Lawyers should lead on human rights.
At the Malaysian Bar, our seniors paved the way. They have courageously championed human rights causes with unflinching persistence for many years now, from the 70s and 80s, up until the present day.
We must continue their struggle for a Malaysia that is fair and just. We must continue the Bar’s culture and tradition of defending human rights.
It has been eight years since the Malaysian Bar Council committed to promoting the 2011 United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) locally, regionally, and globally, and to push for businesses to respect human rights.
More needs to be done. A group of us proposed several actions to be taken. They are laid out in motion 7.7 (pp. 29-32) here.
We hope all lawyers will offer the motion overwhelming support, as an indication that the practice of standing up against human rights abuse, upholding the rule of law, and protecting fundamental freedoms will go on.
UPDATE: On 18 March 2023, the Malaysian Bar passed the motion with minor amendments. The resolution can be accessed here.