PUTRAJAYA, July 8 (Bernama) — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak launched a national, regional and international resource centre for law and legal studies.
The International Centre for Law and Legal Studies (I-CeLLS) is a pioneering project in Malaysia, going beyond research and training functions available at other existing centres or institutes.
It will also provide a platform for experts from various backgrounds and disciplines, including private legal practitioners, academics, government lawyers and policy makers, to interact and address different aspects of key national, regional and international issues.
Najib, who is the patron of I-CeLLS, said the establishment of I-CeLLS was an exciting development on the legal front that would bring further cohesion between the different sectors of the legal fraternity.
“The inception of I-CeLLS shows vision and forward-thinking as it is driven not only by the Attorney-General’s Chambers, but also law academicians and private legal practitioners. “Even more impressively, I-CeLLS has managed to attract international legal experts to work together with their Malaysian legal counterparts in steering I-CeLLS to become a prominent and renowned resource centre for law and legal studies to the nation, region and the world,” he said at the launch of I-CeLLS here Friday.
Also present were Chief Justice Tun Zaki Tun Azmi, Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan and Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail.
Among the members of the executive council of I-CeLLS are Whewell Professor of International Law at the University of Cambridge Prof James Crawford and Ambassador Chusei Yamada, who has a distinguished career as a diplomat and a lawyer for the government of Japan. Both of them have had the privilege of serving the United Nations International Law Commission.
Other international experts on the I-CeLLS executive council are Professor of Comparative and International Penal Law of the University of Nottingham Prof Dirk van Zyl Smit and highly accomplished public international lawyer Robert Volterra.
Also on the council are Malaysian Bar Council president Lim Chee Wee, prominent lawyer and arbitrator Tan Sri Cecil Abraham and a senior professor of law at Universiti Teknologi Mara Emeritus Professor Datuk Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi.
Najib said that with the guidance of the esteemed executive council members, he was confident that I-CeLLS would focus on and attend to the most pressing issues and challenges faced by the nation, region and international community.
“Several projects have been chosen by I-CeLLS to jumpstart its activities. This includes the Climate Change Initiative and the Reform of the Criminal Justice System Project,” he said.
The prime minister said the Climate Change Initiative would focus on developing a legal framework on climate change for the region as well as the international community.
He said the initiative would work towards contributing to and complementing the existing regime at the international level, particularly in the implementation of the outcome of the United Nations Framework on Climate Change Convention negotiations while being proactive to national needs.
Najib said the Reform of the Criminal Justice System Project would study Malaysia’s current criminal justice system and make practical recommendations for the overall and comprehensive reform of the criminal justice system based on jurisprudence and the experience of other jurisdictions.
The prime minister said that for I-CeLLS to be a renowned and prominent resource centre for law and legal studies domestically and internationally, it must carry out its functions in an objective, professional and neutral manner.
Source : Bernama