Distinguished Malaysian legal scholar awarded Honorary Fellowship

Rt Hon Lord Thomas of Cwmgïedd, Chancellor of Aberystwyth University, presenting Professor Dato' Dr Rahmat Mohamad as Honorary Fellow

Rt Hon Lord Thomas of Cwmgïedd, Chancellor of Aberystwyth University, presenting Professor Dato' Dr Rahmat Mohamad as Honorary Fellow

19 July 2023

Professor Dato' Dr Rahmat Mohamad, an eminent Malaysian legal scholar, has been awarded an Honorary Fellowship by Aberystwyth University as part of its annual graduation celebrations.

Rahmat Mohamad, who completed a PhD in International Trade Law at Aberystwyth, is Professor of Law at MARA Technological University in Malaysia (Universiti Teknologi MARA), where he has served in various senior roles since 1986.

Along with his impressive achievements as an academic lawyer, Rahmat Mohamad has contributed to many areas of Malaysian public life, including as Secretary-General of the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization, Chairman of the National Sports Institute of Malaysia, and Chairman of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia. 

Professor Dato' Dr Rahmat Mohamad was presented as Honorary Fellow by Emeritus Professor John Williams, on Wednesday 19 July 2023.

The full conferral presentation is available below, in the language in which it was delivered.

Presentation of Professor Dato' Dr Rahmat Mohamad by Emeritus Professor John Williams:

Ganghellor, Ddirprwy Is-Ganghellor,  raddedigion, gyfeillion. Pleser o’r mwyaf yw cyflwyno’r Athro Dato Dr Rahmat bin Mohamad yn gymrawd Prifysgol Aberystwyth.

Chancellor, Pro Vice-Chancellor graduates and supporters.  It is an honour and a privilege to present Professor Dato’ Dr Rahmat bin Mohamad as a Fellow of Aberystwyth University.

Professor Rahmat was born in Johor in Malaysia.  He studied law at the Institut Teknologi in Malaysia, obtaining an Advanced Diploma in Law in 1985. He obtained an LL.M. in Commercial Law from the University of Bristol in 1986. In 2001, he successfully completed a doctorate at the Law Department, Aberystwyth University.  The title of his thesis was "Dispute Settlement Mechanism in the ASEAN Free Trade Area.” 

During his distinguished career, Rahmat Mohamad has held many senior positions in the Universiti Teknologi MARA, one of Malaysia's leading higher education institutions, including Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Assistant Vice-Chancellor, and Dean of the Law Faculty.

As a practising academic lawyer, he has published widely and is a regular presenter at national and international conferences.  He has wide-ranging interests.  His research output includes dispute resolution, the harmonisation of the international legal order, global governance, sanctions in international law, the International Criminal Court, and marine biodiversity. 

He has significantly contributed to public life based on his impressive achievements as an academic lawyer.  For example, between 2008 and 2016, Professor Rahmat was the Secretary General of the Asian African Legal Consultative Organisation, an intergovernmental organisation established to advise member states on international law. In that role, he achieved much as the Head of AALCO’s delegation at the United Nations, particularly in raising awareness of the importance of international law concerning, for example, people trafficking and war crimes.

In 2021 the Council of the International Union for Conservation of Nature appointed him the World Conservation Congress Deputy Elections Officer. He has recently been appointed chairman of Malaysia's Human Rights Commission, SUHAKAM, accredited by the International Co-ordinating Committee of the National Human Rights Institutions.  The Commission promotes human rights education, advises on legislation and policy, and conducts investigations.  As chairman, he has the critical task of protecting and promoting human rights in a world where they are increasingly being challenged.  It is a position of national and international significance and reflects his standing in academia and beyond.

In addition to the above, he is currently the Chairman of the National Sports Institute of Malaysia. The institute’s functions include the development of sports in Malaysia.

Professor Rahmat’s career demonstrates an unwavering commitment to public service in education and beyond.  He is international in his outlook, and his work shows that he places great emphasis on nations working together and the central role that international law plays in achieving that. 

Aberystwyth is proud of his achievements.  He is one of the many Aberystwyth alumni from Malaysia who have significantly impacted politics, law, and society in Malaysia and beyond.

Ganghellor, mae’n bleser gen i gyflwyno’r Athro Dato' Dr Rahmat Mohamad i chi yn Gymrawd.   

Chancellor, it is my absolute pleasure to present Professor Dato' Dr Rahmat Mohamad to you as a Fellow of Aberystwyth University.

Aberystwyth University Honours 2023

Each year, Aberystwyth University confers Honorary Awards on a small number of distinguished individuals in recognition of their outstanding achievement and contribution.

Aberystwyth University awards celebrate individuals who have roots in, or connections to, the region and have either: made an exceptional and outstanding contribution to the development of the University over a prolonged period; gained recognition for national or international excellence in an academic area relevant to the University; or made a significant contribution to the cultural, academic, educational, professional or economic arena.

The 2023 Honorary Fellows are (in order of presentation):

  • Helen Prosser, Director of Teaching and Learning at the National Centre for Learning Welsh
  • Tina Evans, ‘Human on Wheels’ inspirational blogger and motivational speaker, and television presenter
  • Ben Thompson, Short Film Programmer at Tribeca Festival in New York
  • Ann Griffith, Leader of Wales and the World at the 2022 National Eisteddfod
  • Professor Dato' Dr Rahmat Mohamad, Professor of Law at MARA Technological University in Malaysia
  • Kate O’Sullivan, veterinary surgeon for Mill Referrals, Director of Ystwyth Vets and British Small Animal Veterinary Association volunteer
  • Phil Thomas, veterinary surgeon, Director of Ystwyth Vets and Director of Iechyd Da
  • Ian Gwyn Hughes, Head of Public Relations at the Football Association of Wales and former BBC Wales football correspondent.