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1. The Honourable Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Brunei Darussalam, Dato Seri Paduka Steven Chong, attended the 8th Council of ASEAN Chief Justices (CACJ) meeting on Thursday 5 November 2020.

2. Under the chairmanship of the Honourable Nguyen Hoa Binh, Chief Justice of the Supreme People’s Court of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the annual meeting convened virtually and was attended by the Chief Justices or their representatives from all ASEAN Judiciaries.

3. The Council of ASEAN Chief Justices (CACJ) provides a regular forum for the Chief Justices to discuss and exchange views on common issues facing the ASEAN Judiciaries. It is a platform to promote close relations and build mutual understanding among the ASEAN Judiciaries. The CACJ also facilitates judicial cooperation and collaboration to enhance economic growth and development in ASEAN. The CACJ aims to strengthen partnerships among ASEAN Judiciaries and uphold the rule of law within and across ASEAN in the spirit of institutional independence and principled partnerships. Accredited as an entity the ASEAN Charter, the CACJ endorses and supports the purposes and principles of ASEAN and the ASEAN Community, in particular adherence to the rule of law and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.


4. In his opening remarks, the Chief Justice highlighted that “the special value of the CACJ lies in the commitment and concrete efforts by its ASEAN member states” and emphasized that “bolstering cooperation can bring about benefits in revitalizing trade and investment.” He added that “in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, CACJ and ASEAN as a whole have been resilient and are able to continue their work largely uninterrupted. This underscores the strength of the links amongst our nations and is a demonstration of our commitment and solidarity in regional cooperation. In a post COVID-19 world, we must continue to work together to build stronger judicial networks and to strengthen the ties amongst ourselves to ensure a robust and sustainable recovery for all.”

5. The Council of ASEAN Chief Justices (CACJ) deliberated on reports submitted on the progress of the various working groups tasked with implementing initiatives or projects, such as the ASEAN Judiciaries Portal (AJP), facilitating civil processes within ASEAN, case management and court technology, judicial education and training and cross-border disputes involving children. The CACJ also acknowledged the serious impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the region’s people and its economies and each ASEAN judiciary was invited to share their experiences in managing their judicial system during the global health crisis.

6. Chief Justice Dato Seri Paduka Steven Chong suggested a number of initiatives to the CACJ moving forward, namely:

  • i. To consider having ‘Legal’ and/or ‘Judicial Cooperation’ formalized as part of the next ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation Work Plan in 2023 and advancing our cooperation in strategic and priority areas together with the ASEAN Plus Three nations, China, Japan and South Korea;
  • ii. To consider expanding the breadth of the information available on the ASEAN Judiciaries Portal (AJP) to include matters involving cross border issues such as family matters and civil processes in order to promote greater access to justice; and
  • iii. To encourage greater collaborative effort in the sharing of information and knowledge in each ASEAN Judiciary’s response to COVID-19 so that we can build a shared understanding of what the world and our justice systems will look like after the pandemic.
7. The Joint Declaration of the 8th Council of ASEAN Chief Justices (CACJ) which was adopted by the Chief Justices and Heads of Delegations is available on the CACJ ASEAN Judiciaries Portal (

8. Also present at the meeting was the Honourable Judicial Commissioner of the Supreme Court, Haji Abdullah Soefri bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin, together with judges and judicial officers from the Judiciary.

Created at 05/11/2020 04:45 PM by Mohamad Jazmi bin Hj Mohamad Kamel
Last modified at 06/11/2020 11:41 AM by Mohamad Jazmi bin Hj Mohamad Kamel