Deferment of Implementation of Recommendations of the Committee for the Professional Training of Lawyers
28 February 2023 Posted in Press releases
- The Ministry of Law (“MinLaw”) announced on 27 February 2023 that the implementation of the new professional training regime for lawyers, as recommended by the Committee for the Professional Training of Lawyers (“CPTL”), will be deferred and will apply from the 2024 session of Part B of the Singapore Bar Examinations onwards. This takes into account the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and provides more time for industry stakeholders to adjust to these changes.
- The CPTL was set up by the Honourable the Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon in 2016 to conduct a root-and-branch review of the professional training regime and to make recommendations on how it might be modified to raise the quality and consistency of training standards across law practices.
The CPTL made three key structural recommendations1:
a. Uncouple the call to the Bar from the right to practice as a lawyer;
b. Lengthen the practice training period from six months to one year; and
c. Raise the standard and stringency of the Part B examinations.
- In August 2018, MinLaw announced that it had accepted in-principle the CPTL’s recommendations2 and that implementation of the key changes would take place from the 2023 session of Part B of the Singapore Bar Examinations onwards.
- A Working Group, comprising representatives from MinLaw, the Singapore Institute of Legal Education, the Supreme Court of Singapore, and the Law Society of Singapore, was set up to implement and operationalise the CPTL’s recommendations.
- In 2019, MinLaw also conducted a public consultation3 on the proposals to implement the recommendations of the CPTL. The majority of respondents, comprising a good mix of practitioners, in-house counsel, law students and members of the public, agreed with the various recommendations on implementation put forward by the Working Group.
- MinLaw has considered the suggestions received, and where appropriate, worked with the CPTL Working Group to incorporate the feedback into the Legal Profession Act Amendment Bill, which will be tabled for First Reading in Parliament later this year.
Deferment of Implementation
- The legal industry has provided feedback that more time is required to adapt to the changes recommended by the CPTL, to take into account the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. After careful consideration, MinLaw will defer the implementation of the key structural recommendations to apply from the 2024 session of Part B of the Singapore Bar Examinations onwards.
MINISTRY OF LAW
28 FEBRUARY 2023
Infographic - Key changes to the admission and training of lawyers
Annex – FAQs on the Recommendations of the Committee for the Professional Training of Lawyers
1. The full report by the Committee for the Professional Training of Lawyers (CPTL) is available here. ↩
2. For more information, refer to MinLaw’s press release (“In-principle acceptance by MinLaw of the recommendations by the CPTL”, August 2018). ↩
3. For more information, refer to MinLaw’s press release ("Public consultation on the recommendations of the CPTL”, November 2019). ↩
Last updated on 28 February 2023