At the meeting (Photo: VNA)
HCM City (VNA) – The 4th ASEAN Chief Justices’ Meeting took place in Ho Chi Minh City on April 1, focusing on the institutionalisation of the meeting itself to improve the efficiency of the cooperation mechanism in the bloc.

Chief Judge of the Supreme People’s Court Truong Hoa Binh, who chaired the event, highlighted the cooperation between the Vietnamese court and those of other ASEAN countries as an effective, multilateral collaboration channel to realise the common goals of the ASEAN Community and particularly ASEAN nations’ courts.

He noted that legal and judicial cooperation should be inseparable from other fields, in the context of deep-and-wide global economic integration.

In addition to opportunities, ASEAN member states are projected to face innumerable difficulties and challenges, including judicial issues such as civil and international trade disputes as well as cross-border, traditional and non-traditional crimes.

The Vietnam Supreme People’s Court raised a number of topics for discussion at the event, including institutionalising the ASEAN Chief Justices’ Meeting, promoting ASEAN integration, building ASEAN Courts’ portal, opening judicial training courses, managing cases and technology at court, and handling cross-border family disputes.

The ASEAN Chief Justices’ Meeting is expected to be as significantly equal as that of top leaders from regional legislative and executive agencies.

Participants also focused their discussion on legal and judicial reform and harmonisation, with a hope to standardise certain norms for the judiciary across the region.

A new topic raised at the event is the protection of children in cases of cross-border family disputes.

Representatives from the Supreme Court of Singapore suggested establishing an information network between ASEAN judges on trans-national children disputes, which is expected to provide information on children-related issues and judicial training.

It was suggested to include trans-national family disputes in the portal of ASEAN nations’ courts.

The Supreme People’s Court of Vietnam has recently issued a decision to establish a family and children’s court at provincial and municipal People’s Courts, with the first to be set up in Ho Chi Minh City.

The first ASEAN Chief Justices’ Meeting was held in Singapore in 2013, while the second and third were hosted by Malaysia and the Philippines in 2014 and 2015.

The meeting has ratified and implemented the establishment of a portal for ASEAN countries’ courts to receive judicial training, and built a mechanism to transmit legal documents in civil procedures between ASEAN members.-VNA