The Faculty of Law, University of Malaya, was the proud host of the 11th ASLI Conference, carrying the theme "Law in Asia: Balancing Balancing Tradition and Modernization". The Conference was held on 28th and 29th May 2014, at the Faculty premises, the Sultan Azlah Shah Building. This is the second time that Malaysia has played host to this prestigious conference, the first hosts being the International Islamic University of Malaysia who hosted the 7th ASLI Conference.

The Conference began with the annual meeting of the Board of Governors of ASLI on the 27th of May, the eve of the Conference. After a fruitful meeting, later in the evening the members of the Board of Governors were hosted by the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department to a sumptuous fine-dining cruise dinner on the Putrajaya Lake, Putrajaya, the administrative capital of Malaysia. Guests had a pleasant experience taking in the beautiful sunset while indulging in fine dining, sailing along on an almost silent cruiser.

The conference started with a gong – literally, when it was declared open by our former Dean and former Vice Chancellor, Tan Sri Datuk (Dr) Rafiah Salim. She was also the first female Vice Chancellor in Malaysia, a lawyer by qualification and delivered an enlightening opening address on how the Faculty of Law severed its umbilical cords from Singapore, where it was conceived and birthed, but due to the parting of the ways between Malaysia and Singapore, the Faculty of Law, University of Malaya, forged ahead on its own.

Our Keynote Speaker, Dato' Mahadev Shankar, a prominent Malaysian lawyer and former Malaysian Court of Appeal Judge, delivered an interesting address on the conference theme, and interspersed his excellent and intellectual discourse with apt and amusing anecdotes which had the conference participants in a lighter mood before the serious discussions that a legal conference usually entails.

On the second day of the conference, we started again with another renown figure in Constitutional Law, Professor Roberto Toniatti, a professor of Comparative Constitutional Law at the Faculty of Law, University of Trento. His speech focussed on the rituals of tradition, and how such tradition, when embraced into the modern elements of the law, could serve as a valuable tool for charting future directions in legal developments.

Parallel sessions spanned across two days covered various pressing issues ranging from Criminal and Family Law, Constitutional Law, Environmental Law, Human Rights, Business Law, and Technology Law and Intellectual Property. The speakers had extremely well prepared papers, and a number of questions were forthcoming from the participants, some challenging the ideas that were put forward by the speakers.

The ASLI conference as always, has proved to be an excellent platform to forge lasting relationships between the members and participants. Fruitful discussions were also held between the participants during the Members’ Open Forum organised during the lunch period on the first day of the conference. Doorways to new frontiers were opened, as participants explored the various areas of research that they could spearhead collectively across borders.

The lighter (and heavier on the waistline) part of the conference included a pre-cocktail, cultural dinner on the first night of the conference, showcasing our various cultural and folk dances by our very own University Cultural Dance Troup. On the second night, an optional dinner was held at the Majestic Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, a rich and influential heritage, built in 1932, by a Dutch architectural firm. The hotel boasts of neo-classical and art deco styles, and is characterised by tall white Roman columns with a Porte Cochere driveway that endows it with a sense of grandeur.

We are pleased that the tremendous success of the 11th ASLI Conference, as evidenced by the many positive comments received from the participants has indicated that the ASLI conference has achieved its multi-faceted objectives of being a forum for legal scholarship, networking and research and capacity building among the legal scholars in Asia and beyond.