Strategic Litigation Conference 2020


Since January 2011, the Malaysian Centre for Constitutionalism and Human Rights (MCCHR) has undertaken strategic litigation to pursue court cases that have precedent-setting value and will in the long-term bring about social change and advance human rights in Malaysia.

However, MCCHR is of the view that filing test cases in court is only half the struggle: another equally important part of the process is building the capacity of lawyers on strategic litigation. As such, together with the Kuala Lumpur Bar Young Lawyers Committee (KLYLC), the MCCHR organised its first training for young lawyers in June 2012 and the centre has since then, continued to do so annually. MCCHR has co-organised numerous training events with the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI), the United Kingdom & Eire Malaysian Law Students’ Union (KPUM or Kesatuan Penuntut Undang-Undang Malaysia) and the Bar Council National Young Lawyers and Pupils Committee (NYLPC).

The first Strategic Litigation Conference in 2015 highlighted the overarching goal of strategic litigation – that it can strengthen the protection of human rights in Malaysia. This year, MCCHR and the Bar Council Human Rights Committee, once again, bring together lawyers, activists, academics, policymakers and other stakeholders working in the human rights sphere in Malaysia and from further afield to examine strategic litigation as a transformative advocacy tool.

The conference will open with welcome remarks and a keynote speech followed by a series of sessions discussing human rights advocacy and strategic litigation. Select sessions will be available as live streaming on the web and on social media to provide members of the public access to the discourse happening at the conference. Speakers at the conference comprise prominent members of the legal profession, the civil society, the academia, the public sector, and other stakeholder constituents.Against the backdrop of the rapidly evolving domestic socio-political landscape, this year’s conference seeks to explore strategic litigation as a means of Reinvigorating Human Rights for a New Malaysia.


Day 1 · Sat, 18 Jan 2020

8:30 am – 9:00 am

Registration / Sign-in

9:00 am – 9:20 am

Welcome Remarks by Chief Human Rights Strategist of the Malaysian Centre for Constitutionalism and Human Rights (MCCHR)
Ms Firdaus Husni

Opening Address by Deputy Chairperson of the Bar Council Human Rights Committee (BCHRC)
Mr New Sin Yew

9:20 am – 9:40 am

Keynote Speech by Former Judge of the Court of Appeal
Dato’ Mah Weng Kwai

9:40 am – 10:50 am

Drawing the Line on Fundamental Liberties: Constitutional Rights vs Societal Norms
Panellists: Ms Ivy Josiah, Dato’ Malik Imtiaz Sarwar, Datuk Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi & Mr Thomas Fann
Moderator: Mr Syahredzan Johan

10:50 am – 11:10 am

Morning Break

11:10 am 12:10 pm

Reimagining Restrictions & Limitations: Law Reforms on Freedom of Expression and Opinion
Panellists: Mr Aston Paiva, Mr HR Dipendra & Ms Gayathry S Venkiteswaran
Moderator: Ms Khaizan Sharizad (Sherrie)

12:10 pm – 1:30 pm

Networking Lunch

1:30 pm – 2:40 pm

Moving the Needle on Human Rights: LoyarBurok and Strategies Beyond Lawyering
Panellists: Mr K Shanmuga, Ms Seira Sacha, Ms Siti Kasim, Daw Zar Li Aye
Moderator: Ms Mazni Ibrahim

2:40 pm – 3:40 pm

Film Screening and Discussion – ‘Melawan Arus’
Panellists: Mr Arul Prakkash Ms Michelle Usman
Moderator: Ms Seira Sacha

3:40 pm – 4:00 pm

Afternoon Break

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Bridging the Digital Divide: The Rights to Access
Panellists: Ms Serene Lim Ms Sonya Liew
Moderator: Mr Louis Liaw

5:00 pm – 6:30 pm

Perbahasan – ‘Malaysia Perlukan Undang-undang untuk Memerangi Berita Palsu’
Pencadang: En Muhammad Ilham Hafiz Azmi, En Muhammad Luqman Ismail Zawawi & En Muhammad Wafi Anwar Roslan
Pembangkang: En Muhammad Zulfadhli Halim, Cik Nureqha AliaFathini Rosli & Cik Zulaika Zamaluddin
Pengerusi Bersama: Cik Firdaus Husni & En Syahredzan Johan

Day 2 · Sun, 19 Jan 2020

8:30 am – 9:00 am

Registration / Sign-in

9:00 am – 9:25 am

Special Address by Vice-President of the Malaysian Bar and Chairperson of the Bar Council Human Rights Committee (BCHRC) – ‘The State of Human Rights in Malaysia’
Mr Roger Chan

9:25 pm – 10:50 pm

Ecological Justice: The Law, The Politics and The Social Movement
Panellists: Ms G Clare Westwood, Mr Harrison Ngau Laing, Dr K Nagulendran & Ms Khoo Salma
Moderator: Ms Melody Woon

10:50 am – 11:10 am

Morning Break

11:10 am – 12:30 pm

Domesticating Normative Human Rights Standards: Lessons from CEDAW, CRC and CRPD and the Way Forward
Panellists: Mr Andrew Khoo, Ms Honey Tan, Dr Naziaty Mohd Yaacob & Ms Sharmila Sekaran
Moderator: Ms Firdaus Husni

12:30 pm – 1:00 pm

Concluding Presentations
Rapporteurs: Ms Alexie Ng, Mr Louis Liaw & Ms Michelle Usman

1:00 pm – 1:10 pm

Closing Remarks by Vice-President of the Malaysian Bar and the Chairperson of BCHRC
Mr Roger Chan

1:10 am – 2:30 am

Networking Lunch


Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel
Corner of Jln Sultan Ismail & Jln Ampang
50450 Kuala Lumpur

Driving Directions:
Waze · Google Maps

Train Stops:
Bukit Nanas (KL Monorail) ~150 m away
Dang Wangi (Kelana Jaya Line) ~350 m away


The Malaysian Centre for Constitutionalism and Human Rights (MCCHR), is a non-partisan and not-for-profit organisation established in March 2011. The Center’s core mission is to provide an integrated approach towards the protection and promotion of human rights in Malaysia through its civic education (UndiMsia!), strategic litigation and law reform programmes.

The Bar Council Human Rights Committee (BCHRC) is the focal point on human rights issues within the Malaysian Bar. As one of the Bar’s most active committees, it carries out interventions, research, education and training for the interest of the public. Members of BCHRC also participate in legislative reform, conduct training and give human rights talks, and hold watching briefs for the Bar.