Delivers the opening speech of the meeting on November 5, Binh said that since officially becoming an entity of ASEAN connectivity, the CACJ has made unceasing efforts to perfect its structure, increase activities, and boost interaction with other entities and organisations inside and outside of the region, to further promote democracy, the efficiency of state management, the enforcement of law-governed state principles, and peace, stability, and prosperity in the region.
Judicial and legal systems in the bloc integrating with one another based on widely-recognised common standards has helped reduce law enforcement costs, facilitated business, migration and residency of Southeast Asian enterprises and people, enhanced judicial systems’ transparency and predictability, consolidated investor trust, and created the opportunity for fair capital access and competition among countries, he stressed.
CACJ has become an important cooperation channel, he went on, helping member courts share information and experience, boost mutual understanding, and strengthen cooperative ties. It has also helped complete an ASEAN Community of unity in diversity.
Participating in CACJ reflects the growing mutual understanding among judicial systems in ASEAN and the willingness to enhance both multilateral and bilateral cooperation among courts of member nations, Binh said.
At their first-ever online meeting, hosted by the Vietnamese court, chief justices discussed ways to realise ideas and initiatives identified at previous events. They also looked into the regional context amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges facing CACJ and the courts of members, along with solutions to those problems.
The delegates reached high consensus on many issues, notably the approval of the action plan for six CACJ working groups.
At the end of the event, they signed the Hanoi Statement, which highlights the success of the first-ever online meeting of the CACJ thanks to Vietnam’s thorough preparations.
The council took note of the severe impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the socio-economic development of most ASEAN member countries, which has put pressures on courts to handle a large number of cases while preventing the spread of the disease.
The document also acknowledged the initiatives raised by Vietnam and courts of other ASEAN member countries regarding solutions to deal with the pandemic’s impacts, with the aim of promptly addressing cases, protecting legal rights and interests of people, and strictly handling and preventing violations of regulations on pandemic prevention and control, while ensuring safety and minimising the risks of epidemic spread during the settlement.
In his closing remarks, Binh said the success of the meeting demonstrated the development of a harmonious, self-resilient, innovative, cohesive, responsible and responsive ASEAN.
The official expressed his hope that the council will complete all of its set plans and grow further, and pledged to closely coordinate with other chief justices and colleagues of supreme people’s courts in ASEAN, and make efforts to fulfill his tasks, contributing to the development and success of the council.
The CACJ was formerly known as the ASEAN Chief Justices Meeting (ACJM), and was established in Singapore on 23 August 2013. It provides a regular forum for the Chief Justices to discuss and exchange views on common issues facing ASEAN Judiciaries. More broadly, the CACJ aims to strengthen partnerships and uphold the rule of law within and across ASEAN./.
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