Charting Asia’s Success Story Through Effective ADR Solutions: Asia ADR Week 2018

The Asian International Arbitration Centre (AIAC) held its highlight event of the year, the Asia ADR Week 2018, which commenced on 5th May. This Conference is the Centre’s first ADR Week as the newly rebranded AIAC (formerly known as Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration).

The Asia ADR Week is a follow-up to the hugely successful Kuala Lumpur International ADR Week (KLIAW) 2017 and KLIAW 2015 events that attracted over 400 local and international delegates and 140 esteemed speakers from all over the world.

The keynote address of this year’s Conference was presented by the Secretary-General of the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization (AALCO), H.E. Professor Dr. Kennedy Gastorn. Titled “ADR in a Changing World: The Asian Experience”, His Excellency imparted his thought-provoking insight on the evolution of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in these changing times and in particular, how the Asian continent reacts to it.

Spanning across three days and held in conjunction with the Centre’s 40th anniversary, the ultimate highlights of the Conference include the official launch of the Asia ADR Week 2018 and the Centre’s new identity. Another momentous occasion of the Conference would be the official launch of the Asian Institute for Alternative Dispute Resolution (AiADR) which will be held on 6th May 2018. AiADR is the first not-for-profit, member-based, continental centre for ADR dedicated to promoting the practice of ADR through affordable and accessible education, and development of the profession across Asia, Africa and its neighbours.

This year’s Conference provides an apt platform to promote Asia as a pivotal market for trade agreements as it touches on the growth of the Asian and Malaysian economies and the corresponding opportunities in fields such as oil & gas, renewable energy, law, banking, construction, and transportation.

The Conference covers key issues including the promotion of business and investment within the region and how the ADR framework is designed to complement the expansion and growth expected from the commercial industry in the coming years with the anticipated economic boom.

A riveting panel discussion is set to take place between AIAC Director Datuk Professor Sundra Rajoo and The Honourable Justice Professor Anselmo Reyes during an exclusive premier, “Unveiling the Amendments to the Arbitration Act, 2005”. The Arbitration Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2018 which was recently passed by the Senate foresees significant impact. These amendments which will come into effect upon Royal Assent and by notification in a Gazette, date to be determined by the Minister, is In line with the 11th Malaysia Plan and the Global Competitiveness Index. They are reflective of the revised UNCITRAL Model Law 2006 providing clarity, enhanced procedural efficiency, access to justice, as well as innovative measures that will reinforce Malaysia’s status as an attractive arbitral jurisdiction and a safe seat for all parties.

As the AIAC understands that no business needs are alike, the Centre has developed modern rules for cost and time efficient ADR proceedings based on the UNCITRAL Rules. These Rules consisting of Arbitration Rules, i-Arbitration Rules, Fast Track Arbitration Rules and Mediation Rules which were launched in March 2018 are complete with streamlined services albeit, each having distinct features hence putting the Centre on par with other modern jurisdictions internationally.

The Conference concludes with the construction-centric Construction Industry Payment and Adjudication Act (CIPAA) Conference on the final day, an installation that looks into recent jurisprudence in relation to its impact on statutory adjudication. This segment explores the challenges arising from AIAC’s Standard Form Contracts, a suite of building contracts which was launched in August last year, officiated by Minister in charge of legal affairs, YB Dato' Sri Azalina binti Othman Said.

In line with AIAC’s vision of spearheading ADR regionally and globally, the AIAC and AALCO will jointly be organising a two-day AALCO Annual Arbitration Forum on Arbitration and International Trade Law: A Quest for Institutional Convergence Amid Interacting Regimes on 21 – 22 July 2018.

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