14th Bureau Meeting of the World Conference on Constitutional Justice (WCCJ) in Dominican Republic
Meeting to be presided by a representative of the Ibero-American Conference on Constitutional Justice.
Adoption of the agenda
Examination of the financial report submitted by the Secretariat
Questionnaire and concept paper for the 5th Congress
Organisation of the 5th Congress
CODICES / Venice Forum training for Liaison Officers
Support for Member Courts
Regional and Linguistic groups
Updating data on the participating Regional and Linguistic groups
Date of the next meeting
The meeting of the Bureau in Santo Domingo will be followed by a meeting of the former and future hosts of the Congresses of the World Conference on Constitutional Justice (WCCJ). Former hosts present will be invited to participate in the meeting of the Bureau as guests.
Delegations of Indonesia will attend the event on behalf of and as the representative of the AACC member countries.
[UPCOMING EVENT] International Conference of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation and IX St. Petersburg Legal Forum in Russia
The Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation organises its annual Conference on 14 May 2019.
The Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation is happy to announce its annual Conference which will commence the work of the IX St. Petersburg International Legal Forum on 14 May 2019. The topic of this year’s event is “Constitutional Identity and Universal Values: the Art of Balance”. The Conference will include three sessions dealing with different aspects of its subject. Each session will start with a key expert report followed by a discussion.
The Conference and the Forum are the most important event in professional legal community worldwide gaining attention and participation of thousand legal professionals from all over the globe.
[UPCOMING EVENT] 3rd Indonesian Constitutional Court International Symposium in Indonesia
Following the successful of International Symposium which held in Yogyakarta last year, this year the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia will held the similar event in Bali on November 4-6, 2019.
Opening Legal Year 2018 in Malaysia "Enhancing Access to Justice Through Judicial Transformation"
Opening of the Judicial Year 2018 was held on 12 January 2018 (Friday) at Dewan Perdana A, Putrajaya International Convention Center (PICC) at 9.00 am. It was a significant milestone in the Malaysian Judicial Annual Calendar which marks the opening of the judicial year for 2018.
This event attended by 700 people comprising Judicial Commissioners of the High Court, High Court Judge, Judge of the Court of Appeal, and Federal Court Judge. Also present were the Chief Registrar of the Federal Court of Malaysia, the Supreme Management of the Chief Registrar's Office of the Federal Court of Malaysia, the Sessions Court Judge, the Magistrate as well as the Registrars of the Courts as well as the Judicial Officers. Also present were the Honorable Attorney General and Officers from the Attorney General's Chambers, the Sabah Law Association and the Sarawak Lawyers Advocacy Association, Legal Practitioners and Academicians from the Local University as well as legal students and some University of Klang Valley.
This year, the presented overseas delegation were comprised of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Indonesia, Prof. Dr. H. Mohammad Hatta Ali, Dr. Anwar Usman, deputy to the Chief Justice of the Indonesian Constitutional Court, as well as a representative of Singapore's Chief Justice, Justice Steven Choong. High Commissioner of Brunei, Singapore, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, America and Qatar.
Also present were Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Yang Berhormat Dato 'Sri Azalina binti Othman Said, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Yang Berhormat Datuk Wira Razali bin Ibrahim and the Heads of Federal Departments.
The opening of the Judiciary Year 2018 was the first of the Most Honorable Tun Raus Sharif who has held the mandate of being the Chief Justice on April 1, 2017. The Opening Theme of Judgment 2018 was "Enhancing Access to Justice Through Judicial Transformation". This means access to justice can only be achieved if there are features such as efficient case resolution, no waste of time from any party to reduce cost and service delivery fair to all parties in accordance with the provisions of the law. With these features in the administration of the judicial system of the nation, then substantive justice which was in line with the principles of justice such as the rule of law, the protection of human rights and legality of law can be achieved.
20th Anniversary of the Constitutional Court of the Kingdom of Thailand and International Symposium “The Constitutional Court: Protector of the Rule of Law” in Thailand
The implementation of the International Symposium with the theme "The Constitutional Court: The Protector of the Rule of Law" was officially opened on Monday, April 9, 2018 at Sukuntala Room, Peninsula Hotel, Bangkok. This activity was attended by Thai Constitutional Court officials, as well as officials from other institutions in Thailand.
The international symposium begins with an opening ceremony attended by representatives of the Royal Thai Privy Council, Atthaniti Disatha-Amnarj who provides souvenirs of tokens to 20 representatives of symposium participants, including the Chairman of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia. Furthermore, Disatha Amnarj gave a brief welcome on the importance of the concept of rule of law which is the legal basis in every country to be understood not only by legal practitioners but also by all citizens.
The cultural activity of the program was conducted by visiting the ancient city about 80 kilometers north of Bangkok called Ayutthaya. The city can be reached for 1.5 hours from downtown Bangkok. During a visit to Atyutthaya, foreign guests are invited to watch the elephant show and tour the ruins of the royal complex on an elephant ride. The next agenda of the visit is the Chao Sam Phraya National Museum and Bang Sai Arts and Crafts Center. For spouse program activities, visits were made to Grand Palace, Rattanakosin Exhibition Hall, and Jim Thompson House and Museum.
Last but not least, welcoming dinner was held at Angsana Cruise. The dinner was served on a boat down the Chao Phraya River. In this event, Chairman of the Constitutional Court of Thailand congratulated the election of the new Chairman of the Constitutional Court. As for farewell dinner, held at Praya Palazzo Boutique Hotel.
56th Anniversary of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Turkey and the International Symposium "The Evaluation of the First Five Years of Individual Application" in Turkey
The International Conference on Evaluation of the First Five Years of Individual Application held by the Turkish Constitutional Court took place on 25-28 April 2018 in Ankara and Izmir, Turkey. The series of activities undertaken in the framework of the implementation of work visit tasks are as follows:
April 23, 2018: the arrival of participants
April 24, 2018:the participants attended a dinner with Turkish Constitutional Court judges and delegates from various countries;
April 25-26, 2018: the International Conference on "Evaluation of the First Five Years of Individual Application"
April 27-28, 2018: the delegations followed the Cultural Program
April 29, 2018: the delegation returned to home countries.
1st Research Conference of the AACC Secretariat for Research and Development "Jurisdiction and Organization of AACC Members" in Korea
The 1st Research Conference that ended on June 1 was held under the title of Jurisdictions and Organization of AACC Members. The participants gave a presentation on their own organizational structure, jurisdiction and major decisions and engaged in discussion sessions. Issues they covered and discussed will be used for AACC Fact File, which is important basic data to study constitutional adjudications in Asia.
