Saturday, 14 December 2013

NYLC report - Seminar on Tablets & Touch Screens: Transforming Practice Through Technology

NYLC Top-Up Series | Seminar on Tablets & Touch Screens: Transforming Practice Through Technology (28 Oct 2013)    

Contributed by Vishnu Jeevapragasan, Officer, National Young Lawyers Committee and photos by Satha Selvan Subramaniam, Senior Administrative Assistants, Bar Council

The Bar Council National Young Lawyers Committee (“NYLC”) organised its first NYLC Top-Up Series seminar on 28 Oct 2013.  The NYLC Top-Up Series is a series of seminars, workshops and talks catered specifically for young lawyers.

The two-hour session, entitled “Tablets & Touchscreens: Transforming Practice Through Technology” was held at the Raja Aziz Addruse Auditorium and  attended by 31 participants consisting of Members of the Bar, pupils in chambers, private sector employees and staff of law firms. 

The seminar was conducted by Jason Kay and Foong Cheng Leong.  Both speakers have managed to successfully integrate current technology into their respective practice.

Jason Kay was the head of the Malacca Legal Aid Centre in 2010 and 2011, and is currently a member of the Bar Council National Legal Aid Committee.  He has published two articles on utilising technology alongside legal practice, namely, Using the iPad in Your Legal Practice (Re: Lex, September 2012) and How Technology Can Help Your Legal Practice (Praxis, Oct-Dec 2012).

Foong Cheng Leong is the Chairperson of the KL Bar Information Technology Committee. He runs a paperless and virtual office utilising numerous apps.

The main goal of the seminar was to allow the participants to learn and implement technological solutions to their practice as well as day to day operations.  During the seminar, Jason Kay educated the participants on free apps in the current market that would simplify their current daily rituals, which amongst other things included taking notes, storing and distributing business cards, navigating, storing documents, converting file types viewing and referencing files and much more.  He also provided simple and concise instructions on how to utilise these apps in a way that can genuinely make an impact on the amount of waiting time a litigator may have in a day.  

Foong Cheng Leong, among other things, demonstrated how participants could go through court judgments in various jurisdictions ranging from Singapore, the United Kingdom, Australia, Malaysia and much more.  He also showed participants how they may obtain these judgments for free, obtain translations for free and browse and search through judgments.  He also shared his experience in creating a virtual library — an impressive and fairly comprehensive e-library of over 9,000 cases on over a hundred topics.

Participants were thoroughly engaged in the seminar and echoed that enthusiasm in the question-and-answer session.  There was a lot of banter and curiosity and many of them came out refreshed and admitted that this seminar would make a tremendous amount of difference in their practice.  Some participants requested that more of such seminars be conducted to cater towards conveyancing practitioners or more senior Members of the Bar.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal charge 3 (Amos Yaron) and charge 4 (State of Israel)

Full judgment of the case of the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal in the case of Amos Yaron and the State of Israel.

Statement of Amicus Curiae Defence Team - 25 November 2013
The Amicus Curiae Defence Team were appointed to assist the Tribunal in the absence of an appearance of either Amos Yaron or the State of Israel. 

The Amicus role was to put the Prosecution to proof on the burden of beyond reasonable doubt. The Tribunal has held that the Prosecution has met that burden against both Amos Yaron and the State of Israel.

The Amicus hope that the outcome of the trial brings the Palestinian witnesses closure with respect to the events about which they testified. 

Jason Kay
Head, Amicus Curiae Defence Team 
Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal 
25 November 2013

Friday, 5 July 2013

Unilateral conversion of minors (to Islam) issue in Malaysia -June/July 2013 | A note from a non-Muslim in Malaysia to the Muslims inMalaysia, with much love.

I have refrained from typing out anything long for this issue because legally, the analysis from both the Malaysian Bar Council and PPMM (Persatuan Peguam Muslim Malaysia) can be read and understood by anyone with a reasonable intelligence who puts in the time and effort. Hint: Look out for the term "obiter dicta". 

[Links to statements made by the Bar Council and PPMM]

I refrained also because I did not want to repeat the usual, "It's NOT FAIR to the non-converting non-Muslim parent," line because that is obvious. No point I add to the noise. 

