The fourth ASEAN Chief Justices’ Roundtable on the Role of the Judiciary in Environmental Protection concluded in Hanoi on December 14 after two days of sitting.

The event, co-organised by the Supreme People’s Court of Vietnam and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), focused discussions on cooperation in environment-related issues among ASEAN’s national courts, the Jakarta Common Vision on Environment for ASEAN Judiciaries and the Hanoi Plan of Action.

They also looked at how to ensure rights of locals while protecting the environment and a range of issues such as deforestation and the trafficking of timber and wildlife.

Addressing the closing ceremony, Chief Judge of the Supreme People’s Court of Vietnam Truong Hoa Binh said the roundtable was a success with participants agreeing to increase the role of the courts in environmental protection.

It offered a chance for representatives from the ASEAN courts to share experience and information on addressing environment-related disputes, he said, adding that its outcomes will make a practical contribution to the building of the ASEAN Community by 2015.

The ASEAN Chief Justices’ Roundtable was established by Harafin Tumba, Chief Judge of the Supreme Court of Indonesia. The first meeting was held in Jakarta in 2011.-VNA