KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 20 (Bernama) — The Asean Law Association (ALA) is on the right track to realise its vision and mission with the strategic actions it has carried out, president Dr H. M. Hatta Ali said today.

He said he was sure that the ALA, with its uniqueness and flexibility, would play a significant role in breeding and nurturing ideas and bringing them to fruition either on its own or through collaboration with the Supreme Courts of the Asean member states.

Hatta, who is the chief justice of Indonesia, said the ALA had built a working relationship with the Asean Secretariat, which had opened doors for strong networking with organisations and institutions.

He noted that the ALA was also expected to play an active role as legal counsel to Asean, and that this was an opportunity as well as a challenge to the association and that the members must be ready to accept the challenge.

“ALA has been transforming itself in the past two years into an organisation of judges, law teachers, and attorneys with a mission and vision to strengthen the role of law in Southeast Asia in supporting the establishment of the Asean economic community,” he said in his speech at the opening of the 36th Governing Council Meeting of ALA at a hotel here.

More than 200 people, among them chief justices, judges, lawyers and law practitioners, from nine of the Asean countries are attending the two-day meeting which began yesterday.

ALA, an accredited and recognised entity associated with Asean as stipulated under the Asean Charter, was established in 1979. It brings together under one roof all the different branches of the law profession – judges, law teachers, law practitioners and government lawyers.

Hatta, in his speech, said the association was currently on the threshold of stepping into the realm of the new challenge of the Asean economic integration in 2015.

Therefore, he said, ALA had taken steps to reposition itself as an agent of development of law in the region and that, to this extent, the ALA had taken concrete actions.

Chief Justice of Malaysia, Tun Arifin Zakaria, in his welcoming speech, said he was confident that all the participants would have a fruitful meeting.

He also said that the next meeting was scheduled to be held in the Philippines.