KUALA LUMPUR: Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Institutional Reform) Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said on Thursday (Sept 21) witnessed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between Asian International Arbitration Centre (AIAC) Kuala Lumpur and SOAS (School of African and Oriental Studies) University of London Arbitration and Dispute Resolution Centre (SADRC) in London.

AIAC in a statement said the MoU is aimed at advancing collaboration and promote best practices in alternative dispute resolution techniques, including arbitration.

The MoU will see the AIAC and SADRC further develop teaching and research activities in alternative dispute resolution in line with international best practice, to coordinate efforts to promote the use of alternative dispute resolution, the statement added.

Azalina in the statement said the UK and Malaysia have a long shared history of collaborating to tackle mutual challenges and the signing of the MoU between AIAC and SADRC underscores the depth of the two countries’ relationship and commitment to advancing global best practices in arbitration.

The MoU signing ceremony was also attended by Malaysian High Commisioner to the United Kingdom (UK) Datuk Zakri Jaafar, Solicitor General II of the Attorney General’s Chambers of Malaysia Datuk Almalena Sharmila Johan and the deputy director-general of the Legal Affairs Division of the Prime Minister’s Department Dr Punitha Silvarajoo.

The Head of Legal Services, Trade and Promotion at the UK Ministry of Justice Holly O’Callaghan who was present offered the UK’s government’s support, according to the statement.

AIAC director Sundra Rajoo said this innovative partnership can enhance joint efforts to promote best practices in alternative dispute resolution, benefiting not only the UK and Malaysia but also the broader Asian and African region.

SADRC director and SOAS Professor of International Commercial Law, Emilia Onyema said SADRC is proud to become a partner of the AIAC.

“Through signing this MoU, we hope to promote alternative dispute resolution techniques in our SOAS regions, Asia, Middle East and Africa, and particularly Malaysia and learn from our shared experience,” she added.

According to the AIAC, the collaboration would include steps to encourage, enhance and promote areas of cooperation including joint courses and training, joint research programmes, contribution of expertise such as researchers, panellists, speakers and guest lectures to initiatives which share common goals.

Other areas of cooperation are publication of academic journals, books and newsletter, student internship programmes and organising or hosting joint conference, workshops, seminars and forum.

The statement said in addition to arbitration, the two centres have committed to also promote Islamic arbitration, sports arbitration, mediation, adjudication and domain name dispute resolution as alternative dispute resolution methods.

AIAC said the MoU signing comes ahead of the inaugural London International Arbitration Colloqium which will take place on Monday (Sept 25) at the International Dispute Resolution Centre in London to consider the role of international arbitration involving sovereign states.

Over the course of three panel sessions, guests will hear the expert insights on jurisdictional challenges in investment arbitration, the impact of investment claims on states and their sovereignty and the role of third-party funding in access to justice. - Bernama

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