Dato Ambiga Sreenevasan Speaks on the Role of Litigators in the Advancement of Human Rights and the Rule of Law in Malaysia
October 9, 2022
CPD Series

On the 28th of September, 2022, the Firm hosted Dato Ambiga Sreenevasan at its Continuing Professional Development webinar series for its lawyers.

Dato Ambiga is the Founding Partner of Sreenevasan Advocates and Solicitors. She is also a former President of the Malaysian Bar, a recipient of the US Secretary of State Award for Internal Women of Courage and was conferred the 4th Commonwealth Rule of Law Award by the Commonwealth Lawyers Association in 2019.

Dato Ambiga began the session by speaking of why she decided to become a litigation lawyer and also addressed the principal qualities for effective oral and written advocacy.

The subsequent part of the session then addressed the importance of the involvement of lawyers in human rights and public interest disputes as well as how one could effectively balance an active commercial practice with one’s engagement in public interest issues.

When asked why it was important for lawyers to engage in human rights and public interest issues, Dato Ambiga stated “If lawyers don’t, who will? If we believe in not just the law, but the rule of law, then we must stand up every time the rule of law is undermined or offended in some way.”

Speaking after the session Dato Ambiga emphasised the difference between the Rule of Law and rule by law.

She stated that “The Rule of Law is grounded on the separation of powers and on the principle that no-one is above the law.  Rule by law is where the written law is used as an instrument of oppression by those in power.  Thus laws that do not respect fundamental rights and freedoms would offend the Rule of Law. All written laws must be carefully considered and drafted so that they are fair and just and accord with the Rule of Law.”

The Firm is grateful to have had Dato Ambiga speak at the session, which was immensely insightful and beneficial to all in attendance.

A link to a video recording of the session is accessible here: https://youtu.be/5J-Z1oet6LU.

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