such period as the Board thinks fit, upon application made supported by satisfactory evidence that the applicant —
has been a pupil or read in the chambers of a practising barrister of the United Kingdom or of a member of the Faculty of Advocates in Scotland of more than 7 years’ standing;
is a solicitor in England or Northern Ireland or a writer to the Signet, law agent or solicitor in Scotland;
has been engaged in active practice as a legal practitioner by whatever name called in any part of the Commonwealth; or
has attended such course of instruction and successfully passed such examination as may be approved by the Board for the purposes of this section.
—(1) A Malayan practitioner who does not qualify under subsection (2) may be admitted as an advocate and solicitor without being required to serve any period of pupillage or to attend any courses of instruction, but he shall not be admitted unless he has satisfied the Board in such examinations as may be prescribed by the Board.
(2) A Malayan practitioner who has been in active practice in any part of Malaysia for a continuous period of not less than 3 years in the 4 years immediately preceding his petition for admission may be admitted as an advocate and solicitor without being required to serve any period of pupillage or to attend any course of instruction or to pass any examination.
—(1) The following provisions shall apply to a Hong Kong practitioner who has been admitted as an advocate and solicitor under this section pursuant to a petition filed before 1st January 1995:
he shall not practise as an advocate and solicitor unless he is a partner or associate of or is employed by an advocate and solicitor of at least 12 years’ standing;
if he has practised as an advocate and solicitor in accordance with the restriction under paragraph (a) for a period of at least 2 years and has during that period resided in Singapore for at least 12 months in the aggregate, he shall be entitled to practise as an advocate and solicitor without being subject to that restriction.
(2) The Minister may exempt any Hong Kong practitioner from subsection (1)(a) where he is of the opinion that the Hong Kong practitioner is of sufficient standing and experience to be so exempted.
(3) In this section —
“associate”, in relation to an advocate and solicitor, means a person who is neither a partner nor an employee of that advocate and solicitor but carries on practice in the same office and maintains separate accounts;
“Hong Kong practitioner” means any person who is entitled to practise as a barrister or solicitor in Hong Kong.
—(1) This section shall apply to every person who proposes to apply to be admitted as an advocate and solicitor by virtue of section 11(1)(a) or 15(1).
(2) An application for admission by such person shall be by a petition to the court and the petition shall be verified by affidavit.
(3) The petitioner shall file his petition in the Registrar’s office accompanied by a notice intimating that he has so applied, which notice shall be posted and continue to be posted at the Supreme Court for 6 months before the petitioner is admitted as an advocate and solicitor.
(4) Every petitioner shall, not less than 12 days before his petition is to be heard, file an affidavit exhibiting to that affidavit —
true copies of any documentary evidence showing that he is a qualified person or a Malayan practitioner, as the case may be;
2 recent certificates as to his good character;
a certificate of diligence from each master with whom the petitioner served his pupillage in cases where the petitioner is required to serve a period of pupillage or in the absence thereof such other evidence as the court may require that he has served the pupillage with diligence; and
a certificate signed by the Secretary of the Board that the petitioner has satisfactorily served the period of pupillage or articles (or has been exempted therefrom under section 14(5), has attended the courses of instruction (or has been exempted therefrom under section 12(2)) and has passed any examinations that may be required in his case under the provisions of this Act.
(5) The petition, notice, affidavit and certificates referred to in this section shall be in the form prescribed by the Board.
—(1) This section shall apply to every person who applies to be admitted as an advocate and solicitor by virtue of section 15(2).
(2) An application for admission by such a person shall be by a petition to the court and the petition shall be verified by affidavit.
(3) The petitioner shall file his petition in the Registrar’s office not less than one month before it is to be heard.
(4) The petition shall have exhibited to it —
a true copy of the order of court admitting and enrolling the petitioner as a Malayan practitioner;
a certificate issued by another Malayan practitioner who shall be of not less than 7 years’ standing that to his personal knowledge the petitioner has been in active practice in Malaysia for a continuous period of not less than 3 years in the 4 years immediately preceding the petition; and
a recent certificate issued by the secretary or other officer of the body charged with responsibility for investigating allegations of professional misconduct or breaches of professional discipline in those parts of Malaysia where the petitioner has practised that at the date of the certificate no disciplinary proceedings are pending or contemplated against the petitioner and that his professional conduct is not under investigation.
(5) The petition and certificates referred to in this section shall be in the form prescribed by the Board.
—(1) A copy each of every petition and affidavit required to be filed under section 17 or 18 together with true copies of each document exhibited thereto shall, within 5 days of the document being filed in the Registrar’s office, be served on the Attorney-General, the Board and the Society.
(2) If the Attorney-General, the Board or the Society intends to object to any petition, there shall be served on the petitioner not less than 3 clear days or such shorter period as the court may allow a notice of objection in which shall be set out in brief terms the grounds of objection.
