Practice and Procedure in the Administration of Muslim Family Law | Programme

OVERVIEW  |  SPEAKERS 

PROGRAMME 
 

Venue: Stamford Room, 1 Coleman Street, #08-06 The Adelphi, Singapore 179803


Programme is subject to change without notice. Timings are reflected according to GMT + 8 hrs. 

TIME

PROGRAMME

08:30 AM

REGISTRATION

09:00 AM

KEYNOTE ADDRESS  & BOOK LAUNCH BY
THE HONOURABLE JUSTICE VALERIE THEAN, SUPREME COURT OF SINGAPORE

09:30AM

JURISPRUDENTIAL TRENDS IN MUSLIM FAMILY LAW - A SINGAPORE PERSPECTIVE 

Moderator: 

  • Ms Halijah Mohamad, Sole Proprietor, Halijah Mohd & Co

Speaker:

  • Mr Ahmad Nizam Abbas, Managing Director, Crescent Law Chambers LLC

Synopsis:  Even though the Syariah Court has been around since 1958, it still remains largely an enigma to many, including lawyers. This session provides a brief journey on the applicability of Muslim Law, prior to arrival of the British administration in 1819, through the enactment of Mohammedan Marriage Ordinance 1880 and Muslim Ordinance 1957 until the introduction of the Administration of Muslim Law Act in 1966. By comparing the past legislation with the present, we examine why in some particular clauses in AMLA , we see the phrase ‘according to the Muslim Law as modified, where applicable, by Malay custom’.  

This session will explain the role of Kadis in registering marriages and divorces how their roles have led to certain legal conundrums to exist today , for example, the Syariah Court can only make orders on nafkah iddah and mutaah but  not children or property if the divorce had been recorded before a kadi. Issues on jurisdiction and powers of the Syariah Court have been the subject of High Court and Court of Appeal decisions and their impact on the practice at the Syariah Court will be examined as will the use of civil law authorities at the latter court. 

Within the Syariah Court body of jurisprudence itself, there have been wider discussion of scholarly work from beyond the Shafii school of law. Various factors such as the diversity  in composition of the backgrounds of the Syariah Court bench and bar, the changing demographics and increasing cross-border relationships of parties have contributed to the evolution of trends. This session also aims to provide participants with a platform to share insights on how judicial decisions can be contextualised according to the needs of the society within an accepted legal framework.

10:30 AM

MORNING TEA

11:00 AM

PROCESS AND PROCEDURE IN THE SYARIAH COURT

Moderator: 

  • Mr Norhakim Md Shah, Partner, I.R.B. Law LLP

Panellists:

  • Ms Masayu Norashikin Mohamad Amin Registrar, Syariah Court 
  • Ms Shahrinah Abdol Salam, 2Director / Deputy Director of Legal Aid, Legal Aid Bureau

Synopsis: “Not only must justice be done, it must also be seen to be done”.  For advocacy to be effective, the litigation lawyer must know, understand, and abide by all the procedural rules governing his case. These rules safeguard the principles of natural justice by ensuring that parties have a fair opportunity to be heard by the Court.

In this interactive session, participants will have the opportunity to clarify procedural difficulties and ambiguities in practice, as well as gain insights from the Registrar of the Syariah Court, and the former Registrar, on key aspects of Syariah Court’s processes and procedures against the backdrop of the Muslim Marriage & Divorce Rules.  The panellists will share on the common pitfalls that can be easily avoided, and tips to aid the lawyer in preparing his case in an expedient manner that can potentially reduce costs and time wastage.

12:30 PM

LUNCH

02:00 PM

PERSPECTIVES FROM THE BENCH - ADVOCACY IN THE SYARIAH COURT AND THE APPEAL BOARD 

Moderator: 

  • Ms Istyana Putri Ibrahim, Senior Assistant Director / Assistant Director of Legal Aid, Legal Aid Bureau

Panellists:

  • Ms Guy Ghazali, Senior President, Syariah Court of Singapore 
  • Mr Mohamed Faizal Mohamed Abdul Kadir SC, Member of MUIS Appeal Board, Deputy Chief Prosecutor, Attorney-General’s Chambers 
  • Mr Azmin Jailani, Member of MUIS Appeal Board, District Judge, Family Justice Courts

Synopsis: Effective advocacy is an indispensable skill for any litigation lawyer, regardless of whether they are practising in the civil courts, the Syariah Court, or the MUIS Appeal Board (“Board”). When done well, an effective advocate not only presents their developed case theory with clarity and precision, but in the most persuasive manner possible before their principal audience – the Court.

In this session, participants will have the opportunity to gain perspectives from the bench, through the thoughts and experiences of the Senior President of the Syariah Court and two members of the Board, who will share their take on effective written and oral advocacy in their respective forums.

The panellists aim to share how effective advocacy starts from the time counsel obtain their initial instructions, the importance of proper document/evidence gathering and legal research, how the case develops at the different stages of the proceedings in the Syariah Court (i.e., pleadings, interlocutory applications, affidavits, the divorce and ancillary matters hearings including the adducing of oral testimony for the divorce where required, written submissions, oral arguments), and its eventual form before the Board (i.e., the Petition of Appeal, written submissions, and oral hearing before the Board). While certain core fundamentals apply across each forum, the panellists will share certain nuances applicable to their respective forums, and how effective advocacy is both precise and adaptable to its circumstances. The panellists also share how effective advocacy not only applies to the Court, but also an advocate’s dealings with their counterparts and their clients.  

03:30 PM

NETWORKING TEA