AIAC, a hallmark of Malaysia’s ADR identity

Driving the nation’s economic growth through investor-friendly holistic dispute management solutions

This year, Malaysia celebrates its 61st year of independence, taking further strides in becoming a leader in social, economic and technological advancement not only in Asia, but globally.

To these accomplishments of Malaysia as a nation, the Asian International Arbitration Centre or AIAC — formerly known as the Kuala Lumpur (KL) Regional Centre for Arbitration — has contributed to become a hallmark for Malaysia, a trusted provider of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and dispute avoidance services in the region.

AIAC director Datuk Prof Sundra Rajoo (right), one of Malaysia’s pioneering chartered arbitrators, has transformed the centre into a leading and trusted global ADR provider since taking over in 2010. Pictured here at the recently concluded inaugural AALCO Annual Arbitration Forum that featured prominent legal and business personalities from Asia and Africa

Formed pursuant to the host country agreement between Malaysia and the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organisation (AALCO), AIAC is a not-for-profit, non-governmental international arbitral institution which has been accorded independence and certain privileges and immunities by the government of Malaysia for the purposes of executing its functions as an independent, international organisation.

The effectiveness of ADR in our nation has been due to progressive legislations enacted by the government, championed by AIAC and spurred by other key stakeholders within the legal industry recognising the importance of arbitration, mediation and adjudication as grievance redressal mechanism for the businesses; as well as AIAC being an innovative pioneer in the region to provide reliable, cost-effective and credible ADR services to business concerns at national, regional and global levels.

AIAC has a panel of 2,203 ADR practitioners from 76 countries with expertise in various fields of law, and hence, there’s no dearth of ADR specialists for resolving the dispute in a cost-effective and time-bound manner in any domain of law.

The evidence of AIAC as an effective arbitral centre is proved by the fact that there has been a 100% increase in international arbitration cases registered at the centre in recent years. Moreover, AIAC has continued to innovate new ADR services and offerings such as the standard form contract, a suite of standard form of customisable contracts; i-Arbitration Rules incorporating Shariah principles for disputes arising from transactions based on Islamic principles; a sports arbitration course; fast-track arbitration; mediation rules and domain name dispute resolution services — which make AIAC a unique, albeit complete, ADR service provider.

AIAC firmly believes that the “ultimate resource in economic development is people. It is the people and not capital or raw material that develops a nation”. Therefore, AIAC on its part dedicates itself into capacity building for lawyers, students, academicians, judges, businesses and the public through international courses, training programmes, evening talks, workshops, internships and moot competitions to mould and shape the future of the ADR arena.

Back in 1989 when the centre was facing challenges to continue its operations, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (centre) had the foresight to believe in its purpose to create a trusted ADR landscape and urged the centre to carry on. Pictured here at an International Arbitration Conference hosted by the centre on July 1989 in KL

AIAC recently launched the Asian Institute of ADR for promoting the practice of ADR through affordable and accessible education and professional development across the continent and its neighbours through spreading awareness, networking and inclusive think tanks. It would serve as a platform for members by converging international practices and providing opportunities for all stakeholders of the economy in resolving disputes and seeing projects and investments through — with a special focus on emerging Asian and African economies.

AIAC’s vision isn’t myopic focusing just on private disputes, but it is also promoting friendly synergised relations with other nations and institutions. AIAC has collaboration agreements with over 50 local and international institutions located in every continent of the globe, putting Malaysia and AIAC on the global trade map.

AIAC, through its services, has contributed to Malaysia directly and indirectly. As evidenced by studies conducted by think tanks all over the world, a healthy arbitration land- scape contributes to national competitiveness in international business by ensuring fair treatment of foreign investors through effective dispute resolution.

AIAC has administered a total of 2,745 ADR cases to date, up from 22 cases in 2010. Based on an independent advisory study, projections on dispute value for cases from 2010 to 2016 indicate a total of cost savings to the Malaysian economy to the tune of RM280.08 million, as opposed to litigation.

Thus, AIAC in letter and spirit has been committed to the development of Malaysia as a society and nation as a whole, making independence more meaningful.

Visit to know more about the centre and how to effectively manage your disputes.