University Arbitration Subcommittee
The University Arbitration Subcommittee and the ICM Education and Development Subcommittee chaired by YA Datuk Dr Haji Hamid Sultan Abu Backer pioneed the University Aribtration model. The Chairman has conducted extensive surveys of the University Arbitration (UA) concept, conceived by the Chairman, with faculty members of all the 6 public universities (International Islamic University Malaysia, University of Malaya, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia, Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and Multimedia University offering law degrees in Peninsular Malaysia. Chairman conducted this survey with use of a formal survey questionnaire titled “Empowering Universities as Arbitration Centres”. The results were very positive and encouraging. All the participating faculty members not only supported the concept but also wanted it to be implemented as immediate as possible.
It is noted that CIArb – Malaysian branch expressed its full support for this concept. The Chairman also conducted survey of the concept in Singapore with various stakeholders, at the invitation of the Director of Middle East Institute, National University of Singapore. Chairman conducted this survey too with use of a formal questionnaire. The result was overwhelming. All the participating members fully supported the concept.
In the course of the survey and visit to the Universities, the Chairman also undertook an extensive ICM membership drive, that secured a large number of faculty members joining ICM as life members. As a follow up from the concept, the Chairman prepared a research paper to guide the study of feasibility of implementing the concept. This paper was used in the course of the above said surveys.
The Chairman, together with Dato’ Seri Prof. Dr. Ashgar Ali (Dean of Law Faculty in IIUM) and Mr. Arun Kasi, drafted the Court Annexed University Arbitration Rules 2018. Following that, the Chairman held the inaugural meeting of the University Arbitration subcommittee on 29th March 2018. This was attended by the Deans (or the Dean’s representatives) of all the said public universities and by representative of CIArb – Malaysia branch. The meeting was attended by 15 members of the subcommittee, comprising largely of faculty members, CIArb – Malaysia branch’s deputy chairman, etc.
The subcommittee unanimously approved the above said draft Rules at this meeting, with some amendments. In the same meeting, Mr. Arun Kasi was appointed as the secretary of the UA subcommittee.
The unique features of the rules such as (i) low or no party-to-party cost; (ii) limited arbitrator’s remuneration; (iii) time-line for completion of the proceedings; (iv) mode of communication by email; (v) publicising the award in website; etc were appealing to the committee members.
All the faculty members looked forward to a pilot project of the concept to be implemented without delay. They were even willing to participate in the scheme without monetary reward during pilot period.
Following that, the Chairman, with Dato’ Seri Prof. Dr. Ashgar Ali and Mr. Arun Kasi, has come out with a University Arbitration Scheme Book, which will serve as a complete initial guidance to the university arbitration scheme and with the model court annexed university arbitration rules.
CIArb – Malaysia branch has in principle indicated willingness to act as the supervising institution in this program.
With the support that has been secured from universities, faculty members and CIArb, and a draft rules having been drafted, a pilot project can be launched as soon as the Judiciary facilitating references to be made by subordinate courts to the university arbitration.
Chairman has also completed a draft University cum Court Annexed Arbitration Scheme Book and got the approval of Lincoln’s Inn Alumni Committee Meeting held on 18-04-2018 for The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn Alumni Association Malaysia to be the promoter for global implementation of the concept. A draft University cum Court Annexed Arbitration (e-Book) will be circulated to all ICM members shortly.
Report contributed by Mr. Arun Kasi
ICM Executive Committee Member
ICM Education and Development Subcommittee