The 9th Informal ASEM Seminar on Human Rights, entitled “Human Rights in Criminal Justice Systems”, was held in Strasbourg, France, 18th-20th February, 2009.
Criminal justice plays a key role in safeguarding the rule of law protecting human rights. Based on relevant international standards, the seminar examined how to improve human rights protection in the criminal justice system. The seminar also identified the current trends in Europe and Asia regarding the criminal justice systems and raised questions in order to spur informed reflections, discussions and formulate recommendations relevant to ASEM governments and its people.
The formula for this seminar employed is as follows:
- the participation of two representatives from universities and NGOs invited by the organisers and one official representative for each of the 16 Asian ASEM countries, and in order to have balanced representation between Asia and Europe, 1 representative from the civil society and 1 official from each of the 27 European ASEM countries, as well as the European Commission and ASEAN Secretariat;
- an agenda structured around the main topics related to the subject of the seminar, with discussions held in working groups;
- closed-door debates to allow free and direct exchanges of view; and,
- a set of recommendations elaborated collectively to be sent to the relevant institutions in ASEM countries as informal contribution to the official Asia-Europe dialogue.
The Seminar series is co-organised by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Raoul Wallenberg Institute (delegated by the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF), which has acted as the Secretariat of the Seminar since 2000. Supervision of the seminar is entrusted to a Steering Committee, composed of the Seminar’s three co-organisers as well as representatives of the ministries of Foreign Affairs of China and Indonesia, as well as the European Commission.