Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Spoilt for choice at 3-day law conference

New Straits Times

KUALA LUMPUR: If ever there is a time when a person needs a clone, the Malaysian Law Conference would be it.

The conference, organised by the Malaysian Bar Council, is less than two weeks away.

It is so packed with discussions running concurrently that to sit in just one would mean missing other equally interesting fora.

One series of Day Two sessions is an example. While "Freedom of Religion" is discussed in one room, the "Role of the Bar in Upholding the Constitution" and "Dealing with Electronic Evidence" is available in two other rooms; all at the same time.

This is the 14th biennial conference and, in observance of the 50th anniversary of Merdeka, its theme "50 Years of Merdeka" will focus on the Federal Constitution.

"This is a good time to learn something about the Constitution, not only because this is the 50th year of our independence, but also because it's not easy to get such eminent speakers gathered at this one function," conference chairman Roger Tan said.

The conference will be held from Oct 29-31 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. It is expected to be the largest in the history of the Malaysian Law Conference, with more than 500 participants, Tan said.

Already, the conference has the confirmed participation of lawyers from Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines and Brunei, as well as three judges from the Maldives, and there have been enquiries from the Mumbai Bar and Sri Lanka.

The organisers are hoping to see good participation from the Attorney-General's Chambers, judiciary and the police.

Malaysian legal luminaries will speak on the various aspects of justice and the constitution.

Sarawak Attorney-General Datuk J.C. Fong, for instance, will discuss the continued practice of not allowing peninsula lawyers to work in Sabah and Sarawak in his talk "The Constitution - A Framework for a Sound Federal-State Relationship".

Constitutional law lecturer Professor Shad Saleem Faruqi and Datuk Dr Cyrus Das will speak on "Contributions of the Judiciary to the Malaysian Constitution", while lawyer Tommy Thomas will discuss the 1957 Social Contract in his talk "The Politics and Economics of Malaysia's Constitution 1957-2007".

The conference, which will be opened by Sultan of Perak Sultan Azlan Shah, will include a keynote address by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, a special address on gender by Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil and will be closed by de facto law minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz.

The Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan will speak on "200 Years of Policing and 50 Years of Independence - The Royal Malaysian Police Experience, The Way Forward".

Lawyers, students, academics and the public may go to for further information on the conference.

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