HRRC Reports Growing ASEAN Acceptance of the Rule of Law

April 30, 2011, Jakarta, Indonesia – The Human Rights Resource Centre (HRRC) presented its first report today at a regional conference in Jakarta. Entitled Rule of Law for Human Rights in the ASEAN Region, the report sheds light on ASEAN Member States’ contemporary understanding, interpretation and implementation of the rule of law as a principle of good governance.

“The study shows a growing consensus in ASEAN that rule of law is essential in order to strengthen democracy and promote and protect fundamental human rights,” said Assistant Professor Mahdev Mohan of the Law School of Singapore Management University.

Rule of Law for Human Rights in the ASEAN Region is based on a baseline study conducted by 10 in-country researchers. The researchers extracted relevant information from administrative data, judicial decisions, legislation, official government statements, and relevant primary and secondary literature on the rule of law in their respective countries.

In his opening remarks, Marzuki Darusman, the Executive Director and Founding Chairman of HRRC said: “This report is the first of many outcomes that our Centre hopes to be able to generate in the future. It signifies our commitment and contribution towards the advancement of research and capacity building on human rights issues in the region.”

“Human rights and good governance are closely tied to ASEAN’s aspirations regarding the advancement of education, science, and economic development. To advance in all these areas, a system grounded in the rule of law is necessary.” Said US Ambassador to ASEAN, H.E. David L. Carden.

Today’s conference at the Shangri-La Hotel in Jakarta was attended by representatives from academic institutions, non-governmental organizations and governments. The conference included remarks from H.E. I Gede Ngurah Swajaya, Permanent Representative of Indonesia to ASEAN, H.E. David L. Carden, US Ambassador to ASEAN; H.E. Heinz Walker-Nederkoom, Ambassador to Indonesia, Switzerland; H.E. Mackenzie Clugston, Ambassador to Indonesia and ASEAN, Canada; H.E. Martin Hartfull, Ambassador to Indonesia and ASEAN, the United Kingdom; and H.E Param Cumaraswamy, former UN Special Rapporteur for judicial independence and impartiality.

Following the opening remarks and presentation of the report, the conference continued with parallel discussions on the rule of law situation in each ASEAN Member State.

The Rule of Law for Human Rights in the ASEAN Region study was supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the Embassy of Switzerland in Indonesia, the British Embassy, the MacArthur Foundation, the War Crimes Studies Center, The Asia Foundation, and Marccus Partners (Member of MAZARS).

The HRRC is a non-profit organization whose aim is to support the advancement of human rights in ASEAN through research, training and capacity building.  For more information, please contact the HRRC at or visit: