This is an extremely important circular from the Bar Council on a very important matter.

As you can see from the opening paragraph below, the original circular had been issued following discussions between the Chief Justice of the Federal Court, the President of the Court of Appeal, the Chief Judges of Malaya and Sabah/Sarawak, and the Bar Council. The introduction to the circular also states that the Malaysian Bar is responding to complaints from the Bench. Very proactive of them.

Edmund Bon was obviously wrong when he called the Bar Council toothless.

Amer Hamzah has also been disproved.

They’ve shown Karpal Singh that they’re not “weak and ineffective”.

Shanmuga K surely can’t go around saying that the Bar is “totally irrelevant” anymore.

And Wong Fook Meng’s question whether the Bar is a “toothless pussy or roaring lion” has surely been answered.

Those chatty young lawyers can stop questioning whether the Bar is relevant.

Constant complaints that the Bar isn’t concerned with the working conditions of young lawyers have surely proven unfounded.

The Bar Council has shown beyond doubt that it is not unsuccessful or a mere press-release machine.

And they don’t make things up either.

This circular is the ultimate riposte to those who claim the Bar Council doesn’t address, and solve, important issues. The Bar Council is not all talk, no action — it threatens to object to the calls of pupils who dare fall foul of such important guidelines.

This is obviously a matter of great import.

Can you name any issue that could possibly be more important for the Bar Council to be spending their time addressing? Thought not.

UPDATED And it also addresses concerns that the the Courts are bogged down with petty technical details rather than dispensing justice. After all, instead of addressing the issues raised in the Litigation Lawyer Wish List, the Courts are making sure lawyers dress well! A whole new meaning to #LoyarBerfesyen?


Circular No 004/2012

Dated 10 Jan 2012

To all Members of the Malaysian Bar

Dress Code for Advocates and Solicitors Attending Court

We are concerned about complaints from the Bench that some Members of the Bar and pupils in chambers are not properly attired when they appear in court.

In light of these complaints, please find reproduced below the relevant portion of the circular dated 1 Nov 2000, issued by the Federal Court, regarding the dress code for advocates and solicitors attending court.

Pupils in chambers are forewarned that if they fail to comply with the dress code at their call to the Bar, Bar Council will not hesitate to object to their call.

Tony Woon Yeow Thong


Malaysian Bar



Sukacita dimaklumkan bahawa YAA Ketua Hakim Negara setelah berunding dengan YAA Presiden Mahkamah Rayuan, YAA Hakim-Hakim Besar dan Majlis Peguam telah memutuskan bahawa pakaian yang sesuai bagi peguam-peguam yang menghadiri perbicaraan di mahkamah adalah seperti berikut:




Lengan panjang warna putih dengan wing collar warna putih dan bib.

(Shirt) White long sleeves with white wing collar and bib.

Seluar Panjang (Longgar)

Warna hitam/biru kelasi/kelabu gelap. Jalur-jalur dibenarkan.

(Slacks – Loose) Black/navy blue/dark grey.  Stripes permissible.


Warna hitam. Butang bras tidak dibenarkan

(Jacket) Black. Brass buttons not permitted


Warna hitam/biru kelasi/kelabu gelap

(Socks) Black/navy blue/dark gray


Warna hitam/biru kelasi/kelabu gelap

(Shoes) Black/navy blue/dark gray


Warna hitam

(Robe) Black

Pakaian di Kepala

Serban dan songkok dibenarkan.

(Head-Dress) Turban and songkok permitted.



Lengan panjang warna putih dengan wing collar warna putih dan bib.

(Blouse) White long sleeves with white wing collar and bib.


Warna hitam/biru kelasi/kelabu gelap dan labuhnya di bawah lutut. Jalur-jalur dibenarkan.

(Skirt) Black/navy blue/dark gray and its length below the knee. Stripes permissible.

Seluar Panjang (Longgar)

Warna gelap, longgar dan tidak mendakap anggota badan

(Trousers – Loose) Dark trousers and not body hugging

Pakaian Tradisional

Bukan berwarna garang dan tidak menjolok mata.