In the meantime, Mr. Kim, Heon Jeong, Secretary General of the Court and AACC Permanent Secretariat for Research and Development (SRD), mentioned the operation and significance of the Secretariat as well as the importance of the Conference at his opening speech. “What makes the AACC SRD so special is the potential to connect a diverse group of constitutional courts and equivalent institutions, to exchange and share information and experiences of delivering constitutional justice,” he stressed.
The AACC SRD that hosted the Research Conference along with the Court is a permanent secretariat of the AACC that brings constitutional courts and equivalent institutes in 16 Asian countries. It was officially established in Seoul in January 2017 and is now headed by Secretary General Kim.
International Conference "The State Governed By Rule of Law and the Constitutional Justice: Values and Priorities" in Azerbaijan
An international conference on “The State Governed by the Rule of Law and Constitutional Justice: Values and Priorities” has started in Baku, marking the 20th anniversary of the Constitutional Court of Azerbaijan.
Chairman of Azerbaijan`s Constitutional Court Farhad Abdullayev, Azerbaijani President`s Assistant for Work with Law Enforcement Bodies and Military Issues, department head Fuad Alasgarov, First Vice-Speaker of Azerbaijani Parliament Ziyafat Asgarov, President of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe Gianni Buquicchio, Human Rights Commissioner of Azerbaijan Elmira Suleymanova and other government officials, as well as foreign guests attended the conference.
Prior to the event, the participants watched a short video highlighting the 20-years of activity of Azerbaijan’s Constitutional Court.
In his opening remarks, Chairman of Azerbaijan's Constitutional Court Farhad Abdullayev praised the importance of the international conference, expressing his confidence that the participants will see effective discussions during the event. He highlighted the works done by the Constitutional Court and the achievements gained over the past 20 years.
Azerbaijani President`s Assistant for Work with Law Enforcement Bodies and Military Issues Fuad Alasgarov read out President Ilham Aliyev's congratulatory letter to the conference participants.
First Vice-Speaker of Azerbaijan`s Parliament Ziyafat Asgarov stressed the importance of the establishment of the Constitutional Court in terms of building the legal and social state, as well as civil society.
President of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe Gianni Buquicchio said he is pleased visiting Azerbaijan again and attending the conference dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the Constitutional Court of Azerbaijan. He noted that the Venice Commission is actively collaborating with appropriate authorities of Azerbaijan.
Head of “Legal Approximation towards European Standards in the South Caucasus” Program of German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) Thomas Meyer said that the Constitutional Court's decisions are somehow a manifestation of the Constitutional text.
Human Rights Commissioner of Azerbaijan Elmira Suleymanova extended her congratulations to the conference participants, noting that 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic and the 20th anniversary of the Constitutional Court.
The conference continues its work with panel discussions.
International Scientific and Practical Conference "The Constitution: The Embodiment of the Values of the Rule of Law, Civil Society and the Modern State" in Kazakhstan
The Constitutional Council of the Republic of Kazakhstan has invited AACC members to take part in the international scientific and practical conference on the theme "The Constitution: the Embodiment of the Values of the Rule of Law, Civil Society and the Modern State", dedicated to the Constitution Day of the Republic of Kazakhstan, which will be held on August 28-29, 2018 in Astana. The forum is held by the Constitutional Council of the Republic of Kazakhstan together with the Venice Commission and other international human rights institutions.
International Conference "The Constitutional Justice and Democracy" in Korea
Since its foundation in 1988 based on the people’s aspiration for true democracy, the Constitutional Court of Korea has contributed to the development of democracy and promotion of fundamental rights through a number of decisions for the past 30 years. In the meantime, systems of constitutional justice, although differ in forms, have also served an important role in strengthening democracy in many countries across the globe. Under the main theme of “The Constitutional Justice and Democracy”, the conference provided a stage for us to share our precious experiences and wisdom. As we believed, this conference served as a meaningful opportunity for us to review how constitutional justice has contributed to democracy, and discuss ideal constitutional justice systems for the continuous advancement of democracy.
6th Summer School: "The Right to Liberty and Security" in Turkey
Up to this day, the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Turkey has held five Summer School Programs in its capacity as the Center for Training and Human Resource Development. The next Summer School which will be the 6th of its kind is scheduled to be held on September 17th - 21st, 2018, in Ankara, Turkey under the theme of "The Right to Liberty and Security".
This Summer School program aims to address mid-level judges or jurists, assistant judges, legal experts, advisors or staff having legal experiences and serving at Constitutional Courts/Institutions. The working language of the program shall be English and Russian, as the official language of AACC.
International Symposium: "The Constitutional Court and Constitutionalism in Political Dynamics" in Indonesia
The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia successfully held the 2nd Indonesian Constitutional Court International Symposium (ICCIS) 2018 in Tentrem Hotel, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, with “The Constitutional Court and Constitutionalism in Political Dynamics” as the theme.
Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia, Mr. Anwar Usman, gave his remarks in the opening ceremony on Monday, 1 October 2018. He stated that the constitutional courts and equivalent institutions have to do its role as the protector of the constititonal rights of the people and as the guardian of the constitution. However, these two functions are sometimes contrasting with one another.
“Political interest is a representation of the majority interest, but the protection of the constitutional rights cannot be abandoned as it is also a part of human rights, as well as guarding the constitutionality in the country. That being said, it is the responsibility of the Court to make a decision when those things are clashing.”
He also explained that the influence of political dynamics or political interest to the Court in dealing with its functions are quite a common phenomenon in many countries, as the Court has a very important position and strategic roles, however at the same time the Court also has several limitations. Therefore, this event is intended to bring the topic in the forum to be discussed, so the participants can each learn about the practice and/or case study from different countries.
Other than that, the Secretary General of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia, Mr. M. Guntur Hamzah, also gave his report regarding the role of the Court as the Permanent Secretariat of the Association of Asian Constitutional Courts and Equivalent Institutions (AACC), “In this event, we will officially launch the AACC website which had been designed to be a platform that is able to connect all the member countries of AACC.”
Discussion: Establishment of a Legal Body under the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) in Indonesia
The meeting was held during the International Symposium 2018 of the Constitutional Courts, attended by representatives from Malaysia, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Turkey, and Indonesia.
As understood, OIC has a number of bodies under it dealing with matters of education, science, business, and investments to name a view. A body dedicated to issues of Legal Affairs and the Constitutions could add and support the bodies already established under OIC as well as strengthen the capabilities of OIC member countries in the field of law in general.
Former Chief Justice of the Indonesian Constitutional Court, Mr. Jimly Ashiddiqe led the discussion as the idea itself since raised in 2005 has not met with considerable progress, therefore it is hoped once again the idea of the establishment of the Body under OIC concerning Legal Affairs and Constitution could again be discussed and progressed further within the forum of OIC.
