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Non-Muslim lawyer gets leave in bid to be syarie lawyer in KL

May 16, 2010

Written by Bernama
Friday, 14 May 2010 12:50
KUALA LUMPUR: A non-Muslim woman lawyer on Friday, May 14 obtained permission from the Civil Court here, in her preliminary legal bid to be a syarie lawyer in the Federal Territory.

High Court judge Datuk Mohd Zawawi Salleh granted Victoria Jayaseele Martin leave application for a judicial review for a mandamus order to compel the Federal Territory Religious Council to accept her as a syarie lawyer without regard that she is a non-Muslim.

Justice Mohd Zawawi made the decision in chambers after rejecting the Religious Council’s preliminary objection to the leave application.

Victoria, 48, has to file a judicial review application within two weeks. The date for the hearing has yet to be fixed.

This is the first test case in Kuala Lumpur of a non-Muslim lawyer being given leave to challenge the ruling that only Muslim lawyers are allowed to practise at the Syariah Court here.

In the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, a key requirement for a syarie lawyer is one has to be a Muslim.

Victoria, who obtained a Diploma in Syariah Law and Practice (DSLP) in 2004 from the International Islamic University Malaysia, had sought legal action at the Civil court after her application to be admitted as a syarie lawyer was rejected by the Religious Council through the syarie lawyer committee.

Speaking to the reporters later, Victoria, who was happy with today’s outcome, said she wanted to be a syarie lawyer in the interest of justice.

Her counsel, Ranjit Singh told reporters that the judge had rejected the Religious Council’s submissions that only the Syariah Court had jurisdiction to hear his client’s application to be syarie lawyer.

Senior Federal Counsel Nadia Hanim Mohd Tajuddin from the Attorney-General’s Chambers represented the Religious Council. — Bernama

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