Prior to the passage of the Legal Profession Act 1972, there were two sets of lawyers. They were known as solicitors and barristers. The Act abolished those distinctions, and all lawyers were hence forward referred to as attorneys-at-law. The Legal Profession Act created the statutory body known as the General Legal Council.
The Council is comprised of seventeen (17) members. Fourteen (14) of these members are legal practitioners nominated by the Council of the Jamaican Bar Association. The other three (3) members are the Chief Justice or his/her nominee, the Attorney General or his/her nominee, and one nominee of the Minister of Justice.
All nominated members are appointed by the Minister of Justice after being recommended by the relevant person or body. All members serve for a period of three (3) years and are eligible for re-election. The General Legal Council appoints its chairman from among its members.
The General Legal Council has its offices at 78 Harbour Street in the parish of Kingston. These offices are adequately staffed to provide invaluable services to the public and attorneys-at-law.