The month of November proved to be an eventful period for the Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration. The excitement from the Official Launch of the Centre’s new building; Bangunan Sulaiman by the Prime Minister of Malaysia in early November, spilled over to the following week when a packed auditorium greeted the collaborated talk session between KLRCA and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Malaysia. The trend of bringing in quality international talks and seminars to the public was continued when the Centre teamed up with The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) to organise a one day seminar titled, ‘ICSID 101: ICSID Practice & Current Trends In Investment Arbitration.’
ICSID – an autonomous international institution established under the World Bank in 1966 is considered to be the leading international arbitration institution devoted to investor–State dispute settlement; as evidenced by its large membership, considerable caseload, and by the numerous references to its arbitration facilities in investment treaties and laws.
Kicking off proceedings for the day was KLRCA’s Advisory Board Member, Tan Sri Cecil Abraham – taking stage to deliver the welcoming remarks on behalf of KLRCA Director, Datuk Professor Sundra Rajoo who was away attending a conference in the Middle East. Tan Sri Cecil touched on the recent developments of investment treaties in the region and the influence that ICSID has played. He then shared with the audience; the significance of a new collaborative agreement that was to be signed between the KLRCA and ICSID.
ICSID’s Secretary-General, Meg Kinnear was then invited on stage to join Tan Sri Cecil for the official signing of the ‘Agreement On General Arrangements Between The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes and The Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration’. Bearing witness to this signing ceremony were; Lai Jen Li, KLRCA’s Head of Legal Services and Martina Polasek, ICSID’s Team Leader & Legal Counsel.
With the signing ceremony completed, Miss Meg and Miss Martina remained on stage to begin the ICSID 101 seminar. The attendees were given a brief overview of ICSID’s history and functions before being taken through a comprehensive lecture on ICSID’s practices and current trends in investment arbitration. Topics that were covered either side of an one hour networking lunch were; Commencement of the Proceedings and Constitution of the Tribunal, Written and Oral Proceedings, Transparency, Cost of Arbitration and Post Award Remedies and Enforcement.
Proceedings for the evening were concluded with a forty-five minute interactive question and answer session, with the questions coming from all corners of the auditorium – from final year law students to senior corporate figures to senior arbitrators; before Miss Meg Kinnear took the stage one last time to deliver her closing remarks.