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8th ASEAN law ministers meeting kicks off in Cambodia

PHNOM PENH, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) — Cambodia on Friday hosted the 8th ASEAN law ministers meeting to debate and decide a number of legal instruments for ASEAN joint implementation towards the establishment of ASEAN community in 2015.

Cambodia’s Minister of Justice Ang Vong Vathana said the two- day meeting would examine and decide the topics including ASEAN Government Law Directory, Development of the Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, ASEAN Law Forum, and Exchange of Study Visits by the ASEAN Law Officials, Government Legal Officers and Legal Information Authority.

Also, the meeting would debate the Development of ASEAN Convention on Counter Terrorism, Development of Regional and Sub- Regional Treaties on Cooperation in Criminal Justice, and Development of Model Law on Maritime Security, he added.

In addition, they would discuss on strengthening mutual judicial assistance in civil and commercial matters among ASEAN member states, the modalities for the harmonization of ASEAN trade law and framework agreement on the conservation of coastal and marine environment.

“Legal support is very important to minimize obstacle in the process of enhancing peaceful cooperation in ASEAN community and to ensure stability of political and security among ASEAN member states,” he said.

Speaking at the opening of the meeting, Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen said the meeting was very important to strengthen and expand legal and judicial cooperation in the framework of ASEAN towards the integration of ASEAN community in 2015.

“Now, ASEAN is on the right track towards a community by 2015; however, the ASEAN is still facing a number of challenges both inside and outside the region and needs to be tackled,” he said.

The ASEAN law ministers meeting was firstly held in April 1986 in Bali, Indonesia. It has been held one every 3 years in order to enhance legal and judicial system and to establish legal framework to fight against cross-border crimes and other forms of offenses.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) group Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

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