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ASEAN INTERGOVERNMENTAL COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS (AICHR) – COUNCIL OF ASEAN CHIEF JUSTICES (CACJ)
HIGH LEVEL ASEAN HUMAN RIGHTS DIALOGUE: THE RIGHTS OF ACCUSED PERSONS IN CRIMINAL CASES
11 DECEMBER 2018
The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) and Council of ASEAN Chief Justices (CACJ) co-hosted the AICHR-CACJ High Level ASEAN Human Rights Dialogue: The Rights of Accused Persons in Criminal Cases at Le Meridien Hotel, Putrajaya on 11 December 2018. The High Level Dialogue was jointly organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia and the Office of the Chief Registrar, Federal Court of Malaysia.
The High Level Dialogue was a follow up to the successful convening of the AICHR Judicial Colloquium on the Sharing of Good Practices Regarding International Human Rights Law held on 13 to 15 March 2017 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The objectives of this Dialogue were two-fold. Firstly, to provide a peer-to-peer platform to share experiences on the ways the criminal courts in different legal systems protect and implement the rights of accused persons. Secondly, to identify and share existing commonalities, good practices and challenges among the ASEAN Member States (AMS) in ensuring equality to all before the law and universal access to justice.
Chief Justice of Malaysia, Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Richard Malanjum delivered the Keynote Address where he underscored the linkage between the concept of rule of law and the rights accorded to the accused persons. He emphasized about the principle of natural justice that embodies two essential rights, namely, the right to be heard and the rule against bias which are the basic tenets of our criminal justice system.
Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima briefly explained the rights of accused persons as enshrined in Article 5 of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia, Article 5 and Article 20 of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD) and Article 14(3) on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
Representative of Malaysia to the AICHR, Mr. Edmund Bon Tai Soon in his welcoming remarks touched on the mandates of the Representatives of the AICHR provided in the Terms of Reference of the AICHR, the various rights of accused persons as stipulated in the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration. He illustrated the nexus between human rights and Sustainable Development Goal 16 (SDG 16) particularly the two targets concerning the promotion of rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all; and the development of effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels.
The High Level Dialogue was attended by Representatives of the AICHR, Chief Justice of Malaysia, Singapore and Lao PDR, representatives of the Council of ASEAN Chief Justices (CACJ), Senior Judges, representative of ASEAN Senior Law Officials Meeting (ASLOM) and human rights expert.
13 December 2018