The COVID-19 global pandemic didn’t keep Asian constitution courts affiliated with the AACC (Association of Asian Constitutional Court and Equivalent Institutions) from holding its fourth congress in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan on Wednesday, August 26, 2020. The online event was organized by the AACC president for 2019-2021, the Constitutional Council of Kazakhstan.
As part of the event, the AACC member countries joined a limited Meeting of Secretaries General led by the Secretary-General of the Constitutional Council of Kazakhstan Bakyt Nurmukhanov. In the meeting, the three permanent secretariats of AACC—the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia, the Constitutional Court of Korea, and the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Turkey—delivered their reports.
Head of the Public Relations and Protocol Bureau Heru Setiawan reported the programs of the AACC’s Permanent Secretariat for Planning and Coordination (SPC) on behalf of the Constitutional Court of Indonesia (MKRI). The SPC had carried out four main programs in 2019 until the first half of 2020. First, it has been developing the AACC’s official website www.aacc-asia.org as a source of information on the AACC for the public and its member countries. Activities and landmark decisions of the AACC members are available on the website. Starting from last year, the AACC members have had access to the website and have been actively keeping the information regarding their organizations on the website updated.
Heru said that the COVID-19 pandemic compelled the AACC as an independent association to participate in protecting human rights so that the people can live without fear. “For this reason, we have taken the initiative to carry out a COVID-19 awareness campaign, including drafting a joint statement of all AACC members, making COVID-19 awareness support videos featuring the AACC member countries, and drafting policy actions implemented by AACC member countries,” he explained. The campaign is available on the association’s website. From the Constitutional Court’s Delegation Room, Heru delivered the report alongside the Director for Legal Affairs and Political and Security Treaties of the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Purnomo Ahmad Chandra and a researcher of the Constitutional Court of Indonesia Pan M. Faiz.
Heru added that the SPC has added an internal menu on the AACC website, which can be accessed only by the member countries. The menu allows for all member countries to exchange specific information. Since the end of 2019 until the first half of 2020, the AACC offered membership proposals to Bangladesh, Nepal, dan Jordan. The Supreme Court of Bangladesh has expressed its interest in the proposal and sent an application. Heru also detailed the SPC’s programs, including more intensive approach to countries who have expressed their interest in joining the AACC.
The fourth AACC Congress was entitled “The XXI Century Constitution: The Rule of Law, the Value of Person, and the Effectiveness of the State.” The event will run for two days on Wednesday to Thursday, August 26-27, 2020 as the mutual efforts of the AACC’s members to contribute to the strengthening of democratic values, the rule of law, and the protection of human rights and freedoms in Asia and beyond.