Law Council of Australia


33rd Presidents of Law Associations in Asia (POLA) Summit

23 July 2023

Back (L-R): Johannes Sahetapy-Engel (Chair, International Affairs Division, PERADI), Luke Murphy (President, Law Council of Australia), William Wylie Clarke (President, Fiji Law Society), Victor Dawes SC (Chair, Hong Kong Bar Association), Gao Zicheng (President, All China Lawyers Association), Melissa Pang (Observer, President, LAWASIA), Kang Yu (Observer, Secretary-General, BRILA), Vong Hin Fai (President, Macau Lawyers Association), Frazer Barton (President, New Zealand Law Society).

Front (L-R): C.M. Chan (President, Law Society of Hong Kong), Prashant Kumar (President, Bar Association of India), Dagmar Yu (President, Taiwan Bar Association), Karen Cheah Yee Lynn (President, Malaysian Bar Council), Lisa Sam (Vice President, Law Society of Singapore), Kim Young Hoon (President, Korean Bar Association) and Motoji Kobayashi (President, Japan Federation of Bar Associations).

From 10-15 July, Law Council President Mr Luke Murphy and Senior Policy Lawyer (International), Ms Charlotte Stubbs, attended the International Malaysia Law Conference and the 33rd Presidents of Law Associations in Asia (POLA) Summit hosted by the Malaysian Bar Council in Kuala Lumpur.

POLA is a regional forum of peak legal associations, which began as an initiative of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations and the Korean Bar Association in 1990. The Law Council of Australia has been a member and continuous participant since 1994.

With the agreement of the Malaysian Bar, the Law Council sought to advance the proposal to amend the POLA Charter which informs POLA’s composition and operations. The Law Council had initiated the process to review and update the POLA Charter at the POLA Summit held in Canberra in 2018, and convened a Charter Review Working Group which consisted of representatives from the Law Council, the Japan Federation of Bar Associations, the Korean Bar Association, the Law Society of Singapore, the Law Society of Hong Kong and the Bar Association of India.

At the POLA Presidents’ Summit, President Murphy presented the revised Charter, incorporating the Working Group’s proposed changes and further refinements suggested during the 2022 POLA Summit held in Singapore. The Law Council was very pleased that the revised POLA Charter was passed unanimously by the representatives in attendance.

In the margins of the substantive Conference sessions and Presidents’ Summit, President Murphy met bilaterally with bar leaders from Malaysia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, New Zealand and Fiji. The Malaysian Bar also facilitated meetings with Malaysian judges at the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya, which houses Malaysia’s Court of Appeal and Federal Court, and a tour of the Asian International Arbitration Centre (AIAC).

President Murphy also served as a panellist in a session on Anti-Money Laundering and Legal Professional Privilege.



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