The country representatives agree to focus on ‘training needs and capacities’ of ASEAN judiciaries and to ‘continue to monitor developments of the regional roundtable on environmental law’

MANILA, Philippines – Judiciary leaders in member-states of the Association for Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) signed on Tuesday, March 3, an agreement for continuing judicial cooperation, a vital element as the bloc moves toward full integration.

The agreement was signed on the last day of the 3rd ASEAN Chief Justices Meeting (ACJM) held in Boracay island, a top tourist destination. Each ASEAN member-state was represented.

Dubbed the Boracay Accord of 2015, the agreement reaffirmed ASEAN judiciaries’ “commitment to strengthen international partnerships and regional solidarity.”

During the discussion, the justices agreed to create an English-language portal of laws across the region. (WATCH: ‘Rule of law must prevail as ASEAN integrates’)

They also created a working committee co-chaired by Philippine Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo-de Castro to tackle more closely how judiciaries can better approach child custody disputes between nationals of two different ASEAN member-states.

The country representatives agreed to focus on “training needs and capacities” of ASEAN judiciaries and to “continue to monitor developments of the regional roundtable on environmental law.”

With the Philippines as host of the 3rd ACJM, Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno led the high-level meeting with her co-equals in the region. (IN PHOTOS: 3rd ASEAN Chief Justices Meeting)

While court traditions differ among ASEAN member-states, judicial cooperation can help boost investment.

Efficient courts and transparent judicial processes help improve investors’ confidence.

Philippine Supreme Court Spokersperson Theodore Te explained that a clear portal for litigants, understandable court regulations, and a predictable system once cases are filed, are vital to the envisioned ASEAN economic community.