The 2nd China-ASEAN Justice Forum was held in Nanning Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China on June 8, 2017. The Forum was hosted by the Supreme Court People's Court of the People's Republic of China (hereinafter referred to as ("the SPC") and sponsored by High People's Court of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. H.E. Mr. ZHOU Qiang, Chief Justice of the People's Republic of China and President of the SPC; Hon. Mr. YOU Ottara, Vice-President of the Supreme Court of the Kingdom of Cambodia; Hon. Mr. Takdir RAHMADI, Deputy Chief Justice on Resource Development of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Indonesia; H.E. Mr. Khamphane SITTHIDAMPHA, President of the People's Supreme Court of the Lao People's Democratic Republic; Hon. Mr. Tan Sri Richard MALANJUM, Chief Judge of High Court of Sabah and Sarawak and Justice of the Federal Court of Malaysia; H.E. Mr. HTUN HTUN OO, Chief Justice of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar; Hon. Mr. Andres B. REYES, JR., Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal of the Republic of the Philippines as observer; Hon. Mr. Steven CHONG, Justice, Judge the Appeal of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Singapore, H.E. Mr. Veerapol TUNGSUWAN, President of the Supreme Court of the Kingdom of Thailand; and Hon. Mr. NGUYEN Van Thuan, Deputy Chief Justice of the Supreme Court People's Court of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam attended the Forum and addressed in the sessions. Hon. Mr. AKP Mochtan, Deputy Secretary-General of the ASEAN Secretariat also attended the Form. Besides, H.E. Mr. Sayed Yousuf HALEM, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan; Hon. Mr. Hasan Foez SIDDIQUE, Justice of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the People's Republic of Bangladesh; Hon. Mr. Hari Krishna Karki, Justice of the Supreme Court of Nepal; H.E. Mr. Main Saqib Nisar, Chief Justice of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan; and H.E. Mr. Wewage Priyasath Gerad DEP, Chief Justice of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka also attended the Forum and addressed in the sessions as guests of honor of the SPC.
In friendly, practical and constructive atmosphere, the delegates and special guests of honor extensively exchanged opinions under the theme of Justice in the Internet Era and Regional Judicial Cooperation, centering on specific topics including Informatization of Court Work, Judicial Transparency on the Internet, Coordination and Integration of Commercial Laws of the Countries in the Region, Building Cross-Border Disputes Resolution Mechanism in the Region and Strengthening International Judicial Assistance in the Region. Theses, discussions have laid down a solid foundation for enhancing and deepening international judicial exchanges and cooperation. The Forum, convinced of the necessity to establish and maintain persistent exchanges and cooperation among judiciaries of China and ASEAN countries, as well as South Asian countries, reached the following consensus.
I. THE Forum commend the exchanges and cooperation between China and ASEAN countries since the adoption of the Nanning Statement in the First China-ASEAN Justice Forum in various forms, such as bilateral high-level visits, information exchanges and judges training. The participants of the Forum will push forward with more exchanges and cooperation among judiciaries of China and ASEAN countries, as well as South-Asian countries.
II. As the participants of the Forum noticed, with the development of the Belt and Road Initiative, the ever- expanding trade and personal exchanges among China and ASEAN countries, as well as South-Asian countries, the needs of judicial cooperation have been continuously increasing.
III. Supreme Court of participating countries will pay closer attention and respond to the trend of informatization and endeavor to adopt information technology means according to their capacity and conditions, in order to improve judicial capability and practices, efficiently resolve disputes, and better ensure judicial fairness. The Forum supports judiciaries in expanding the applicability of information technology services to make more transparent and efficient work of courts, as well as to make implementation of justice more widely accessible to the society.
IV. The principle of judicial transparency is a fundamental part of important means to promote judicial fairness and to improve judicial practice. Supreme Courts of participating countries will pay more attention to continuously increasing judicial transparency and credibility, based on common international standards and practices combining with their respective national situations. Meanwhile, the protection of personal information and privacy, national security and public interests shall be also taken into consideration.
V. As transnational trades and investment thriving around the region, the increasing urgency to further explore coordinating and integrating the commercial law of each country has been recognized. To the extent permitted by domestic laws, Supreme Courts of participating countries will consider engaging in comparative study and communication on their respective commercial laws and in smoothing out conflicts, in pursuit of coordination and complementation of their commercial laws to the greatest extent.
VI. Improving cross-border disputes resolution mechanism is conducive to foster a well-ordered legal environment for transnational trades and investment in the region. To the extent permitted by domestic laws, Supreme Courts of participating countries will actively consider the adoption of mediation and other alternative disputes resolution mechanism.
VII. Regional cross-border transactions and investments require a judicial safeguard based on appropriate mutual recognition and enforcement of judicial judgments among countries in the region. Subject to their domestic laws, Supreme Courts of participating countries will keep good faith in interpreting domestic laws, try to avoid unnecessary parallel proceedings, and consider facilitating the appropriate mutual recognition and enforcement of civil or commercial judgements among different jurisdictions. If two countries have not been bound by any international treaty on mutual recognition and enforcement of foreign civil or commercial judgments, both countries may, subject to their domestic laws, presume the existence of their reciprocal relationship, when it comes to the judicial procedure of recognizing or enforcing such judgments made by courts of the other country, provided that the courts of the other country had not refused to recognize or enforce such judgments on the ground of lack of reciprocity.
VIII. Supreme courts of participating countries from ASEAN support the SPC in founding both the Judges Exchange and Training Base for China-ASEAN Countries and the Legal and Judicial Information Center for China-ASEAN Countries in Guangxi, China, as well as the International Judicial Assistance Research Base for China-ASEAN Countries in Yunnan, China, so as to jointly promote more connected, pragmatic and efficient judicial exchange and cooperation among courts of China and ASEAN countries.
This Statement written in Chinese and English is adopted on June 8, 2017 in Nanning, China.
For more information on Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in China, please feel free to download our CJO newsletter vol.1 no. 1.