Rule of Law in ASEAN: Implications of Regional Integration for Judicial Collaboration and Training
Contemporary Research of Global Legal Issues, p.p. 55-83 (Korea Legislation Research Institute, Feb. 2016)
20 Pages Posted: 29 Mar 2016
Date Written: March 29, 2016
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is currently undergoing a process of political and economic integration unprecedented in Southeast Asia. What began in earnest in 2007, with the adoption of the ASEAN Charter has further developed through the implementation of the economic, political-security, and socio-cultural community blueprints. As ASEAN moves forward with its agenda for the establishment of an Economic Community by 2015, the judiciaries of the ten member states face considerable challenges with adapting to the new legal environment required of a single market. The proliferation of cross-border trade as well as ASEAN’s goals for economic integration are factors that push member states towards further legalisation including the harmonisation of laws and dispute resolution. However, institutional development and domestic judicial capacities have not kept pace with the rapidly expanding normative output at the ASEAN level. Against this background, this paper draws attention to the role the national judiciaries of the ten ASEAN member states play in the regional integration process. The absence of more institutionalised regular judicial collaboration among the national courts of ASEAN member states and associated capacity-building efforts leads, in practice, to varying degrees of implementation of legal obligations at the national level. Building upon the findings of two comparative studies implemented by the Human Rights Resource Centre for ASEAN, this paper (i) outlines the rationale for a role of ASEAN judiciaries in regional integration; (ii) provides a brief comparative overview of the state of judicial collaboration among ASEAN member states and the extent to which ASEAN integration is considered in judicial training; and (iii) discusses some challenges and opportunities for the regional integration process.
Keywords: ASEAN, rule of law, human rights, regional intergration, judiciary
JEL Classification: K33, N45
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation