Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Senior lawyer elected to International Criminal Bar

Senior lawyer Datuk N. Sivananthan achieved another first for the legal profession in the country when he was elected vice-president responsible for the Asia-Pacific region of the International Criminal Bar (ICB).

The 44-year-old Penang-born is the first Malaysian to hold the post which was decided at the ICB’s 14th biennial meeting in Barcelona, Spain on Sunday.

Sivananthan is also the first Malaysian lawyer admitted to ICB in 2007 and has acted as ad-hoc counsel for Radovan Karadzic who is being tried before the International Criminal Tribunal for war crimes.

“It’s a rare privilege since I’m not only the first Malaysian to be elected to the post but also the first Asian elected for the Asia-Pacfic region,” he told Bernama. He contested the post on the encouragement of other ICB council members.

Sivananthan said he would work hard to raise Malaysia’s profile in the ICB community and also aimed to serve the international organisation at much higher positions. He is also chairman of the Criminal Practice Committee of the Kuala Lumpur Bar.

The ICB looks after the interest of criminal lawyers throughout the world and ensures that the rule of law is followed to ensure fair trials. It also acts as the bar for lawyers admitted to the International Criminal Court.

In Barcelona, Luis de Castillo of Spain was elected president, Mohamed Benelmahi of Morocco was elected vice-president for Middle East states and John Kalala Kabamba of Congo, vice-president for African states. — Bernama

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