Jakarta, 17 April 2014 — From the 8th to the 10th of April, the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) and Cambodia’s Royal Academy of Judicial Professions hosted the International Symposium on Judicial Integrity and Training in Phnom Penh. The two-day seminar was attended by representatives from judicial training institutions across ASEAN and is a continuation of a symposium on judicial training held in Taipei in 2013.
During the event, HRRC’s Deputy Director, Michelle Staggs Kelsall, presented the main findings of the Centre’s most recent study, Judicial Training in ASEAN: A Comparative Overview of Systems and Programs.
The study, which will be made publicly available later this month, provides an overview of judicial training mechanisms in ASEAN, including the structure and institutionalisation of judicial training. It also looks at how the institutions consider and incorporate issues relating to the ASEAN integration in the national judicial training curriculum. The study’s overarching goal is to consider the synergies and differences within judicial training systems so as to help lay the groundwork for future collaborations.
The study noted the evolving nature of cooperation among judicial training institutions, with Singapore and Thailand having initiated programs that would increase cooperation in the region over the course of the next years. Issues pertaining to ASEAN are largely still considered as the purview of the executive and legislative branches of government in that they are the ones charged with laying out and implementing policies, rather than the judiciary, whose role is to interpret laws. Hence to date, there has been limited consideration of ASEAN-specific questions in judicial training programs.
The study nevertheless emphasises that judicial training institutions have much to contribute to the process of ASEAN integration, and there remains much untapped potential for greater cooperation.