Fourteen years after the Jabmi Act was enacted by the Bhutan Parliament, one of the most critical elements of the Act has been constituted with the establishment of the Bar Council of Bhutan (Jabmi tshogdey) on Wednesday.
The Jabmi Act remained on paper until the amendment by the Parliament last year. It was amended to suit the changing needs and circumstances in the field of law.
The Bar Council constitutes seven members with an independent representative. Her Royal Highness Princess Sonam Dechan Wangchuck is the president and former Supreme Court justice Dasho Rinzin Gyeltshen is the vice president.
Seven members of the Bar Council were constituted as per the Section 3 of the Jabmi (Amendment) Act 2016, comprising of Attorney General Shera Lhendup as ex-officio member, Dasho Rinzin Gyeltshen and former High Court justice Sithar Namgye, Cheda of UC Associates (Bhutan Law Office), Jamyang Sherab of Garuda Legal Services, and Ugyen Dorji of UD & Partners.
The term for the Council members is three years.
Attorney General Shera Lhendup said that the independent representative has to be a person of high standing in the society as per the provision of Jabmi Act.
Jabmi is a Bhutanese legal counsel who has been licensed to practice, including those who have been issued a licence before the enactment of the Jabmi Act. A jabmi can hold a Bachelor of Laws degree from a recognised university and can enrol himself or herself with the jabmi tshogdey after passing the bar examination.