International Short Course: "The Constitutional Court and Constitutionalism in Political Dynamics" in Indonesia
The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia had successfully concluded the International Short Course 2018 under the theme of "The Constitutional Court and Constitutionalism in Political Dynamics" in Hotel Tentrem, Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The event was a series of three-days event consisting of two days of Short Course and one day of Cultural Program.
It was attended by 16 (sixteen) foreign delegates from 9 (nine) countries Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, Thailand, Turkey, Uzbekistan, and Cambodia. Other than that, it was also attended by local participants from both academicians and practitioners.
Short Course Day I On the first day of the Short Course, a number of prominent speakers presented their papers with different topics under the theme of "The Constitutional Court and Constitutionalism in Political Dynamics". The details of the speakers and the topics of Short Course Day I are listed below:
Mr. Hamdan Zoelva (Former Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia). Title: “Constitutionalism at the Crossroads, Law, Politics, and Society”.
Mr. I Dewa Gede Palguna (Justice of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia). Title: “Law and Politics in Indonesia: Sustainability and Change”.
Mr. Maruarar Siahaan (Former Justice of the Constitutional Court). Title: “Political Pressure on the Constitutional Court Decisions”.
Mr. Aidul Fitriciada Azhari (Commissioner of the Judicial Commission of the Republic of Indonesia / Professor of the Faculty of Law at the University of Surakarta). Title: “Can the Constitutional Court be Free of Politics?”
Short Course Day II On the second day, the discussion focused on the presentations of each countries. The main focus was to share and discuss about "The Constitutional Court and Constitutionalism in Political Dynamics", specifically the practices in their home institutions. The delegates presenting their papers are listed below:
Session 1: Cambodia, Afghanistan, Thailand, South Korea, and Indonesia.
Session 2: Turkey, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Russia, Uzbekistan, and Malaysia.
On the third and final day, a Cultural Program was held for the participants to explore the tourist attractions that Yogyakarta had to offer. Some of them were Taman Sari Water Castle, Keraton Yogyakarta, and Candi Ratu Boko.
International Conference of the Higher Courts of the Organization of Islamic Member States "The Role of Higher Judiciary in Protecting the Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights" in Turkey
The Conference is intended to provide a legal forum in order to establish a constructive and fruitful dialogue among the Higher Courts of the Organization of Islamic Member States under the theme of "The Role of Higher Judiciary in Protecting the Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights". The working language will be English, with simultaneous interpretation of Arabic and Turkish.
14 December 2018: Opening by the President of the Republic of Turkey;
15 December 2018: Closing of the event, continued by a Cultural Program;
16 December 2018: Free time and Departure of the delegates.
55th Anniversary of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Turkey and the International Symposium "The Constitutional Courts as the Guardians of the Fundamental Rights" in Turkey
The Opening Ceremony of the 55th Anniversary of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Turkey commenced with the opening speech delivered by Mr. Zühtü ARSLAN, the President of the Court, in the Grand Hall of the Constitutional Court on 25 April 2017.
The introductory film prepared on the occasion of the 55th Anniversary of the Court was presented during the ceremony in which the Presidents and Judges of the Constitutional Courts of thirty different countries participated.
In the scope of the events of the 55th Anniversary of the Constitutional Court an international symposium with the title “Constitutional Courts as the Guardians of Fundamental Rights” and participation of the Presidents and Judges of Constitutional Courts from many countries and representatives from the European Court of Human Rights, Court of Justice of the European Union and the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights and local and foreign academicians as guests was organized between 25-26 April 2017.
On 27 April 2017 the Balkan Countries Constitutional Courts Meeting was held at the Dolmabahçe Palace, and the consensus on founding a forum to develop the cooperation among the relevant Constitutional Courts and continuing to work on the establishing of the Association of Balkan Constitutional Courts in the future was achieved.
The Gala Dinner held on the occasion of the 55th Anniversary was honored by the President of the Republic of Turkey Mr. Recep Tayyip ERDOGAN, President of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey Mr. ismail KAHRAMAN and the participation of guest from home and abroad and Judges and Rapporteurs of the Constitutional Court.
International Conference: "Constitutional Justice: Doctrine and Practice" in St. Petersburg, Russia
International conference on the theme "Constitutional Justice: Doctrine and Practice" which held on May 16, 2017 organized by the Russian Constitutional Court. The International Conference Forum is also the opening act in the series of St. Petersburg International Legal Forum (SPBILF) VII held by the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation.
At the conference, each country was given the opportunity to provide an exposure with a predetermined theme. The judges of the delegation presented views on "Constitutional Justice: Practice and Doctrine" in their respective countries.
5th Meeting of the Secretary Generals of AACC in Indonesia
In the series of International Symposium which held in Solo, Central Java, on August 9, 2017 we also held a Meeting of Secretary General AACC (MSG). This MSG activity has the purpose of preparing all matters which discussed and decided by the chairman or president of the Constitutional Court or equivalent institution of AACC members. The General Secretary Meeting forum is expected to produce a proposal concept on possible issues for the next term concept to be submitted to the AACC members meeting forum in order to get any input, direction and develop agreement from all AACC members as a step towards the improvement of the concept.
In the meeting of the Secretary General of the Constitutional Court and similar institutions in Asia, the three countries that are the location of the permanent secretariat report the development of secretariat in their respective countries. The Secretariat of Planning and Coordination held by the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia has the function to organize and coordinate the agenda of international activities of AACC members. In addition, the secretariat also conducts the processing and dissemination of activity information to AACC members.
The Constitutional Court of South Korea which is the location of the Secretariat for Research and Development serves to plan, direct, and coordinate joint research activities between members and third parties. The next function is to study and conduct a proposal formulation for research activities within the scope of the Constitutional Court. The Secretariat will also publish international journals as a result of the research activities undertaken.
While the Turkish Constitutional Court became the secretariat location of the center of Human Resources Training and Development. This secretariat functions to carry out a number of routine training for employees, researchers and rapporteur of the Constitutional Court and similar institutions AACC members.
The Board of Members Meeting (the Meeting) of the AACC was successfully held in Solo, Indonesia, on 8 August 2017. It was attended by the heads and representatives of the Association.
The Meeting was chaired H.E. Mr. Arief Hidayat, Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia and the Term President of the Association. He welcomed the delegates to Solo and conveyed his hope that the Meeting could arrive at strategic decisions to strengthen the work of the Association, particularly in the election of new Term President of AACC.
Report of the 5th Meeting of the Secretary Generals of AACC (MSG) on 9 August 2017
The Meeting took note of the report of the MSG and the President of AACC emphasized the need to find the easiest option to elect the next president as well as the importance of the continuity and the sense of solidarity. He also underscored that all three permanent secretariats would assist fully the new president of AACC in leading the Association. On financial contribution, the President of AACC also highlighted the importance of considering the ability of each member. Regarding the signing MoU between AACC and CCJA, the president welcomed the prospect of cooperation between AACC and CCJA as proposed in Bali back then in 2016, as it would strengthen the Association’s effective functions in the future.
