Firstly, Ramadhan Mubarak to all members observing this holy month.
Secondly, there are a few issues that I would like to bring to the forefront as we confront our new normal.
Dress Etiquette for Online Proceedings
The recent months have seen what we have been accustomed to as the norm become quite the opposite. The conduct of judicial proceedings is no exception with, amongst others, urgent applications being heard via video conferencing and some decisions delivered by WhatsApp Video Call.
This change in the forum for judicial proceedings, that is from the physical courtroom or chambers to the comfort of our own homes DOES NOT relieve us in any way, as members of the Bar, from at all times upholding “the dignity and high standing of the profession” as stipulated in Rule 31 of LEGAL PROFESSION (PRACTICE AND ETIQUETTE) RULES 1978 [P.U.(A) 369/ 1978], nor does it reduce the formality of such proceedings; we will still be appearing before a Judge albeit online.
This then dictates that we must nonetheless be dressed decently and appropriately as well as ensure that the area or room in which we take that video or WhatsApp conference is suitable. Doing so, would only project a positive image of counsel concerned in the eye and mind of the Judge.
CPD Cycle 4 (1st July 2018 – 30th June 2020)
For our members called to the Bar from 1st July 2006, it is mandatory to collect 16 points during each cycle. I am disheartened to note that as at 14th April 2020, only 11% of the Johore Bar members that fall within the mandatory scheme have reached at least the minimum number of 16 points with an alarming 52% of you having collected 0 points during the CPD Cycle 4.
The Johore Bar has always been a strong proponent and supporter of continued education and development throughout our members’ careers. In light of that, the CPD Sub-Committee have over the years toiled and troubled themselves to organise talks, workshops and training to aid in that objective. With this CPD Cycle 4 coming to an end soon and despite the MCO, the CPD Sub-Committee, alongside, and with great aid from the Publications & Information Technology Sub-Committee have continued their schedule of talks – only this time in the form of Webinars.
Therefore, I strongly urge all members, even those that fall outside the mandatory scheme to take this time to attend the Webinars organised by the Johore Bar.
Similarly, the Bar Council CPD Committee has been organising a series of CPD Live sessions, at least twice a week. These are free throughout the MCO period. If you missed out on the registration, these sessions will be subsequently uploaded on CPD On Demand. CPD On Demand videos are available online to all members for free at your convenience to watch and gain CPD points.
Right now, there are two full months before the end of Cycle 4. For those members who have only achieved 0 – 15 CPD points, I urge you to make full use of this opportunity where we find ourselves at home with some (or a lot of) free time on our hands to enhance our competence in the legal profession.
In the meantime, I trust and hope that you are all in good health, taking all necessary precautions, and abiding by the directives issued by Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia for the sake of all of our health and safety.
SHAHAREEN BEGUM BINTI ABDUL SUBHAN