Indonesian and Thai Constitutional Courts Synergize to Prepare Sixth AACC Congress
13 June 2024

BANGKOK (MKRI) — The delegation of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia (MKRI), led by Constitutional Prof. Dr. Justice Arief Hidayat, visited the Constitutional Court of the Kingdom of Thailand on Thursday, June 13, 2024 to prepare for the sixth congress of the Association of Asian Constitutional Courts and Equivalent Institutions (AACC) which will be held on September 17-20, 2024. They were welcomed by Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court of Thailand Prof. Dr. Nakharin Mektrairat alongside Justices Prof. Dr. Udom Rath-amarit and Noppadon Theppitak. The meeting of the two courts began at 11:00 local time. 


Chief Justice Mektrairat opened the meeting by expressing gratitude for the presence of the MKRI’s delegation in Bangkok and appreciation for MKRI’s support as one of the permanent secretariats of the AACC in facilitating the implementation of the duties and authority of the Constitutional Court of Thailand as president of the association for the period of 2023-2025. He stated that the 2024 AACC Congress will be special with the presence of AACC members and confirmation of attendance from partners such as the Venice Commission, the Secretariat of the World Conference on Constitutional Justice (WCCJ), and the Conference on Constitutional Jurisdictions of Africa (CCJA).


“Under the theme of ‘Constitutional Court in Strengthening Constitutional Justice for Sustainable Society,’ we hope that the discussions and exchange of ideas will be very beneficial for our association,” Chief Justice Mektrairat said.


In response to the chief justice’s remarks, Justice Arief said that it is the Constitutional Court of Indonesia has an obligation to support the president of the AACC, especially as Thailand is a close ally and neighboring country. Justice Arief assured the Chief Justice Mektrairat that the entire association moves towards the same direction, which is the progress of the organization. This is the principle of the three AACC secretariats—the Secretariat for Planning and Coordination (Constitutional Court of Indonesia), the Secretariat for Research and Development (Constitutional Court of South Korea) and the Center for Training and Human Resources Development (Constitutional Court of Turkiye).


In the discussion session, Justice Arief also shared his experience presiding over the AACC board of members meetings (BoMM) in 2016 and 2017. For him, the AACC’s principles of togetherness and neutrality must be maintained, while at the same time it should continue to uphold constitutional supremacy, law enforcement, and human rights.


“At present, a few AACC member states are experiencing different political conditions. We must be sensitive to such matters. Therefore, the association’s alignment must be clear, which is the realization of legal justice and world peace,” he said alongside the Indonesian ambassador to the Kingdom of Thailand, Rahmat Budiman.


During the meeting, the two leaders agreed on several matters, including the drafting of the Bangkok Declaration for the sixth AACC congress as well as the method of preparation for the BoMM, which will be discussed at by the secretaries-general.


Preparatory Meeting

Previously, at 10:00 local time on the same day, at the fifth-floor meeting room of the building of the Constitutional Court of Thailand in the Chaeng Watthana Government Complex, a technical preparation meeting for the sixth AACC congress was held. Secretary-General of the Constitutional Court of Thailand Suttirak Songsivilai explained that this congress will be attended by hundreds of attendees, including academics and legal practitioners. At the preparatory meeting, both parties agreed to work side-by-side in preparing the concept of the Bangkok Declaration and the BoMM agenda, and in ensuring attendance confirmation. The Constitutional Court of Indonesia, represented by the head of the AACC Permanent Secretariat of and International Affairs Department Immanuel Hutasoit, stated that the Constitutional Court of Indonesia will follow up and inform every meeting’s result to the AACC president and members.


“It is important for us to convey that the Constitutional Court of Indonesia as a permanent secretariat of the AACC has one goal and spirit, which is to succeed in organizing the AACC under the Constitutional Court of Thailand’s presidency,” said Hutasoit.


Jefri Porkonanta Tarigan (junior registrar) and M. Radhi Zhafari (secretary of constitutional justice) also attended the meeting. Several topics discussed included the run-down of the congress, attendance confirmation, details of the opening ceremony, as well as the possibility of incorporating some of Asian countries’ achievements in the Sustainable Development Goals into the Bangkok Declaration.


The AACC was formed with the need for close cooperation between constitutional court and equivalent institutions exercising constitutional jurisdiction for the development of democracy and the rule of law in Asia. This association is also a forum for the exchange of experiences and information as well as for discussion of various issues related to constitutional practice and jurisprudence that are beneficial for the development of constitutional court and equivalent institutions in Asia.