Report and Discussion on the Progress of the Establishment of Permanent Secretariats
Each of the permanent secretariat provided the meeting with its report of progress and discussion for further plans and possibilities.
Constitutional Court of the Republic of Korea: H.E. Mr. Jinsung Lee, Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Korea, introduced the concepts, areas of work and research output, as well as working method of the Permanent Secretariat for Research and Development (SRD) in Seoul.
Constitutional Court of the Republic of Turkey: H.E. Mr. Zuhtu Arslan, President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Turkey, provided the meeting with a progress report on the Center for Training and Human Resources Development (CTHRD) as well as highlighted that the Center had organized various courses including last year’s Summer School and would continue to organize the upcoming Summer School on 17 – 24 September 2017.
Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia: H.E. Mr. Anwar Usman, Deputy Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia, briefed the Meeting that an office had been dedicated for the Permanent Secretariat for Planning and Coordination (SPC). The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia had secured both financial suport and legal basis for the Secretariat, through the issuance of a recent Presidential Regulation. A website had also been developed for AACC and further improvement would be carried out. The Secretariat would also arrange an annual calendar of events for the AACC members.
Discussion on the Preparation of AACC’s Participation at the 4th Congress of WCCJ
The Meeting confirmed the delegates attending the 4th Congress of WCCJ on 11 – 14 September 2017 in Lithuania were H.E. Mr. Yi-Su Kim from Korea as a keynote speaker, H.E. Mr. Farhad Abdullayev as a moderator and H.E. Mrs. Maria Farida Indrati as a rapporteur.
Election of the New Term President of AACC
The Meeting appreciated the willingness expressed by the Chief Justice of Malaysia to hold the next Presidency of AACC. With acclamation, the Meeting elected Malaysia as the new term President of AACC for the period of August 2017 – August 2019. The meeting simultaneously received readiness from the Delegation of Kazakhstan to serve as the following term President after Malaysia, also the Delegation of Mongolia and Thailand respectively to assume the Presidency in the successive terms.
The Meeting agreed to proceed with the signging of the MoU between AACC and CCJA, as well as discussed the importance of expanding the Association’s membership.
International Symposium: "The Constitutional Court as the Guardian of Ideology and Democracy in Pluralistic Society" in Indonesia
The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia held the AACC International Symposium 2017 with "The Constitutional Court as the Guardian of Ideology and Democracy in Plural Society" as the theme on 9-10 August 2017 at Hotel Alila, Solo, Central Java. The event was held under the leadership of the Constitutional Court of Indonesia as President of AACC as well as to commemorate the 14th anniversary of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia, which fell on 13 August 2018.
The event was attended by the Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court and Equivalent Institutions of 12 AACC member countries, 7 friendly countries, and 150 participants from within the country consisting of leaders of Ministries / Institutions and Academicians.
The President of the Republic of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, officially opened the International Symposium after giving his remarks. He stated, “We hope that everybody here can learn from the experience from other states and that the results of this symposium can strengthen the quality of our own constitutional courts and also strengthen the democratic practices of all of us.”
In order to achieve further understanding and gain the best outcomes, the main theme of the International Symposium was divided into three sub-themes, namely:
Constitutional Court and State Ideology;
Constitutional Court and Principles of Democracy;
The Role of the Constitutional Court in Pluralist Societies.
The Signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between AACC and CCJA (Conference of Constitutional Jurisdictions of Africa)
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Association of Asian Constitutional Court and Equivalent Institutions (AACC) and the Conference of Constitutional Jurisdictions of Africa (CCJA) has been officially signed in the opening ceremony of the International Symposium of AACC in Solo, Indonesia, on Wednesday, 9 August 2017.
Upon sigining the document, AACC was represented by H.E. Mr. Arief Hidayat (Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia) as the President of AACC, while CCJA was represented by H.E. Mr. Mogoeng Thomas Reetsang Mogoeng (Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa) as the President of CCJA.
The President of CCJA, Mr. Mogoeng stated that the relation between AACC and CCJA would benefit both of the associations in terms of solving the emerging problems of democracy which currently becoming more complex. Both AACC and CCJA would be able to share their experiences, especially on how the constitutional courts and equivalent institutions in Asia respond to the problems or face the challenges in Asia and vice versa.
Regarding the establishment of the Permanent Secretariats of AACC, namely the Secretariat for Planning and Coordination in Indonesia, the Secretariat for Research and Development in Korea and the Center for Training and Human Resources Development in Turkey, Mr. Mogoeng expressed his wish that the Secretariats would further help strengthening the relation between CCJA and AACC, particularly on several matters such as organizational development, exchanging information, empowering democracy, as well as helping and contributing to the society in accordance to its role.
Tree Planting Activity by the Head of Delegations of the International Symposium 2017 in Indonesia
During the International Symposium 2017 held by the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia, the Head of Delegations altogether did a “Tree Planting Activity” on the last day of the event. It took place in Komplek Taman Wisata Candi Borobudur, on Friday, 11 August 2017. Other than being a part of the Cultural Program, this activity also meant as an act for the environment.
Up until now, the trees are still being maintained and well taken care of. The documentations of the event, as well as the growth and result of the trees can be seen on the link below.
5th Summer School: "Immigration and Refugee Law" in Turkey
In its capacity of the Centre for Training and Human Resources Development under the Permanent Secretariat of the AACC, the Turkish Constitutional Court organized the 5th Summer School on the theme of “Migration and Refugee Law” in Ankara between 17-24 September, 2017.
In the 2nd Congress of the AACC held in Istanbul in April 2014, an unanimous decision was taken that the Summer School on the constitutional justice be organized every year by the Turkish Constitutional Court in Turkey. In the 3rd Congress of the AACC held in Bali, Indonesia in 2016, it was decided that a Permanent Secretariat of the AACC be established and that a Centre for Training and Human Resources Development, one of the three primary sections of the Secretariat, be established in Turkey. The 5th Summer School was held within the scope of the activities of this Centre.
Among those who have participated in the 5th Summer School are rapporteur judges, assistant judges, researchers, legal experts and advisors from the constitutional courts or equivalent institutions of Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Bulgaria, Indonesia, Georgia, Montenegro, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Korea, Kosovo, Malaysia, Mongolia, Uzbekistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Thailand and Turkey.
The 5th Summer School Program started with the inaugural speech delivered by the President of the Turkish Constitutional Court, Mr. Zühtü ARSLAN, at the Grand Hall of the Court. The inaugural speech was followed by a welcome reception, a tour of Court building, and lunch at the Court restaurant. The participants then proceeded to the venue of the Summer School for academic sessions. In the evening, a gala dinner was hosted by the Constitutional Court in the honour of the participants.
