The 8th ASEAN justice ministers’ meeting kicked off in Phnom Penh on Nov. 4 to debate and decide on a number of legal instruments for ASEAN joint implementation, towards the establishment of an ASEAN Community in 2015.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said the meeting is very important to strengthen and expand legal and judicial cooperation in the framework of ASEAN towards the integration of the ASEAN Community.

However, he added that ASEAN is still facing a number of challenges both inside and outside the region that need to be tackled.

The two-day meeting will also debate the implementation of the ASEAN Convention on Counterterrorism, regional and sub-regional treaties on cooperation in criminal justice, and the model law on maritime security, said Cambodian Justice Minister Ang Vong Vathana.
In addition, they would discuss strengthening mutual judicial assistance in civil and commercial matters among ASEAN member states, the modalities for the harmonisation of ASEAN trade law and the framework agreement on the conservation of coastal and marine environments.

The first ASEAN justice ministers meeting was held in April 1986 in Bali , Indonesia . It has been held once every three years in order to enhance legal and judicial systems and to establish legal frameworks to combat cross-border crime and other offences./.