: An online news portal reported this week that the University of Malaya (UM) is the first university in the country to have a student-run law journal publisher.
However, some lawyers from the legal fraternity are slowly speaking up against such claims saying that the above is untrue.
Lawyers who were former students from the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) say that it was them, and not UM, who are the first publishers of a student-ran law journal.
Newspaper clippings sighted by Astro AWANI
, some dating back to 2002, show that claims made by these lawyers could be true.
The clippings, from The Star and Berita Harian, possibly dated in early 2002 ran reports highlighting the fact that it was the IIUM Ahmad Ibrahim Kulliyyah of Laws' students as running the Law Majalla, which is the IIUM's law school's Law Review.
Fahda Nur Ahmad Kamar, a Partner of law firm - Fahda Nur & Yusmadi says that "I was the founder of the Tan Sri Ahmad Ibrahim Legal Research Group that was set up in year 2000.”
“I continued being part of the research group, as Editor-in-Chief of the legal journal Law Majalla, until it was published in 2002" says Fahda.
The claims made by IIUM-graduate lawyers also go beyond them being the first, but that they were the only ones in the country at that time. Fahda added "as I recollect, we were not only the first student-run law journal publication in the country, but we were the only ones doing it too during that period".
Standards run high when it comes to student-led law journals. Amongst reputable ones include the likes of the prestigious Harvard Law Review and the Yale Law Review. It is therefore critical for claims on Law Reviews in the country to have the record straighten out if the need arises.
Upon asking on why the need to set the record straight, lawyer Noramilin Yusof of Messrs Abu Talib Shahrom, and now UKM Assoc Prof Dr Shahrul Mizan Ismail, both of whom were members of the editorial and research team in year 2002 also spoke on the matter.
Noramilin emphasised that “publishing a legal journal on our own was a difficult task without proper funding. It was not right for another institution to claim to be the first”.
Law Majalla was first published in 1991. After a 10 year hiatus, a 2002 edition was also published.
“Financial support is vital to ensure continuity of any student project and I hope that UM's current venture would have that support” says Assoc. Prof. Shahrul Mizan.
The University of Malaya Law Review’s inaugural volume, which will be published on 31 July 2017, features an article by retired Federal Court judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram. Also announced are articles featuring UM law professor, Datuk Shad Saleem Faruqi and Selangor Speaker YB Hannah Yeoh.