The working languages of the Summer School were English and Russian. The participants of the Summer School have presented the legal framework and case-law of their jurisdictions in the field of “Migration and Refugee Law.” Academicians and practitioners from national and international institutions delivered lectures in the different aspects of the topic throughout the Summer School. The participants have thereby shared and discussed views, information and practices on the topic with a particular focus on their respective countries, in connection with international principles and practices.
In addition to academic interaction, the participants had the opportunity to socialize and develop friendship through the activities such as bowling tournament.
The 5th Summer School Program ended with the General Assessment Session and Certificate Ceremony at noon on Wednesday, 20 September 2017. Thereafter, the participants have been taken to a half day Ankara tour.
The Summer School continued with a social program in Istanbul between 21-24 September, 2017, during which the participants enjoyed historical and natural beauties of the city.
1st International Symposium of the AACC Secretariat for Research and Development "The Constitutionalism in Asia: Past, Present and Future" in Korea
A regional perspective on constitutional developments in Asia is not only of growing interest in the academic community. In the second decade of the 21st century, constitutional courts and equivalent institutions in Asia have strengthened their cooperation. The decision by the Association of Asian Constitutional Courts and Equivalent Institutions (AACC) in August 2016 to establish permanent secretariats is the clearest evidence of such cooperation. One of the permanent AACC secretariats is the AACC’s Secretariat for Research and Development (SRD), based in Seoul. This inaugural symposium of the AACC SRD has chosen the following as its theme: “Constitutionalism in Asia: Past, Present and Future”.
This theme will allow AACC member institutions as well as guests from non-member institutions and academia to reflect and take stock of recent challenges and opportunities in the growing field of constitutionalism in Asia. The exchange of knowledge, experience and insight at this symposium will be an inspiration for the future work of AACC SRD. Also, this event will serve very practical purposes, such as providing a starting point for building a shared repository of constitutional case law among AACC member institutions, and providing a basis for future AACC SRD conferences, workshops and seminars.
The symposium is divided into four sessions, structuring the discussion of the past, present and future of constitutionalism in Asia:
Session 1 (Diversity in Constitutional Justice: Differences among AACC Members)
Session 1 offers the opportunity to review the diversity of constitutional adjudication in Asia, such as institutional differences and similarities. Discussion may focus on aspects of centralized systems of review such as constitutional complaint or the availability of abstract review of norms, as well as how decentralized systems of review in Asia operate. This session will include considerations regarding different constitutional cultures and their impact on constitutional justice.
Session 2 (Protecting and Promoting Fundamental Rights through Constitutional Adjudication)
Session 2 focuses on case law, aiming to compare major judicial decisions regarding fundamental rights. Constitutional case law can reveal different models of rights protection. Not only can the understanding of a particular right be compared, but also to what extent that right may be limited. The very understanding of what makes up the essence of a particular fundamental right can determine its judicial protection and limitation.
Session 3 (International Human Rights Norms and Constitutional Adjudication: Convergence and Divergence)
Session 3 addresses the important issue of the relationship between international law and domestic law. International human rights norms are on the one hand seen as standards and best practices. Yet on the other hand, domestic legal systems very often specify the domestic constitution as legally superior to international treaties. How to achieve the right balance is thus of great significance, especially for a region as diverse as Asia.
Session 4 (Necessity of Communication and Cooperation among Constitutional Courts and Equivalent Institutions: Focusing on Expert and Guest suggestions)
Session 4 hopes for a discussion on the value of international cooperation between constitutional courts and equivalent institutions. The focus is both on the reasons as well as the methods for international cooperation. Key issues involve, for example, the institutionalization and formalization of judicial networks in the Asian region. The comparison of perspectives from members and non-members of such networks will be of particular value.
By addressing the above issues and questions, the 1st International Symposium of the AACC SRD is only the first step towards greater cooperation in the field of constitutional justice in Asia. It is hoped that the theme “Constitutionalism in Asia: Past, Present and Future” will generate long-term perspectives and lead to in-depth discussion.
International Short Course on the Constitution 2017 "The Role of the Constitutional Court 2017 in Overseeing the Implementation of Ideology and Democracy in Pluralistic Society" in Indonesia
The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia held an international short course at Hotel Ayana Midplaza, Jakarta. The event was attended by participants from 13 countries, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, South Korea, Mongolia, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Azerbaijan.
In a series of International Short Course activities that took place on 14-17 November 2017, the participants were invited to visit the National Resilience Institute (Lemhanas) and get briefing material on "Management of Diversity in the Frame of Unitary State" presented by Governor Lemhanas Agus Widjojo in Building Astagatra, Syailendra Room, Lemhanas.
In addition, the participants also received material from the former justice of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia period 2003-2008 Mr. jimly Asshiddiqie, about "Constitutionalism and the Court". The participants also received materials from several Indonesian constitutional experts, such as the Head of the Working Unit of President of Ideology of Pancasila (UKP-Pancasila) Mr. Yudi Latief who presented a paper entitled "Pancasila as a Unifying Ideology: Background and History".
Furthermore, the participants were also provided with insight to the role of a constitutional educational center by the Head of the Center for Pancasila and Constitutional Education Mr. Budi Djohari.
In summary, the sessions in the international short course were as follows:
Session 1: Judicial Review as a Constitutional Instrument to Safeguard the State Ideology: Pancasila (I Dewa Gede Palguna – Justice of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia)
Session 2: Pancasila Amidst World Ideologies (Jimly Assiddhiqie – Former Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia)
Session 3: Maintaining Diversity Under Unitary State (Agus Widjojo – Governor of the National Resilience Institute of the Republic of Indonesia / LEMHANAS)
Session 4: Pancasila as Unifying Ideology: Background and Histroy (Yudi Latif – author of many books about Pancasila from the history and constitutional points of view)
Session 5: Political Parties, Democracy, and the Authorities of Constitutional Court (Maruarar Siahaan – Former Justice of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia)
Session 6: Center of Pancasila and Constitution Education, Research, and Case Review as Supporting Unit in Exercising Authority to Safeguard Ideology (Budi Achmad Djohari - Head of the Center for Pancasila and Constitutional Education)
International Conference "The Role and Significance of the Constitution in Construction of a Democratic Legal State" in Uzbekistan
The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Uzbekistan held an International Conference on 30 November to 1 December 2017 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. This activity was held in order to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
The International Conference focused on "The Role and Significance of The Constitution in Construction of a Democratic Legal State" as the theme and used Uzbek, English and Russian as the official language of the conference.
