In brief: IBA backs UN overseer in libel case

The International Bar Association has written to the Malaysian secretary general, urging him to support a call to the Malaysian government to prevent a libel action brought by two commercial companies in Malaysia against a UN special rapporteur. The companies have each pressed for RM30 million (approximately £7m) in an action which relates to an interview Dato' Cumarswamy gave to International Commercial Litigation. He was quoted as saying that he was investigating complaints that highly-placed businessmen were manipulating the Malaysian judicial system. The IBA claims that the action contravenes article 22 of the 1946 Convention on Privileges and Immunities which should protect Dato' Cumarswamy from prosecution in the pursuit of his UN duties.