Beijing Statement

Principles of the Independence of the Judiciary in the LAWASIA region

Summary

The Beijing Statement of Principles of the Independence of the Judiciary finds its origins in 1982 in a statement of principles formulated by the Law Association for Asia and the Pacific (LAWASIA) Human Rights Standing Committee and a small number of Chief Justices and other Judges at a meeting in Tokyo (“the Tokyo Principles”). The decision to formulate the current Statement was made at the 4th Conference of Chief Justices of Asia and the Pacific in Perth, Western Australia in 1991. The Secretary of the LAWASIA Judicial Section, The Honourable Justice R D Nicholson, and I undertook the drafting of the Statement, a first draft of which was presented to the 5th Conference in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in 1993. In light of comments received at that conference and subsequently, and following further consideration at the conference in Beijing in August 1995, the Statement of Principles was adopted by the Chief Justices from 20 countries in the Asia Pacific. A revised version of the Statement as it is presented here was adopted in its final form at the 7th Conference of the Chief Justices in Manila in August 1997. The Statement has now been signed and subscribed to by 32 countries in the Asia Pacific region.

 

The Statement is a tribute to the determination of all signatories to leave aside differences in both legal and social traditions to formulate a single Statement on the Independence of the Judiciary.

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