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Court dismisses documents disclosure in disciplinary proceeding

A High Court judge on June 11 dismissed a request by lawyer Lenny Rahman for disclosure of documents in an ongoing disciplinary proceeding against her by the Law Society of Brunei Darussalam.

Lenny, representing herself from Messrs HLR Law, sought access to documents related to a client complaint in October 2022. The Law Society, represented by Eric Siow of Messrs J Cheok Eric, argued Lenny’s request amounted to a judicial review, a legal challenge prohibited under Section 84C of the Constitution of Brunei Darussalam.

Lenny claimed the request for document disclosure was necessary to ensure a fair and transparent disciplinary process. Judicial Commissioner Edward Timothy Starbuck Woolley, however, ruled that the request fell outside the High Court’s jurisdiction and was governed by the Legal Profession Act and its specific procedures.

Citing past legal precedents, Justice Woolley reaffirmed that the Law Society’s disciplinary decisions cannot be challenged through judicial review. He further emphasised that the existing rules under the Legal Profession Act do not provide for additional document discovery beyond what the parties intend to rely on in the disciplinary proceedings. As a result of the court’s decision, Lenny’s application for document disclosure was dismissed. The court also awarded costs of BND3,050 to the Law Society. – Fadley Faisal