Legal Assistance

Disclaimer: The Department of State and U.S. Embassy Bandar Seri Begawan assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the entities or individuals whose names appear on the following lists. Inclusion on this list is in no way an endorsement by the Department or the U.S. government.  Names are listed alphabetically, and the order in which they appear has no other significance. The information on the list is provided directly by the local service providers; the Department is not in a position to vouch for such information.

Law Firms in Brunei Darussalam:

Please refer to the Brunei Judiciary Department website for the most updated law firms listing [PDF 660KB].

Sharia Law Firms in Brunei Darussalam:

For legal advice on issues regarding the Sharia Penal Code (SPC), you may refer to this list of firms [PDF 191KB] qualified to practice sharia law.

While in Brunei, U.S. citizens are subject to Brunei’s laws and regulations. Persons violating the law in Brunei, even unknowingly, may be fined, arrested, caned, and/or deported. If detained, a U.S. citizen will have to go through the Bruneian legal process for being charged, prosecuted, and possibly convicted and sentenced. It is important to keep in mind that the legal process is Brunei can differ significantly from the one in the United States and may not provide the same protections available in the United States.

One of the highest priorities of the Department of State and U.S. Embassy Bandar Seri Begawan is to provide assistance to U.S. citizens incarcerated abroad. The Department of State is committed to ensuring fair and humane treatment for U.S. citizens imprisoned overseas. We stand ready to assist incarcerated citizens and their families within the limits of our authority in accordance with international law, domestic law, and foreign law. The U.S. Embassy will do all that it can to ensure that a U.S. citizen accused of a crime in Brunei is not discriminated against under local Bruneian law, but it cannot guarantee the same protections available under U.S. law.

U.S. consular officers provide a wide variety of services to U.S. citizens arrested abroad and their families; however, they cannot interfere in the Bruneian judicial process.

If a U.S. citizen is arrested, Consular Officials should be notified immediately. This may be done by the police at the time of arrest, or by a friend or relative of the detainee.

We Can Help:

  • Provide a list of local attorneys who speak English.
  • Contact family, friends, or employers of the detained U.S. citizen with their written permission.
  • Visit the detained U.S. citizen regularly and provide reading materials and vitamin supplements, where appropriate.
  • Help ensure that prison officials are providing appropriate medical care for you
    Provide a general overview of Brunei’s criminal judicial process.
  • Inform the detainee of local and U.S.-based resources to assist victims of crime that may be available to them
    If they would like, ensure that prison officials are permitting visits with a member of the clergy of the religion of your choice.
  • Establish an OCS Trust so friends and family can transfer funds to imprisoned U.S. citizens, when permissible under prison regulations.
  • Provide information on U.S. government loans available to prisoners under the Emergency Medical/Dietary Assistance (EMDA) program for destitute Americans incarcerated abroad.

We Cannot:

  • Intervene in the Bruneian judicial system to get U.S. citizens out of jail.
  • State to a court that anyone is guilty or innocent.
  • Provide legal advice or represent U.S. citizens in Bruneian courts.
  • Serve as official interpreters or translators.
  • Pay legal, medical, or other fees for U.S. citizens overseas.

Privacy Act:

The provisions of the Privacy Act are designed to protect the privacy and rights of Americans, but occasionally they complicate our efforts to assist citizens abroad. As a rule, consular officers may not reveal information regarding an individual American’s location, welfare, intentions, or problems to anyone, including family members and Congressional representatives, without the expressed consent of that individual. Although sympathetic to the distress this can cause concerned families, consular officers must comply with the provisions of the Privacy Act.

Additional information can be found on the State Department’s website on Arrest or Detention of a U.S. Citizen Abroad.

Information regarding criminal penalties in Brunei can be found at State Department webpage on Brunei Country Specific Information.