KUALA LUMPUR, June 1 — Lawyers will be allowed to work during the nationwide ‘total lockdown’ from today until June 14 under certain limited circumstances, even though legal services are not listed as an essential service during this phase of the movement control order (MCO), law minister Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan announced today.
Citing the government’s May 30 announcement, Takiyuddin noted that legal services are not in the category of essential services during the first phase of the MCO — otherwise known as ‘total lockdown’ — from the June 1 to June 14 period.
“This means activities for legal services are not allowed throughout that period,” he said in a statement today.
He noted however that the National Security Council had yesterday taken note that physical attendance in court was still required for new prosecutions where an accused person is charged, remand orders, and various applications in criminal cases.
In line with that, Takiyuddin said the government has agreed to give exemption to enable lawyers who need to represent clients for these three types of criminal matters to be present in court.
“Permission to go to court for lawyers representing clients for these cases of New Prosecutions, Remand Orders and Various Criminal Applications can be obtained from the nearest police station,” he said, adding that lawyers are asked to refer to the standard operating procedures for legal services during the MCO period from the National Security Council.
He also confirmed that law firms that are providing legal services to companies that are in the essential services category can operate, but noted that these law firms must apply from the Ministry of International Trade and Industry for permission.
“Besides that, the government also agrees for law firms that are involved with corporate legal services and conveyancing for the essential services sector to apply for permission to operate according to the company/factory/business related to the essential services being represented.
“In relation to this, law firms that are representing these companies/factories/businesses can apply for permission to operate from the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (Miti) through the Covid-19 Intelligent Management System (CIMS) 3.0 portal,” he said.
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