Remember when 11 trainee lawyers were caught cheating in the 2020 Bar examinations?
One of them has acknowledged the irony of dishonesty in an honesty-driven field, and has withdrawn his application to be called to the Bar.
Withdrew Application After Agreeing to Conditions
Mr Leon Tay Quan Li, 26, had worked with another candidate, Ms Lynn Kuek Yi Ting, to cheat in Part B of the Singapore Bar Examinations 2020.
On May 11, Mr Tay, represented in court by Ms Luo Ling Ling, was granted approval to withdraw his application to be called to the Bar.
In a hearing before Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon, he agreed to two conditions set by the court.
Firstly, he must not bring a fresh application for admission to the Bar in Singapore or other countries for at least five years.
Secondly, if and when he brings a fresh application, he will fulfil any requirement by the Attorney-General, Law Society of Singapore, Singapore Institute of Legal Education, or the court to prove his fitness for admission.
Apology Letter: Actions were “Truly Reprehensible”
In his apology, Mr Tay acknowledged that his actions were “truly reprehensible” and were a severe lapse of judgement.
He also understood that his actions have “tarnished public confidence” in the legal system, after his dishonest act while applying for a profession where honesty is paramount.
He also apologised to all members of the legal fraternity, fellow candidates who took the Bar exam, as well as all members of the public. Mr Tay added that he was “deeply remorseful” for his mistake, and had shocked and disappointed his parents.
Knowing that he is not fit to be admitted to the Bar, he has withdrawn his application. He will deeply reflect on his actions, and will spend more time on volunteering and pro bono work to contribute to the community in the future.
Lawyer Defended Exam Cheat, Says He Was In Ill Health
Ms Luo, who represented Mr Tay in court, posted about him on her LinkedIn.
She described him as a “smart boy who made a mistake”, revealing that during the first Bar examinations, Mr Tay was in ill health and his parents had serious health issues too.
She noted that in the second examinations, Mr Tay scored a distinction without cheating. She then pointed out that it was not as though he needed to cheat to pass the examinations.
She added that Mr Tay is the only one who had withdrawn his application currently, proving his remorse.
Mr Tay also proved that he has a gift for the law, as he played an active role in his own case by drafting two affidavits. He learned fast from Ms Luo, who said that it would be a “tremendous waste” if he does not return to the legal profession.
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