Legal system must protect the vulnerable: Brunei chief justice

Chief Justice Dato Seri Paduka Steven Chong during the virtual conference. - BB

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (Borneo Bulletin/ANN): Chief Justice Dato Seri Paduka Steven Chong emphasised the pivotal role of the courts in adjudicating alleged violations of economic, social and cultural rights, in his opening address at the 6th Joint Judicial Conference (JJC) between Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia and Singapore.

“It is those who are the most vulnerable in society who are in most need of legal protection,” he said at the biennial conference held on Thursday (July 22) at the International Convention Centre.

He added, “The JJC allows us to share our experiences and identify together the possible solutions that can enable our Judiciaries to meet the needs of our justice systems and the people within it that we serve.”

The Chief Justices of Brunei, Malaysia and Singapore, with 70 judges and judicial officers from the respective judiciaries joined in the conference, which convened online for the first time since its inception.

The judiciaries of Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia and Singapore met virtually to discuss judicial and legal issues of common interest.

The JJC is said to serve as a platform to strengthen and deepen ties and provides a valuable setting for the exchange of views and experiences amongst fellow judges and judicial officers.

The Supreme Court here also said that the conference reaffirms the long-standing friendship and cooperation that exists between Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia and Singapore.

The theme for the 6th JJC is ‘The Protection of Persons and the Court’s Role and Duties in Protecting Economic, Social and Cultural Rights’.

The three judiciaries engaged in panel discussions in the areas of child protection in cross border issues and the rise of human trafficking cases as well as the reasons and sentencing considerations.

They also shared their experiences on the judicial administration topic of judges and artificial intelligence (AI) and the extent of the AI’s influence on the judiciary.

The Chief Justice spoke on the rise of human trafficking cases, and highlighted the significant efforts made by the Government of Brunei Darussalam in its whole-of-nation approach in combatting offences against trafficking in persons.

He also added that these efforts include the role of the courts as part of the criminal justice system in upholding the rights of human trafficking victims, as well as determining sentencing considerations for perpetrators. - Borneo Bulletin/Asia News Network

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