Increasing Acceptance of Rule of Law Concept in ASEAN

02 May, 2011 | Source: Kompas

ASEAN member countries are increasingly accepting the concept of the rule of law for human rights, according to a study conducted by the association’s Human Rights Resource Center (HRRC).

The study showed a growing consensus in ASEAN that the rule of law is essential to strengthen democracy and promote and protect fundamental human rights, said Assistant Professor Mahdev Mohan of the Law School of Singapore Management University, when announcing the study’s results here Saturday.

"This report is the first of many outcomes that our center 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," said HRRC Executive Director and Founding Chairman Marzuki Daruman in his remarks at the Conference on the Rule of Law for Human Rights (HAM) in the ASEAN Region.

In the initial presentation at the ASEAN level conference, HRRC provides an overview of the understanding, interpretation and the contemporary implementation of the ASEAN countries on the State Law (Rule of Law) as one of the principles of good governance.

Rule of Law for Human Rights in the ASEAN Region is based on a baseline study conducted by 10 in-county researchers, that 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 respectively countries.

According to Marzuki, this report is one of HRRC’s pioneering activities after it was launched a year ago in Indonesia and will be used as a reference for future regional research. The study also describes studies that also include the rights of women and children, migrant workers and democracy and human rights according to the ASEAN Charter, Marzuki added.

According to the Indonesian Permanent Representative to ASEAN I Gede Ngurah Swajayain the same occasion, this initial study plays an important role in promoting human rights in the ASEAN region. Ngurah said that this activity is a research report conducted independently to provide input on the application of human rights to government within the 10 ASEAN countries.

"I just received and read the report at a glance, but in general this research report is quite positive in that they will look at how countries in ASEAN which has ratified several international conventions related to human rights and rule of law and I saw the research is quite effective," said Ngurah.

Human rights and good governance are closely tied to ASEAN’s aspirations regarding the advancement of education, science and economic development, according to U.S. Ambassador to ASEAN, David L Carden who was also present on the occasion.

"To advance in all these areas, a system grounded in the rule of law is necessary," Carden said along with his fellow the Ambassadors to ASEAN partner countries such as Britain, Canada and Switzerland who also support and welcomes the HRRC initial research report.

Written by Jimmy Hitipeuw


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