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Bar Council to set up special committee to protect lawyers

PETALING JAYA, 25 Nov 2008: The Malaysian Bar Council plans to set up a special committee to ensure protection for lawyers in view of recent assaults against members of the legal fraternity.

Selangor Bar chairperson Rajpal Singh said he had been appointed to set up the committee by Bar Council chairperson Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan.

“Most of the lawyers who were attacked or received death threats were civil and corporate litigation lawyers and not criminal lawyers,” Rajpal told The Nut Graph in a phone interview.

“We hope to hold dialogues or forums with the police to see what we can do to ensure protection for lawyers. We also hope to educate lawyers about this issue,” he said.

Rajpal, who is also Bar Council deputy criminal law committee chairperson, said the lawyer protection committee is still at a very preliminary stage.

He said the Bar Council hopes to set up the committee by March 2009, before their office term ends.

“We are currently liaising further with the police to compile the case statistics,” he said.

Several of the assault cases had resulted in fatalities, including the murder of civil lawyer Datuk SP Annamalai, who was stabbed to death outside his office in Penang last year, and N Selvamani, who died after she was slashed in her office in Kulim in 2006.

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