Bar Council’s Chairperson Maumoon Hameed has stated that the parliament has not approved its proposal to provide an opportunity for fresh graduates to pursue experience in the legal field until a license is issued.
MP of Dhaandhoo constituency Yauqoob Abdulla has alleged that the Bar Council is postponing issuing license for fresh graduates and that the council members do not wish to provide an opportunity for the youth. Some other members of the parliament have also criticised the Bar Council.
Speaking to AVAS, Bar Council’s Chairperson Maumoon Hameed said the Legal Act was ratified and came to effect on June last year. The Bar Council was formed after that and members were assigned to the council on July 13.
As per the Legal Act, lawyers will be issued a license to practice upon completion of an exam offered by the Bar Council, and after completing a one-year training. Maumoon questioned how a license can be issued while it has not been one year since the law came into effect.
He detailed that when such as an Act is being implemented for the first time, there should be some leniency for new graduates as well, as was the case of existing lawyers. They had been provided with the opportunity to obtain license within five years while for new graduates are being allowed one year to obtain their licences.
Maumoon added that Bar Council’s examination is a technical exam that will be prepared based on extensive research and technical advice, and it will require a reasonable amount of time to formulate the examination. He noted that he requested the Parliament's Judiciary Committee last year to provide equal opportunities for all graduates. However, when the Council raised concern over the delay in moving forward with the matter during its most recent meeting with the Judiciary Committee, the committee members had spoken against the move, said Maumooon.
Maumoon said he informed the parliament during February this year that more time is required to finalize examination work. He further noted that he mentioned the need to provide leniency for the new graduates even if it meant amending the Act. However, the parliament committee members did not wish to do so at that time.
When the Act came to effect, there were about 100 graduates while the number has now increased to 300.