03 December 2015

Opening Speech of RWY Sports Law Conference 2015, by Richard Wee

1) Yang Berhormat Tuan Khairy Jamaluddin, Minister of Youth & Sports
2) Y.A.M Tunku Tan Sri Imran Ibni Almarhum Tunku Ja’afar, President of the Olympic Council of Malaysia
3) Datuk Dr Sundra Rajoo, Director of Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre of Arbitration

We wish to welcome each and every one of you to the third annual RWY Sports Law Conference. The main objective of this conference is to create awareness of Sports Law and to generate discussions and exchange views in this area of law. We aspire to promote, develop and expand sports law in Malaysia and  South East Asia. We are of the view that for Sports to be successful, not only efforts to improve the stakeholders of sports are relevant, but service providers such as Legal services for sports must raise their game too.

For a long time now, since we have been involved in sports law, Messrs RWY have noticed the lack of understanding about sports law. For many people, any lawyer helping a sports based company or person, is a sports lawyer. That is not accurate. A Sports Lawyer would understand the unique interpretation of for example, football rules and doping issues. A Sports Lawyer will also know that the standard of proof for sports is not “beyond reasonable doubt” (like in criminal cases) or “balance of probabilities” in civil cases. In fact, the standard of proof for sports disputes is “comfortable satisfaction”. These are just some peculiarities of the jurisprudence of sports law. It is apparent that there is much for us to understand and comprehend in sports law in order to best serve the Sports Industry.  

With that in mind, RWY decided to initiate this series of sports law conferences, in 2013. Today, we have the largest conference since. There are more speakers sharing their views in this Conference that the 2 earlier editions  and definitely a lot more delegates have registered. While Everton Football Club had made the journey to KL last year to speak in the Keynote Address about football financial fair play; this year we are extremely honoured to have with us, our Minister of Youth and Sports and the President of Olympic Counsel of Malaysia (OCM). Their presence inspires us to continue with our effort in promoting this area.

Ladies and gentleman,
In Malaysia, the Sports Development Act 1997 is a statute of parliament governing the area of sports law particularly the administration of sports. Unfortunately, this act of parliament is due for an overhaul. For example, where there is an internal dispute, Section 23 of the SDA states that the matter shall be resolved in a manner prescribed by the committee’s regulations. However, if they are unable to do so, Section 24 allows the aggrieved party to refer the matter to the Minister for further resolution. Effectively the Minister becomes an Arbitrator. Regarding this issue of dispute resolution, we are of the view that the SDA should reflect the worldwide trend of institutionalized dispute resolution agencies for sports. It is time for Malaysia to have a national sports tribunal to resolve any sports dispute.

In 2012, KLRCA executed a memorandum of understanding with the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS). Effectively the MOU appoints KLRCA as one of CAS’s arbitration centres. These are exciting times for sports law practitioners, particularly in Malaysia, where within our neighbourhood we now have an international court for sports. With CAS here in Kuala Lumpur, the need for a national sports tribunal becomes ever more important. I understand that there are plans to have such a tribunal and we at RWY look forward to that formation.

Ladies and gentleman,
It is our view that Malaysia and even South East Asia should have a specific platform for those interested in sports law to congregate. We are made to understand that KLRCA wish to form a sports law association. We share that sentiment and would support that idea. In fact for the last few months, Messrs RWY have actually planned to form such an association too. We have drafted a constitution for this suggested platform and even created a proposed Logo. We would suggest, that if such an association is formed, it may be called the “Malaysian Sports Law Association” (MSLA). But we will heed the leadership of KLRCA and we are willing to work together with KLRCA to form this association.

Ladies and Gentlemen:
We want fellow Malaysian and South East Asian lawyers to understand this area of law, equip yourself and give high quality service to the Sports Industry. Why cant we represent major athletes like David Beckham or Tiger Woods? Why cant we export Malaysian lawyers to attend Sports Tribunal in other countries? We have the quality, capacity and capability to do so. It is this ambition, that led us to host and organise this annual Sports Law Conferences. We believe that Malaysia can, and one day will, become the Sports Law hub in this region.

Ladies and Gentlemen:
We at Richard Wee and Yip are honoured that all of you have made time to be here where we can share our passion about sports law with you. At this juncture we with to record our thanks to :-
1) YB Khairy Jamaluddin, Minister of Youth & Sports
2) Y.A.M Tunku Tan Sri Imran Ibni Almarhum Tunku Ja’afar
3) All our speakers from Malaysia and overseas.
IJM Construction Sdn Bhd , Mr Liew Hau Seng
6) Volunteers from Brickfields Asia College for granting us access to their students and sending a team of volunteers to assist in this conference.
7) And last but not least, each and every one of you who made it here today.

We hope you will enjoy this conference as much we have enjoyed organizing and hosting this event. Have a good conference. Thank you.

Richard Wee
3rd Dec 2015

No comments:

Post a Comment