Working Level Meeting of AACC for the Idea of the Establishment of the Permanent Secretariat of AACC in Korea
Delegation of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia paid a working visit to Seoul, Republic of Korea on 16-20 April 2016 to hold a meeting with the Constitutional Court of Korea to discuss the follow-up of the meeting of the Chairman of the Constitutional Court of Indonesia and the President of the Constitutional Court of Korea related to the Formation of Permanent Secretariat Association of Constitutional Court and Similar Institutions in Asia and implementation of Memorandum of Understanding between the two institutions that have been signed.
3rd Meeting of the Secretary Generals of AACC in Indonesia
The Meeting of the Secretary Generals of the AACC (the Meeting) was held in Jakarta, Indonesia, on 30-31 May 2016. The Meeting was chaired by the Secretary General of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia, Mr. Guntur Hamzah, in his capzcity as the Secretary General of the Term President of the Association. It was the third of its kind since it was initiated in 2015 by the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia as the Term President of the AACC.
The Meeting was attended by the Secretary Generals and representatives of the Association from 13 (thirteen) member countries, namely Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, the Philippiness, Kyrgyz Republic, Russia, Thailand, Turkey and Uzbekistan. He stated that the Meeting was particularly special as it was the first time for the two new members of the Association, the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of the Kyrgyz Republic and the Constitutional Tribunal of Myanmar. He further emphasized the important task of strengthening the Association as it would support the development of the Association and help the Association to expand its relations with other partners or institutions.
In addition, the Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia, H.E. Mr. Arief Hidayat stated that in its relatively early development as an association, the AACC has already gained acclamation for its instrumental role in fostering constitutionalism in the Asian region. Nevertheless, he reminded the participants of the challenges faced by the Association in its effort to strengthen and develo better coordination amont members. He also emphazied the critical importance of the Meeting to discuss thoroughly the Working Paper on Analysis of Options for the Secretariat of the Association with the objective of providing recommendation for decision by the next Board of Members Meeting which will be held in Bali, Indonesia.
The Meeting had several matters to be discussed in its agenda which was divided into 5 (five) session as follows:
Adoption of Agenda
Discussion on the Working Paper Analysis of Options for the Secretariat of the Association
Preparation of the Board of Members Meeting and the 3rd Congress of the AACC
Outcomes of the World Conference on Constitutional Justice (WCCJ) Bureau Meeting
International Conference: "The Role Importance of the Constitutional Control Body in Effective Functioning of Checks and Balances System between Branches of State Power" in Kyrgyztan
The most important event in the international activities of the Constitutional Chamber in 2016 was supported by UNDP, by organizing an International Conference on "The Role and Importance of the Constitutional Control Bodies in Effective Functioning of Checks and Balances System between the Branches of State Power’’. The event took place on 9 until 10 June, 2016 in Issyk-Kul, Kyrgyz.
The conference was attended by well-known foreign and domestic legal scientists and experts, presidents, judges of the constitutional courts of Thailand, Latvia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Bulgaria, Russian Federation, Korea, Lithuania, Armenia, Croatia, Romania, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Indonesia, Mongolia, as well as experts of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe. Representatives of state authorities of the Kyrgyz Republic also made speeches during the event.
The main purpose of conference was to exchange experience and views on the practice and trends of the development of constitutional control in the system of checks and balances.
As part of the conference, international participants made presentations on thematic reports. "The key point that determines the unique role of the constitutional court in the process of balancing the branches of state power is the function to exercise constitutional control in the state - to assess the actions of the authority, or the acts of mandatory importance issued by it for their compliance with the constitution and make an appropriate verdict. If a verdict on their unconstitutionality is made regarding the act or act of a power entity.This is a conclusion about their nullity, their zero legal and social significance," said the judge of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine Sergiy Sas.
Chairman of the Constitutional Court of Azerbaijan Farhad Abdullayev, speaking about the role of constitutional justice in protecting the values of the rule of law. "The body of constitutional control is, without a doubt, the Central body in the judicial system of States. This means that serious fragments of the constitutional court reform are perceived and reproduced in various forms by other branches of the judicial power of the state," said the judge of the constitutional court Mikhail Kleandrov in his speech.
In turn, the member of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe Vladimir Grosso noted that the constitutional justice is an indispensable element in maintaining the system of checks and balances in the constitutional democracy and when other state bodies allow public attacks on the bodies of constitutional control, the independence, objectivity and neutrality of the institution is under threat. “If the authorities expressly disagree with the decisions of the bodies of constitutional review, they must make it clear that the decisions of the courts will be executed, despite their disagreement. The Venice Commission condemns such practices, which do not comply with the principles of the rule of law and the separation of powers," he added.
As a result of the conference, all participants unanimously noted the high level of organization and relevance of the conference theme, and the special place of the bodies of constitutional control in the system of checks and balances between branches of state power, without which it is impossible to build a legal and democratic state.
The evidence of the successful implementation of organization regarding international conference by Constitutional Chamber is the thank you letters of colleagues from the constitutional courts of Turkey, Azerbaijan, Korea and Latvia, as well as positive feedback from other participants.
All the speeches of the participants were published in a special collection of the international conference, which was published with the support of the project "Promotion of the rule of law in the Kyrgyz Republic" funded by the European Union and implemented by the German Society for international cooperation.
4th Meeting of the Secretary Generals of AACC in Indonesia
The Meeting of the Secretary Generals of the AACC (the Meeting) was successfully held at the Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center, Indonesia, on 9 August 2016. It was attended by the Secretary Generals and representatives of the Association.
The Meeting was chaired by the Secretary General of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia, Mr. Guntur Hamzah, in his capacity as the Secretary General of the Term President of the Association. He stated his belief that the members could agree on the importance of strengthening this Association so that it could grow and develop, both by deepening the relations among its members and also by expanding relations with other partners anad institutions. The members thanked the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia for its hospitality and excellent organization of the Meeting.
In addition, the Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia and the Term President of the Association, H.E. Mr. Arief Hidayat, underlined the importance of the Secretary Generals in supporting the activities of the Association. This forum was deemed important for the sharing of information, coordination, and agenda setting of the Association. Furthermore, the Secretary Generals’ meeting would report to the Board of Members Meeting of its conclusion and recommendations on the discussion among members with regard to the establishment of a permanent secretariat.
Follow Up of the Outcome of the Meeting of the Secretary Generals III
on 30 – 31 May 2016 about the Working Paper on the Permanent Secretariat
On the discussion of the Working Paper on the Permanent Secretariat, the majority of the representatives expressed their support for the establishment of permanent secretariat and that the Association should not further postpone or delay itself from taking decision upon this issue.
The Meeting hence agreed to propose the following points to be decided by the Board of members meeting, as follows:
The decision to establish the permanent secretariat should be taken promptly.
