8th Council of ASEAN Chief Justices Meeting

The special value of the Council of ASEAN Chief Justices, CACJ lies in the commitment and concrete efforts by its ASEAN member states. Speaking at the 8th Council of ASEAN Chief Justices meeting virtually, the Honourable Dato Seri Paduka Steven Chong, Chief of Justice of the Supreme Court, emphasized that bolstering cooperation can bring about benefits in revitalizing trade and investment. According to the Chief of Justice of the Supreme Court, in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, CACJ and ASEAN as a whole have been resilient and are able to continue their work largely uninterrupted. The Honourable further explained that this underscores the strength of the relations among the member states and shows commitment and solidarity in regional cooperation. The Honourable also said that in a post COVID-19 world, all parties must continue to work together to build stronger judicial networks and to strengthen the ties amongst ourselves to ensure a robust and sustainable recovery for all.

The meeting was chaired by the Honourable Nguyen Hoa Binh, Chief Justice of the Supreme People's Court of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam and attended by the Chief Justices from all ASEAN Judiciaries. CACJ provides a regular forum for the Chief Justices to discuss and exchange views on common issues face by the ASEAN Judiciaries. It is a platform to promote close relations and build mutual understanding among the ASEAN Judiciaries. CACJ also facilitates judicial cooperation and collaboration to enhance economic growth and development in ASEAN.

In his speech, the Honourable Dato Seri Paduka Steven Chong suggested a number of initiatives to the CACJ moving forwards, namely:

i. To consider having 'Legal' and/or 'Judicial Cooperation' formalized as part of the next ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation Work Plan in 2023 and advancing our cooperation in strategic and priority areas together with the ASEAN Plus Three nations, China, Japan and South Korea;

ii. To consider expanding the breath of the information available on the ASEAN Judiciaries Portal (AJP) to include matters involving cross border issues such as family matters and civil processes in order to promote greater access to justice; and

iii. To encourage greater collaborative effort in the sharing of information and knowledge in each ASEAN Judiciary's response to COVID-19 so that we can build a shared understanding of what the world and our justice systems will look like after the pandemic.

The Joint Declaration of the 8th Council of ASEAN Chief Justices which was adopted by the Chief Justices and Heads of Delegations is available on the CACJ ASEAN Judiciaries Portal. Also present at the meeting was the Honourable Judicial Commissioner of the Supreme Court, Haji Abdullah Soefri bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin.

Source: Radio Television Brunei

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