Constitutional Justice Saldi Isra read out a joint statement by the Association of Asian Constitutional Courts and Equivalent Institutions (AACC) and the Conference of Constitutional Jurisdictions of Africa (CCJA) on Tuesday, October 4, 2022 at the Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center (BNDCC), Bali. In the joint statement, 39 members expressed the importance of promoting cooperation between countries of Asia and Africa. The cooperation is based on respect for human rights), in accordance with the United Nations Charter, as well as the equality of all races and nations, large or small, as enshrined in 1955 Bandung Declaration. On account of that, Justice Saldi added, the AACC and the CCJA provided their support for citizens of Asian and African countries who are seeking constitutional justice through the constitutional jurisdictions in their respective country.
“Reiterating the importance of building shared understanding and enhancing cooperation between the two organizations in the spirit of advancing democracy and the rule of law, protecting the people’s (persons) fundamental rights, and ensuring the adherence to the constitution; appreciating the goodwill of members of the two organizations and their secretariats for the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding through the organization and active participation in the 1st AACC-CCJA Joint Conference,” he read out.
Before the statement was read out, the forum had held discussions and made revisions to the points of agreement that will be embodied in the statement. In the forum, some participants shared their opinions and disapprovals of the concept of the memorandum of understanding between the AACC and the CCJA. In essence, the agreement was expected to provide cooperation framework between both parties in constitutional law, democracy, supremacy of law, and human rights.
Respect for People’s Socio-Cultural Principles and Realities
President of the CCJA, President Laurinda Prazeres Monteiro Cardoso of the Constitutional Court of Angola, said in her remarks that the Bandung Declaration reflected the pledge of commitment of the signing countries to support peace and basic principles of human rights as enshrined in the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. She agreed with the notion of the congress that socio-cultural principles and realities of the people must be respected when it comes to human rights.
“We believe sharing information, ideas, and experiences between the members of the two vast continents, which are characterized by a large variety of cultures but yet similar experience of colonialism in the past, will bring benefits,” she asserted.
President of the AACC and Chairperson of the Constitutional Court of Mongolia Chinbat Namjil said in his closing remarks that an association always represents the unanimous vote of its members. Therefore, he believes that the discussion on “Constitutional Supremacy Index” can stimulate ideas, so the CCJA can occupy the same position as an association similar to the AACC. “On behalf of the President of the AACC, I hope we all can make today’s meeting successful,” he said.
Cooperation between the AACC and the CCJA was initiated on August 9, 2017 with the signing of a memorandum of understanding in Surakarta, Central Java, Indonesia, where the two organizations agreed to share experiences in exercising constitutional jurisdictions and implementing democracy in Asia and Africa.