The form of the pemanent secretariat should be a joint permanent secretariat which shall be open to all members and for them to assign their human resources through secondment program or any other arrangements.
The necessity to amend relevant articles of the Statute to accommodate the establishment of joint permanent secretariat.
The Russian language to be used as a second working language in accordance with the substance of the proposal from Russia as submitted.
Members were encouraged to uphold consensus in their deliberation and decision making, even though Article 14 of the Statute provides voting mechanism in decision making.
Board of Members Meeting (BoMM) and the 3rd Congress
The Chairman briefed the Meeting on the preparation made by the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia for the BoMM and the 3rd Congress.
In accordance with Article 21 paragraph 4 of the Statute, the Meeting made recommendations to the BoMM that the Chairperson of each Meeting of the 3rd Congress would be Korea, Turkey and Indonesia, reflecting upon their previous and ongoing terms of presidency.
Noting since there was no candidate for the next president, and that there was no reference so far in the Statute regarding this matter, Russia suggested that the Meeting to formulate anticipatory mechanism. This could be prepared by Indonesia as the Term President.
On the issue of the next presidency, the Meeting agreed to have Indonesia as a “caretaker” which will be responsible to carry out the work of the Association up until the next president is elected.
The Meeting undertook a drafting upon the Bali Declaration which would be recommended for further discussion and approval by the BoMM.
The Meeting agreed that any issues that had not been addressed during the Meeting would be furhter fiscussed at the BoMM.
In essence, the members of the association have the same view on the importance of strengthening the management of the association in increasing the cooperation between the member countries, as well as other international organizations. However, the members originally have different views of the model of the secretariats that will be adopted and based on the type of the secretariats that were proposed focused on three forms. First was the form of joint secretariat as proposed by Indonesia and Korea which had been approved by the majority as a consensus in the previous Meeting of Secretary General. Second was the permanent secretariat as proposed by Turkey who also expressed their readiness in becoming a pemanenet secretariat. The last one was rotating or host secretariat as proposed by Philippiness.
Board of Members Meeting also followed up the issue of including the Russian language as a second working language. As discussed in the previous Meeting of Secretary General, the recommendation was that the Russian language could be accepted as the working language but the usage was limited only during the meeting. While official document and official correspondence would still use English.
In addition, the Board of Members Meeting also focused on the amendment of AACC statute as a consequence of the formation of the secretariat. Thus, Board of Members Meeting needed to amend article 11 and 22 of the AACC statute. While in relation to Russian as the second working language, the amandment of article 5 of the AACC statute was also required.
4th Summer School "The Right to Respect for Private and Family Life" in Turkey
In the scope of the activities of the Association of Asian Constitutional Courts and Equivalent Institutions the 4th Summer School on the subject “Right to Respect for Private and Family Life” was organized by the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Turkey between 2 – 9 October 2016 in Ankara.
At the 2nd Board of Members Meeting of the Association held in 2014 in Istanbul it was unanimously decided the Summer School on Constitutional Law to be held every year in Turkey by our Court. Moreover, it was decided during the 3rd Board of Members Meeting in Bali, Indonesia in 2016, that a Permanent Secretariat of the AACC be established, and that a Center for Training and Human Resources Development, which is one of the three branches of this Secretariat, be formed and become operational in Turkey. According to this the 4th Summer School was organized in the framework of that center.
Justices, rapporteur judges, assistant judges, researchers, lawyers and advisors from the Constitutional Courts or Equivalent Institutions of Afghanistan, Algeria, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Kosovo, Malaysia, Mongolia, Moldova, Myanmar, Russia, Tajikistan and Turkey attended the activities of the 4th Summer School.
The 4th Summer School Program started with the opening address by Burhan ÜSTÜN, Vice President of the Turkish Constitutional Court, at the Grand Hall of the Court. After the opening address, the participants visited the Court building and had their lunch at the Court restaurant and were then transferred to the hotel for the subsequent academic sessions of the program in the afternoon. In the evening the Turkish Constitutional Court gave a dinner in honor of the guests.
The working language of the Summer School Program was English and the participants presented the legal situations in their countries and precedent judgments of their Courts on “Right to Respect for Private and Family Life”. The participants had the opportunity to share their knowledge and experience through the discussions and question & answer sessions.
Social activities such as the bowling tournament etc. throughout the program have contributed to the development of the friendship and dialogue among the members of the Association. Our guests had the chance to enjoy historical, cultural and natural beauties of Istanbul during the social program held between 7 – 9 October 2016.
The 4th Summer School Program ended with the General Assessment Session and Certificate Ceremony on Thursday, 6 October 2016.
1st Meeting of the Secretary Generals of AACC in Indonesia
The Meeting of the Secretary Generals of the Association of Asian ConstitutionalCourts and Equivalent Institutions (“the Association”) was held in Jakarta, Indonesia on 25 – 26 May 2015. The Meeting was initiated and hosted by the Secretary General of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia, in his capacity as the Secretary General of the Term President of the Association.
The Meeting was attended by the Secretary Generals and representatives of the Association from 13 (thirteen) member countries, namely Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Russia, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkey, and Uzbekistan.
The Meeting was aimed at having in-depth discussions on the preparation of the forthcoming Meeting of the Board of Members and the 3rd Congress of the Association and other issues related to the Association, as well as strengthening cooperation among the Secretary Generals of the Association members.
Brief Description of the Authorities of Each Institution and Support Provided for the Implementation of the Aforementioned Authorities
Heads of Delegation briefed the Meeting on the structures, roles, and competence of the authorities of each institution, as well as efforts taken by the Secretary Generals in their respective countries to support the works of the constitutional courts and equivalent Institutions.
Preparation for Meeting of the Board of Members and the 3rd Congress
The Chairman briefed the Meeting on the provisional agenda of and technical preparation for the upcoming Meeting of the Board of Members, which would be held in Jakarta on 14 August 2015. The Meeting noted that deliberations on the matters of the working theme, states and institutions to be invited, and financial issues of the 3rd Congress would be held at the upcoming Meeting of the Board of Members.
Coordination of Events, not only to Coordinate Calendars among Member Institutions but also to Align Those Events with the Aims of the Association
The Meeting was briefed on the programmes and activities of members of the Association. The Meeting further noted the commitment of the delegates to coordinate their respective calendars of events and align the themes with the aims of the Association in the following years.
Enhancing the Role of Secretary Generals of Members of the Association
The Meeting underscored the important roles of the Secretary Generals of Members of the Association in supporting the works of the Association. Through an open floor discussion, the Meeting reached a mutual understanding that the role of the Secretary General needs to be strengthened, through, inter alia, a review of the Association Statute. The Meeting accepted the offer from the Delegation of Indonesia to host a meeting of the Secretary Generals of members of Association one day prior to the Board of Members Meeting in Jakarta, August 2015, to discuss the matters raised during this Meeting. The Meeting further noted that delegations should report these matters to their respective Presidents, who by the end of June 2015 should submit their comments regarding the establishment of permanent Secretariat of the Association to the Term President.
