The Legal Affairs Division of the Prime Minister’s Department (BHEUU) was established on 8th May 1995 after the dissolution of the Ministry of Law. At that time, the Division consisted of Chief Registrar’s Office of the Federal Court, Legal Aid Bureau, the Official Assignee’s Department and Public Trustee and Official Administrator Department. On 1st August 1995, the Public Trustee and Official Administrator Department was incorporated and known as Amanah Raya Berhad. Hence, the agency administration has been excluded from BHEUU except matters related to the notice of Public Trust officers attendance in courts.
The Chief Registrar’s Office of the Federal Court was separated from BHEUU on 1st July 1996. Despite being separated from BHEUU, its Court Planning and Development Unit of the Chief Registrar’s Office returned to be administered by BHEUU on 16th April 2003.
The Official Assignee’s Department later changed its name to the Department of Insolvency Malaysia (JIM) on 1st October 2003, in tandem with the amendments to the Bankruptcy Act 1967. From October 2009 the Department of Insolvency Malaysia was officially known as the Malaysia Department of Insolvency (MdI).
With effect from January 16, 2010, the name of the Legal Aid Bureau was changed to Legal Aid Department (JBG). Part of the reform process introduced by the Department is to eliminate public understanding of the Legal Aid Bureau from Public Complaints Bureau which is under the supervision of the Bar Council. The rename coresponds to the demand for a better development and expansion of JBG.
BHEUU is also secretariat to the Pardon Board chaired by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong for cases in the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya as well as for security cases. Beginning 2006, BHEUU is also responsible to monitor and coordinate the secretariat of States Pardon Board.
By virtue of the Cabinet decision made on 8th April 2004, BHEUU was appointed to be the secretariat to the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM), taking over from Ministry of Foreign Affairs. BHEUU is responsible to assist Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in the appointment of the board members and submission of feedback from ministries on SUHAKAM’s Annual Report.
Beginning in 2021, the BHEUU function is increasingly extending the list of functions that explained by the order of the Federal Government Ministers (No. 3) 2021 (P.U. (A) 383) effective October 8, 2021. In addition to carrying out existing functions, BHEUU is responsible for the Lead Agency for policy setting and Legal administration that is not under the function of any Ministry/Department. BHEUU is also a leading agency on domestic human rights issues and international feedback and reviews on human rights issues and national legal policies.