But this morning, a good way to EXPLAIN this to my Muslim friends, and Muslims in Malaysia generally (who support the proposition that unilateral conversion of a minor to Islam is alright), from my point of view, that of a Malaysian Chinese Christian, dawned upon me. So this is my attempt at it.

A bit of background (And this is all true. Please do not think I am making up this story for it to be a morality tale. I don't do stuff like that): I started attending Sunday School at church at the age of 8. I went for confirmation at 15. I was active in the youth groups at church and at school. After secondary school, I began to question my faith, and Christianity, in general. I stopped going to church - purposefully and consciously. (I did still attend the cell group meetings once in awhile, but my heart was cold.)

During the time away from church, I considered other religions and atheism. The one religion/faith that I was very wary of approaching was Islam because in Malaysia, once you're in, you can never get out without serious upheavals to your life. So there was always a big "CAUTION" sign in my head whenever Islam came up for consideration. But I did happily learn many things (and this is continuing) about it. 

Long story short; after a few years, I made a decision that whatever problems I had with the church and the faith, I really did believe in the core of Christianity in my head and in my heart of hearts. (I still don't attend church regularly, but that's another story). What I did get during my years of 'wondering' was an appreciation of the different perspective different religions/faiths have on life. And for that I am very grateful.

With that background, I hope you (my Muslim reader/friend) will appreciate the seriousness I have, and hurt I feel, when I say this: I have known a few Muslims throughout the years from the time I left church up till now whose CONDUCT in life made me SO ATTRACTED to Islam that the thought that Islam is true did more than just cross my mind. They were, and are, shining examples of the faith. The beauty of Islam shines through them.

But, during that same time, the WAY some Muslims have talked/acted, for example, during the "Allah" issue, and this "unilateral conversion of minors to Islam is alright" issue, leave me in no doubt that Islam is definitely not for me. 

I need to say it like this so that you can understand what your vehement defence of the position that "unilateral conversion of minors to Islam is alright" looks from my point of view, and I dare say, from the point of view of most non-Muslims in Malaysia. The beauty and JUSTICE of Islam is the last thing that comes to mind when I hear your words defending that position.

Haughty words are not endearing. They do not win converts.

I think I can stop here. I believe you, as a Muslim, understand fully the point that I am making.

I wish you well. 
I wish you peace. 

Jason Kay
04 July 2013

P.S. If you are wondering - Yes, I do have an answer of what would be fair in this situation: Let the child be exposed to both the original religion(s) of the parents, and Islam (since one parent has converted), and let the child choose his/her religion upon reaching majority. That would remove all arguments/heartaches/drama in the interim. As to the hypothetical situation of the child dying without believing the "right" religion, my simple na├»ve answer is this: Only God knows/decides who goes to heaven and hell.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

On the Indelible Ink issue - GE13 Malaysia

I'm just thinking out loud here.

With many of us having access to a camera phone, and there being some reports (Al-Jazeera) of the indelible ink coming off easily, would you join me in this experiment?
Take one photo of your finger after you vote on 05/5/2013. 
Take a second photo on the day the ink disappears (whether by you purposely trying to get it off; or just by doing daily chores, work, etc.)

Make a statutory declaration (SD) if the ink goes off too soon (i.e. less than 24/48/72 hours, according to your preference) - a sample SD is available here. Give that SD to your favourite political party or Bersih.  I'm sure they'll appreciate it and know what to do next.  They may call you to assist in possible court case(s) thereafter.

What will it cost you?
  • Time to take photos: about 2 minutes (1 minute for each photo)
  • Time to fill up SD: About 5 minutes
  • Cost of printing photos: Roughly RM2 (RM1 per photo at any photo shop with a kiosk to print from smartphones)
  • Cost of printing SD & affirming it: About RM10
  • Cost of sending it to political party or Bersih: About RM5 by hand or registered mail. Time taken varies from 30 minutes to 1 hour plus.
  • Time to attend court case: Varies from 1 day to many days.
Value to democracy: PRICELESS

Join me, if you really care, and are concerned about the “delibility” of the indelible ink.

Thursday, 14 February 2013