2nd Meeting of the Secretary Generals of AACC in Indonesia
The 2nd Meeting of the Secretary Generals of the Association (the Meeting) of Asian ConstitutionalCourts and Equivalent Institutions (“the Association”) was successfully held in Jakarta, Indonesia on 13 August 2015. The Meeting was attended by the 7 (seven) Secretary Generals of the Association, namely Azerbaijan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Republic of Korea, Thailand and the Phillippines.
The Meeting was chaired by Mr. Janedjri M. Ghaffar, the Secretary General of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia, in his capacity as the Secretary General of the incumbent President of the Association.
Responses of the Heads of Institutions of the 1st Meeting of the Secretary General
The Meeting noted that Heads of Delegations welcomed the convening of the said meeting and expressed gratitude to the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia for being its host. It was also recommended by the participants that such meeting of the Secretary Generals should be held on a regular basis in the future.
Developments on the Proposed Establishmet of a Permanent Secretariat to the Association
The Meeting agreed that the proposed establishment of the Permanent Secretariat, including proposal papers from the Republic of Korea and Indonesia would be brought up in the upcoming Board of Members Meeting which would be held on 14 August 2015 for further discussion and consideration.
The Board of Members Meeting (BoMM) of AACC was held in Jakarta, Indonesia on 14 August 2015 and hosted by the Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia, in his capacity as the Term President of the Association.
The Meeting was attended by the Presidents/Heads and/or representatives of the constitutional courts and equivalent institutions from 12 (twelve) member countries of the Association, namely Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Russia, Thailand, Turkey, and Uzbekistan. Pakistan and Tajikistan were not present.
The Meeting was aimed at discussing in-depth three topics, namely, the preparation of the forthcoming 3rd Congress of the Association, admission of new members and the proposed establishment of a permanent secretariat of AACC.
Preparation of the Third Congress of AACC
The Indonesian delegation briefed the Meeting on its plan as the term president of the Association on the preparation of the Third Congress, including proposals for time and venue, working themes, countries and organization to be invited to the Congress and financial issues. After the presentation, the Meeting agreed with the following items of the Indonesian proposals:
The forthcoming BOMM and Meeting of the Third Congress of the Association will be hosted by Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court of Indonesia as the Term President of the Association in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, from 25-28 April 2016;
The theme of the Third Congress will be “The Promotion and Protection of Citizen’s Constitutional Rights”.
Admission of New Members
The Chairman informed the Meeting that the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia, as President of the Association had received letters concerning the admission of the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Kyrgyz and the Constitutional Tribunal of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to the association, dated 18 June 2014 and 4 August 2015 respectively, each accompanied by a copy of the respective Constitution. Thus, the Meeting agreed that the two applying institutions had fulfilled the requirements laid out by the statute in Article 7 regarding admission, and as such agreed to admit both countries as members of the Association. While voicing their consent, members also expressed welcoming wishes to Kyrgyz and Myanmar.
Discussion of the Proposed Establishment of a Permanent Secretariat of the Association
The Chairman briefed the Meeting that as agreed during the previous Meeting of the Secretary Generals (MSG), which were held in Jakarta, on 25 – 26 May, 2015 and on 13 August, 2015, the Board of members would discuss the proposal to enhance the role of the Secretary Generals, which was initiated by the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia and followed by the proposal to establish a permanent secretariat by the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Korea.
The Korean and Indonesian delegations presented their proposals before the delegations on the functions and structure of the proposed Permanent Secretariat. Both countries viewed that the Association needed to have a permanent secretariat in order to better manage the work and development of the Association.
In general, the Meeting agreed to strengthen and better manage the works of the Association. However, the majority of the Delegations considered it necessary to conduct a more in-depth analysis before establishing a Permanent Secretariat through the amendment of the Statute of Association. After thorough discussion of the possible follow up actions, the Chair considered the proposals and counter proposals and concluded that the discussion on the establishment of a Permanent Secretariat to the Association should be postponed pending further exploration of the implications of establishing such an organ.
International Symposium on Constitutional Complaint in Indonesia
The development of constitutional complaint cases and the dynamic authority of Constitutional Courts in various countries was the rationale for convening the International Symposium on Constitutional Complaint on 15–16 August, 2015 in Jakarta. The event was organised by the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia in his capacity as President of the Association of Asian Constitutional Courts and Equivalent Institutions (AACC) as well as to commemorate the 12th anniversary of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia, which fell on 13 August 2015. Before the International Symposium, the AACC held the 2nd Meeting of the Secretary Generals on 13 August 2015, as well as the Board of Members Meeting on 14 August 2015.
The International Symposium was attended by participants from 17 countries and one international organisation (Venice Commission), as well as legal practitioners and academics from the Faculty of Law in Indonesia. Speakers and panelists in this International Symposium were from various countries in Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America.
The International Symposium was conducted in an active, dynamic, and constructive atmosphere. Discussions included the philosophical and theoretical aspects of constitutional complaint as an efforts to protect citizens’ constitutional rights, comparison of the conditions and mechanisms of constitutional complaint, as well as the problems and challenges faced in the implemenatation of constitutional complaint. These three topics were accommodated in the three sub-themes of the Symposium, namely:
(1) Constitutional complaint as an instrument to protect the constitutional rights of citizens;
(2) Comparative Perspectives on Constitutional complaint;
(3) Problems and challenges in handling cases of constitutional complaint.
3rd Summer School: "Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Organization" in Turkey
The 3rd Summer School Program started with the opening address by Prof. Dr. Zühtü ARSLAN, President of the Turkish Constitutional Court, at the Grand Tribunal Hall of the Court. After the opening address, the participants visited the Court building and had their lunch at the Court restaurant. The guests were transferred to the hotel for the subsequent academic sessions of the program in the afternoon. Mr. Burahn USTUN, Vice-President of Turkish Constitutional Court, gave a dinner in honor of the guests in the evening.
The working language of the Summer School Program was English and the participants presented the legal situations in their countries and precedent judgments of their Courts on the “Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Organization”. The participants had the opportunity to share their knowledge and experience through the discussions and question & answer sessions.
Such social activities as bowling tournament, paper marbling show (traditional Turkish art) etc. throughout the program have contributed to developing the friendship and dialogue among the members of the Association. Our guests had the chance to enjoy historical, cultural and natural beauties in Konya on 2 September Wednesday, in Ankara on 4 September Friday and in Istanbul on 5-6 September.
The 3rd Summer School Program ended with the General Assessment Session and Certificate Ceremony on Tuesday, 08 September.