(3) Any such notice of objection shall be filed in the Registrar’s office at any time before the day fixed for the hearing of the petition.
(4) It shall not be necessary for the Attorney-General, the Board or the Society to be represented at the hearing of any petition unless the Attorney-General, the Board or the Society, as the case may be, intends to object to that petition.
—(1) Any person may enter a caveat against the admission of any petitioner and upon such a caveat being entered, no application for the admission of the petitioner shall be heard except after not less than 3 clear days’ notice has been given to the person entering the caveat.
(2) Every caveat under this section shall be entered in the Registrar’s office and shall contain the full name, occupation and address of the caveator, a brief statement of the grounds of his objection and an address for service.
(3) If at any time after the admission of any petitioner as an advocate and solicitor it is shown to the satisfaction of the court that any petition, affidavit, certificate or other document filed by a petitioner contains any substantially false statement or a suppression of any material fact, the name of the petitioner shall be struck off the roll.
—(1) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this Act, the court may, for the purpose of any one case where the court is satisfied that it is of sufficient difficulty and complexity and having regard to the circumstances of the case, admit to practise as an advocate and solicitor any person who —
holds Her Majesty’s Patent as Queen’s Counsel;
does not ordinarily reside in Singapore or Malaysia but who has come or intends to come to Singapore for the purpose of appearing in the case; and
has special qualifications or experience for the purpose of the case.
(2) The court shall not admit a person under this section in any criminal case unless the court is satisfied that there is a special reason to do so.
(3) Any person applying to be admitted under this section shall do so by originating motion verified by an affidavit of the applicant or of the advocate and solicitor instructing him stating the names of the parties and brief particulars of the case in which the applicant intends to appear.
(4) The originating motionand affidavit or affidavits shall be served on the Attorney-General, the Society and the other party or parties to the case.
(5) At the time of the service, the applicant shall pay the prescribed fee to the Attorney-General and the Society for their costs incurred in the application.
(6) Before admitting a person under this section, the court shall have regard to the views of each of the persons served with the application.
(7) The Registrar shall, on payment of the prescribed fee, issue to every person admitted under this section a certificate to practise specifying in it the case in which the person is permitted to appear.
(8) Any person to whom a certificate to practise has been issued under subsection (7) shall, for the purpose of his employment in that case, be deemed to be a person to whom a certificate to practise has been issued under section 25.
(9) The Registrar shall not enter the names of persons admitted under this section upon the roll but shall keep a separate roll for persons admitted under this section.
(10) In this section, “case” includes any interlocutory or appeal proceedings connected with a case.
—(1) Any person dissatisfied with any decision of the Board may apply to a Judge for a review of the decision.
(2) If the Board fails to determine any request within 3 months after it has been first submitted to it, the applicant may apply under this section as if the request had been determined adversely to him.
(3) Every application under this section shall be made by summons in chambers in the petition of the appellant if he has filed a petition and otherwise by originating summons.
(4) The Judge hearing the application may, in his discretion, adjourn the application into open court.
(5) Every such summons in chambers or originating summons, as the case may be, shall be supported by evidence on affidavit and shall be served together with the affidavit on the Board and shall not be heard until after the expiry of 12 days after service on the Board.
(6) At or before the hearing of the application, the Board may submit to the Judge a confidential report which shall not be filed in court but a copy thereof shall be furnished to the applicant.
(7) A confidential report under this section shall be absolutely privileged.
(8) At the hearing, the Judge may dismiss the application or may make such order in accordance with the provisions of this Act as he thinks fit.
(9) A Judge who is a member of the Board shall not hear any application under this section.
—(1) Petitions for admission as an advocate and solicitor shall, except during a court vacation, be heard on the second Wednesday of every month unless the Chief Justice otherwise orders for any particular month.
(2) No petition for admission shall be heard by a Judge who is a member of the Board.
—(1) Every person admitted as an advocate and solicitor of the Supreme Court shall make the declaration set out in subsection (2).
(2) Subject to any necessary modification to conform to the religious beliefs of the petitioner, the declaration shall be in the following form:
“I, A.B., do solemnly and sincerely declare (and swear) that I will truly and honestly conduct myself in the practice of an advocate and solicitor according to the best of my knowledge and ability and according to law.
So help me God”.
(3) The Registrar shall keep a roll of advocates and solicitors with the dates of their respective admissions.
(4) The name, with the date of admission, of every person admitted shall be entered upon the roll in order of admission.
(5) Every person admitted as an advocate and solicitor shall pay the prescribed fee and the Registrar shall deliver to him an instrument of admission signed by the Chief Justice or the Judge who admitted the petitioner.
(6) This section shall not apply to persons admitted under section 21.