[ANNOUNCEMENT: From 1 December 2017, Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.) degrees (also known as Juris Doctor degrees) conferred on or after 1 December 2017 by approved Australian universities will be recognised for admission to the Singapore Bar, provided all other admission requirements are met. For more information, please refer to the Singapore Institute of Legal Education’s website .]
Under Rule 16 of the Legal Profession (Qualified Persons) Rules, the Minister for Law may exempt a person from certain provisions of the “qualified person” requirements in Part II or III of the Rules, subject to such terms and conditions as the Minister may think fit to impose, and the person shall, to the extent of the exemption, be a “qualified person”.
Under Section 14 of the Legal Profession Act, the Minister for Law may, in his discretion, if he is of the opinion that a person possesses such qualification or expertise as would contribute to, promote or enhance the quality of legal services in Singapore or the economic or technological development of Singapore, approve the person as a qualified person for the purposes of the Act, subject to such conditions as the Minister may think fit to impose. The Minister for Law may also exempt individuals from Part B of the Bar Examinations and the practice training period.
Which Requirements Can I Seek an Exemption from?
Before submitting an application for exemption, it is your responsibility to read the Legal Profession (Qualified Persons) Rules and the Legal Profession (Admission) Rules, or to check with the Singapore Institute of Legal Education, to ascertain the requirements from which you need an exemption.
Requirements / restrictions from which the Minister for Law may exempt a person include:
- The requirement to be a Singapore citizen or permanent resident
- The requirement to have a scheduled degree from a scheduled university
- Dual or combined degree
- Accelerated degrees
- Third Class degrees (not ranked within top 70%)
- External degrees
- Twinning programmes
- Part A of the Singapore Bar Examinations
- Part B of the Singapore Bar Examinations (see below)
- Practice Training Period (see below)