5 more trainee lawyers cheated in 2020 exam; A-G says it shows lack of honesty, integrity

The Attorney-General is considering applications for admission to the Bar by the five candidates. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The number of trainee lawyers who cheated in their 2020 Bar examination has grown from six to 11.

On Tuesday (April 19), a spokesman for the Attorney-General's Chambers told The Straits Times the Attorney-General is considering five other applications by candidates who cheated in the 2020 Part B of the Bar exam.

No further details were given by the spokesman.

ST had reported on Monday (April 18) that six trainee lawyers who cheated in the exam have had their admissions delayed.

The spokesman said this was the first time the Attorney-General has objected to applications for admission to the Bar for cheating in the Bar exam.

She added the Attorney-General felt such applicants would not be currently fit to be admitted as advocates and solicitors of the Supreme Court of Singapore.

Their misconduct had showed they did not embody the key qualities of honesty and integrity that every lawyer must possess, she said.

The spokesman added: "At the end of their respective adjournments, the applicants would each be required to file an affidavit, showing why he/she is a fit and proper person to be admitted as an advocate and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Singapore as of the date of that affidavit."

ST understands the Bar exam was held online in 2020.

The cases of cheating were first revealed in written grounds by High Court judge Choo Han Teck on Monday.

Five candidates, who had shared answers in six papers through WhatsApp, had to retake the papers after they were found out.

The remaining one, who colluded with another person taking the exam and cheated in three of the papers, had to retake the entire preparatory course for what is known as Part B of the Bar exam.

They have all since passed the required exams, but their applications to be called to the Bar have been postponed - six months for the five and a year for the other.

The Attorney-General had objected to the application by the six, who had mostly trained in big and renowned firms, to be admitted to the Bar.

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Justice Choo had agreed to the Attorney-General's proposal that their applications be adjourned.

Law graduates have to go through a six-month course and pass the Bar exam, known as Part B, as well as complete a six-month training contract with a law firm.

They then qualify to be called to the Bar, which means they can practise as lawyers.

Applications have to be accepted by the Attorney-General, the Singapore Institute of Legal Education and the Law Society.

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