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Opening of the Legal Year: Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia

6 February 2020
 

In early January, Law Council President, Pauline Wright, attended the Opening of the Legal Year ceremonies in Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia where she joined international bar leaders and members of the legal profession.

In Singapore, Ms Wright co-facilitated a Presidents’ Roundtable dialogue at the Law Society of Singapore along with Ms Melissa Pang, President of the Law Society of Hong Kong, and Mr Gregory Vijayendran SC, President of the Law Society of Singapore. The theme of the dialogue was “Zero tolerance for bullying and harassment.”

In her speech, Ms Wright highlighted the importance of inclusion and diversity both within Australia’s legal profession and around the world. She said diversity is crucial to the sustainability of the legal profession.

“A truly inclusive legal profession should reflect the community it serves, and improving the diversity of the profession translates into improved access to justice in our communities.

While there is significant work still to be done, an increasingly multicultural legal profession provides culturally appropriate and multilingual legal services and representation to some of the most marginalised Australians, including Indigenous Australians and refugee and migrant communities.”

In Hong Kong, Ms Wright delivered a presentation at the Presidents’ Roundtable on the theme “Sailing through Challenging Times.” She discussed how effective stakeholder engagement is critical to the Law Council and the profession. “Without strong stakeholder engagement, we cannot expect to effect change or influence the development of the law or have any role to play in upholding justice and the rule of law…”

Ms Wright also participated in various meetings with key stakeholders.

She held a number of meetings in relation to the Singapore Convention; meeting with Mr Joel Lee Tye Beng, Chairman of the Singapore International Mediation Institute and Professor of Law at the National University of Singapore; Mr George Lim SC, Chairman of the Singapore International Mediation Centre; Mr Chuan Wee Meng, CEO of Singapore International Mediation Centre; and Mr Marcus Lim, CEO of Singapore International Mediation Institute. Ms Wright also met Mr Steven Thiru and Mr Christopher Leong – past Presidents of the Malaysian Bar and current Vice President and Immediate Past President of LAWASIA respectively; and Mr Gavin Ku, Consul at Australia’s Consulate-General in Hong Kong.

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