Contributed by Roobalavaniah Rengasamy, Senior Officer, Bar Council International Professional Services Committee; photo by Md Faizal b Mahat, Senior Administrative Assistant, Bar Council Secretariat
The Bar Council and The German Federal Bar jointly organised a legal dialogue titled “COVID-19 — An Issue of the Legal Profession”, via a webinar on 22 Sept 2020. A total of 35 people, including Members of the Bar, pupils in chambers and non-Members, participated in this legal dialogue.
Salim Bashir, President of the Malaysian Bar, and Dr Christian Lemke, Vice President of The German Federal Bar, officiated the event with their welcoming addresses.
The dialogue consisted of three sets of discussions which focused on access to justice during the COVID-19 crisis, the rising importance of mediation during and after the COVID-19 crisis, and investment in post-COVID-19 times.
Featuring a range of speakers from various organisations from Malaysia and abroad, the dialogue presented a broad range of topics and viewpoints.
The topics covered were as follows:
(1) “Access to Justice During the COVID-19 Crisis” by Mah Weng Kwai, Consultant, Mah Weng Kwai & Associates and Jan Helge Kestel, President, Regional Bar of Thuringia;
(2) “The Rising Importance of Mediation During and After the COVID-19 Crisis” by Shanti Abraham, Advocate and Solicitor, Shanti Abraham & Associates and Ingrid Hönlinger, Anwaltskanzlei Hönlinger; and
(3) “Investment in Post-COVID-19 Times” by Jeff Leong, Partner, Jeff Leong, Poon & Wong and Henning von Zanthier, Von Zanthier & Schulz.
The moderators were Lukman Sheriff Alias, Partner, Zul Rafique & Partners and Rechtsanwaltin Swetlana Schaworonkowa, Senior Legal Advisor, International Department (Asia-Pacific and Israel), The German Federal Bar.
Dr Christian Lemke applauded the Malaysian Bar for the international awards and recognition it had received: firstly, on the occasion of the 2012 United Nations (“UN”) Day on 24 Oct 2012, whereby the Malaysian Bar was conferred the UN Malaysia Organization of the Year Award. The Malaysian Bar received the award in recognition of how it is “an organisation that, through its cumulative work, best exemplifies a commitment to democracy in the country”. Secondly, for the inaugural Union Internationale des Avocats (International Association of Lawyers) (“UIA”) / LexisNexis Rule of Law Award by the UIA on 28 Oct 2016, in recognition of the Malaysian Bar’s strong commitment to the defence and promotion of the rule of law, as well as its vigilance in demanding and supporting law and justice reform in Malaysia.
The webinar ended with closing remarks by Dr Christian Lemke and Lukman Sheriff Alias, who is also Co-Chairperson of the Bar Council International Professional Services Committee.