The Multimedia University Law Society Special Interest Group (SIG) organized an Arbitration Workshop beginning on the 29th of January 2016 at 8.30pm. The 2-day event conducted at the Faculty of Law Workshop (located at the second floor of the Academic Building) was open to all students to garner further knowledge in the field of arbitration. The topics covered in the workshop ranged from the general introduction of arbitration in Malaysia to specific topics such as sports arbitration.
On the first day, upon registration, participants were given a customized T-shirt as well as a kit containing the booklet for the event, a tag and a folder containing paper and pen. Ms. Daphne Chong, the event director, gave a brief opening speech before inviting the speakers to the floor. The speakers invited were Mr. Richard Wee and Ms. Lesley Lim who focused on Sports Arbitration. Ms. Lesley began the talk by enlightening the participants on the basics of Sports Law before passing the floor to Mr. Richard to deliver his presentation entitled “Alternative Dispute Resolution in Sports: Institution, Solution & Conclusion”. He drew comparisons between Malaysia to the United States, Australia, Canada and Japan where sports arbitration were said to be far more developed as compared to our homeland. Both the speakers were very interactive and kept the participants engaged in their presentation. They were clearly passionate in developing sports arbitration in Malaysia and urged the younger generation of to-be law graduates to further develop the said field. The talk concluded with a Q&A session at approximately 10pm followed by a group photo and light refreshment provided by MULS SIG. The committee then informed the participants to wear the customized shirt for the event next morning.
The second day of the event commenced with breakfast at 9am. By 9.30am, the participants gathered into the venue where the Director of SIG, Mr. Jarett Ong presented his opening speech shortly after. Ms. Rebecca Mathan, the coordinator of SIG also gave a welcoming speech. The first speaker of the day was Mr. Kevin Prakash, a partner in the Mohanadass Partnership and current President of the Malaysian Institute of Arbitrators. In this session, the participants got to know about arbitration in a rather detailed manner. Mr. Kevin explained the process of arbitration and its pros and cons frankly. He also drew comparisons of the structural differences between litigation and arbitration as well as the role of KLRCA. He mentioned that arbitration is commonly used in construction and engineering disputes, however, recent trends show that arbitration is also used in Shareholders’ Agreements, Joint Venture Agreements and Distribution Agreements. Mr. Kevin also talked about the drafting of the arbitration clause in contracts and how to avoid the complications that come with it. His talk was informative and helpful to students who wish to pursue arbitration as a career.
The second speaker was in fact a recent graduate from MMU’s very own Faculty of Law and the founder of MULS External Mooting Special Interest Group. Ms. Rebecca Pang represented MMU in several international arbitration mooting competitions which provided her the exposure and sparked her interest in arbitration. She relayed her personal experience of participating in the international mooting competitions to the listening audience and shared the struggles in forming SIG with her peers. Her talk turned out to be motivational in nature and was very relatable to the participants.
The speaker after Ms. Rebecca was Mr. Lam Wai Loon, former Deputy President of the Society of Construction Law, Malaysia and the current Deputy Chairman of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (Malaysia Branch) as well as the Honorary Secretary of the Malaysian Society of Adjudicators. He delivered a talk on his paper entitled “Arresting the Crisis of Confidence in Arbitration” which had been presented in the International Conference on Arbitration Discourse and Practices in Asia 2015 by University of Malaya. He explained that arbitration was created due to the weaknesses of the courts as it is both cost and time efficient in opposed to the courts. However, he addressed the very real and immediate crisis arbitration is facing. According to his research, the reason for this is due to the improved efficiency of the courts in time and cost aspects as well as the enactment of the Construction Industry Payment and Adjudication Act (CIPAA). He offered solutions which include the enforcement of mandatory rules in arbitration. It can be seen that his session was quite overwhelming for the participants as many struggled to understand the technicalities of arbitration in order to fully comprehend his presentation. Nevertheless, his talk was indeed excellent and educational.
The final speaker was none other than Ms. Melissa Sasidaran, most known for her activism as a human rights lawyer. However, she practices in a wide range of areas including criminal, public and civil law. She too, happens to be an alumnus of MMU’s Faculty of Law. She is currently the Co-Deputy Chairperson of the Bar Council Constitutional Law Committee and the Legal/Campaign Coordinator for Lawyers for Liberty. Her session was completely focused on litigation. However, minor comparisons were made between litigation and arbitration. Her presentation includes the do’s and don’ts in litigation work as well as what to expect from the field of both criminal and civil law. She did not hesitate to share her experience in activism and her opinions on current constitutional issues. Some of her advices to the young audience are to improve Bahasa Malaysia, write often and to get organized. Her Q&A session was very well received as her entire presentation seemed to keep the participants on the edge of their seats. The event concluded at 6pm with the advisor of SIG, Mr. CJ Jacobs’ thank you speech. All in all, the workshop was productive and definitely worthwhile, bringing many benefits to the attending participants.
The Arbitration Workshop 2016 was sponsored by MyKad Smart Shopper, an Affliate Junction program managed by I-Synergy International Sdn. Bhd. The program uses MyKad as its membership ID. With a registered MyKad, you may gain access to exclusive retail privileges at participating merchants’ outlets.
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