(Traditional Dress) Not glaring colour and decent.


Warna hitam. Butang bras tidak dibenarkan.

(Jacket) Black. Brass buttons not permissible

Sarung Kaki Nilon – Pilihan

Hanya warna kulit sahaja yang dibenarkan.

(Nylon Socks – Optional) Only skin-tones permissible


Warna hitam/biru/kelabu gelap. Sandal tidak dibenarkan di dalam Mahkamah.

(Shoes)Black/navy blue/dark gray. Sandals are not permitted in Court.


Warna hitam

(Robe) Black

Pakaian di Kepala

Warna hitam/putih/biru kelasi/kelabu gelap. Bunga yang tidak keterlaluan atau corak bercap dibenarkan juga.

(Head-Dress)Black/white/navy blue/dark gray. Subtle floral or patterned prints also permitted.


Semua peguam (lelaki dan perempuan) ditegah memakai apa-apa emblem, riben, lencana, ikatan dan lain-lain yang melambangkan mana mana parti politik atau bermotifkan politik.

(Costume Accessory) All lawyers (male and female) are prohibited from wearing any emblem, ribbon, badge, band etc. which symbolizes any political party or political motive.


Bagi maksud ini pakaian adalah seperti di atas tetapi:

  1. Tanpa jubah.
  2. Kemeja putih bertali leher yang tidak berwarna garang (wing collar dan bib dibenarkan).
  3. Bagi wanita yang memilih memakai tali leher hendaklah tali leher yang tidak berwarna garang (wing collar dan bib dibenarkan).


Di mana kes-kes di dalam kamar dijalankan di mahkamah terbuka, kes-kes itu masih kes-kes di dalam kamar dan pakaian hendaklah seperti yang ditetapkan, di perenggan 3.

5. Pekeliling ini berkuatkuasa serta merta dan pekeliling bertarikh 1 Disember 1997 dan 22 Mac 1999 dibatalkan.

If you are a registered user of the Malaysian Bar website, you may click here to access this circular.

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9 replies on “Important Bar Council Circular on Very Important Issue!”

  1. Sorry for interjecting but im with fashionista on this one. Freedom of expression maybe?

    There's nothing against wearing bright or sharp colored ties in uk. Why should we be any different? Are our judges suspectible to some eye disease related to bright colors? I don't know. However, I do know my red tie and polka dotted tie are collecting dusts as we speak.

    1. Art 5(1) says no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty save in accordance with law. My personal liberty includes my right to wear my Wonder Woman shorts.

      Art 6(2) says all forms of forced labour r prohibited. If I'm forced to wear black n white when i work in court, my labour is forced.

      Art 8(1) says all persons r equal b4 th law and entitled to equal protection of the law. Lawyer who do corporate can wear any color n b sexy. So, court lawyer must b equal to that.

      Art 9(2) says every citizen has right to move freely throughout the Federation.  Exceptions to this rgt when got security, public order or health issues. Dress code not an exception. So, my clothes cannot stop me fr moving in and out of the courts, or reside there.

      Art 10(1)(a) give me right to freedom of expression. Exceptions to that r in Art 10(2)(a), which don't include dress code. What I wear is my expression. I m free to express.

  2. These rules r violating my human rights 2 wear what I want. I don't want black n white only. I want color, red, pink, purple, yellow in my life. I m color. Court n Bar Council shd protect my human rights under th constitn.

  3. Apart from justice being done, it is equally important that justice must be SEEN to be done. When lawyers are not attired appropriately, justice is not seen to be done. Lawyers do not do themselves justice when they dress shabbily, or in bright primary colours. Further, shabby and revealing dressing and loud colours destroy the serious and sober atmosphere of the courtroom, and are as detrimental to the proper administration of justice as KPIs and ill-considered judgments.

    Half the case is won when counsel is smartly dressed. Bad attire can distract a judge from deciding a case according to law; he may instead be influenced by his aversion to fashion (or the lack thereof).

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