Chief Judge of the Supreme People’s Court of Vietnam Nguyen Hoa Binh speak at the function. (Photo: VNA)

Bandar Seri Begawan (VNA) – The Council of ASEAN Chief Justices (CACJ) is holding its fifth meeting in Brunei from March 22-25 with the participation of 10 ASEAN member countries.

Chief Judge of the Supreme People’s Court of Vietnam Nguyen Hoa Binh, who is currently chair of the council, announced that the CACJ has been recognised as an official associated entity of the ASEAN.

As from January 19, 2017, the council enjoys all rights and obligations as an official entity associated with the association, which is shown in the amendment of Part 1, Annex 2 of the ASEAN Charter to “Parliament and Court”.

Binh expressed hope that the CACJ will actively join activities of ASEAN for the building of a dynamic, harmonious, law-governed and people-centred ASEAN Community.

The fifth CACJ meeting focused on the process of institutionalization of the CACJ, the building of a portal of ASEAN courts, and some professional issues.

The Vietnamese delegation at the meeting contributed constructive ideas on the formation of a CACJ secretariat and cooperation in judicial training between ASEAN member countries and outside partners.

Participants agreed on the establishment of a CACJ secretariat for the next five years, with Singapore as secretary general and Brunei as vice secretary general.

The CACJ President also signed a memorandum of understanding on a tripartite cooperation among CACJ, the Supreme Court of Singapore and its Academy of Law, which assigns the academy to represent the CACJ in developing an online portal for the council, which is funded by the Norwegian Government.

Regarding the notification of judicial documents in civil procedure in ASEAN, they concurred that all countries should submit their national report on legal regulations in the field to the research group of the council for designing a model law as reference for member countries.

On the management of verdicts and court technology, participants agreed that member countries should send their reports on their own management model to the CACJ working group, so as for the group to build a referential procedure.

Meanwhile, the courts of Malaysia and Singapore pledged to continue sharing their experience in information technology related to court activities with other members.

Regarding judicial training, the countries reached consensus to focus on training in the implementation of intellectual property rights, the law on bankruptcy, and the harmonization of ASEAN ‘s laws of trade and environment.

They also discussed a report by a working group for trans-national disputes related to children, and approved the working plan of the group. Accordingly, a training course on handling family disputes will be held in the Philippines in October this year.

Participants at the meeting signed a joint statement affirming their determination in institutionalizing the CACJ and boosting partnership in improving judicial capacity among regional countries, thus ensuring their comprehensive cooperation serving the building of the ASEAN Community.-VNA