MKM to organise talks to raise awareness on legal matters

National 1 minute, 43 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE Social Welfare Council (MKM) has teamed up with Yusof Halim & Partners (YHP) to offer monthly legal talks in a bid to raise public understanding of basic laws.

Mohd Yusof Halim, a partner at the law firm, said yesterday the new programme will focus on a wide range of legal topics that are of public interest, from domestic issues such as marriage and divorce to non-domestic matters including road traffic accidents.

“We realised many members of the public actually do not understand basic laws which affect them, such as can a wife file for divorce and on what grounds can she do so,” he said.

He explained the monthly programme was introduced in response to MKM’s weekly Legal Advice and Advisory Clinic, where pro bono lawyers received numerous enquiries particularly relating to Syariah laws on matrimony and inheritance.

“The whole idea behind this is the legal maxim that ‘ignorance of the law is no excuse’ but in reality does everybody know the law? The simple answer is no,” he added.

By providing legal talks on a regular basis, Mohd Yusof hoped the public will be better informed about the laws which concern them. He said the programme also aimed to dispel inaccurate legal information widely circulated on social media.

“Most people don’t know even the basic laws... We (felt) obligated to try to raise public awareness about these matters,” he said.

Open to the public, the free programme will take place on the third Friday of every month with the first talk scheduled for September 23 from 2.30pm to 4.30pm at the Lecture Hall, Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.

The talk next Friday will focus on Syariah law and domestic violence; topics which Mohd Yusof pointed out are prevalent in their pro bono work.

“There is generally a lack of understanding about basic laws, because our interaction with the law is minimal... Do you know what your rights are if you get arrested? I think when people know exactly what the law is, society can function better,” he said.

The Brunei Times