2018 / 05 / 25
On 25 May 2018, Beijing, the People's Republic of China, hosted the XIII Meeting of Presidents and Chief Justices of the Supreme Courts of the SCO Member States.
Chaired by the Supreme People's Court of the People's Republic of China, the meeting was attended and addressed by Justice of the Supreme Court of the Republic of India Mr Arjan Kumar Sikri, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Kazakhstan Mr Zhakip Asanov, Chief Justice and President of the Supreme People's Court of the People's Republic of China Mr Zhou Qiang, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Kyrgyz Republic Ms Ainash Tokbayeva, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Mr Mian Saqib Nisar, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation Mr Vyacheslav Lebedev, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Tajikistan Mr Shermukhammad Shokhiyen, and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Uzbekistan Mr Kozimjan Kamilov. Present at the meeting were also representatives of the SCO observer countries, SCO dialogue partners, SCO Secretariat, Executive Committee of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure, and Executive Directorate of the UN Security Council's Counter-Terrorism Committee.
During the meeting, which was held in a friendly, business-like and constructive atmosphere, the participants discussed how to intensify legal cooperation within the SCO and exchanged views. They also held a discussion on court computerisation, "smart courts," law enforcement, cross-border court cooperation against terrorism, drug trafficking, money laundering, and other crimes, legal standards and judicial practice with regard to excluding inadmissible evidence in criminal justice, legal standards and judicial practice on international purchase and sale agreements, and on how to improve the SCO international legal cooperation mechanism. They reached agreements to intensify mutual exchanges and cooperation between the SCO member states in the judicial and legal sphere. The parties see the need for establishing and strengthening permanent ties and interaction between the Supreme Courts of the SCO member states and declare the following:
1. Judicial exchanges and cooperation between the Supreme Courts of the SCO member states promote the defence of long term peace, security and stability in the region and the strengthening of their mutual trust and neighbourly relations and friendship. The meeting participants stress the importance of the further expansion of legal cooperation and of the holding of joint events directed at cutting short cross-border crime and improving the methods of settling international civil and commercial disputes.
2. The Supreme Courts of the SCO member states carry out judicial cooperation in keeping with the UN Charter and the generally recognised principles of international law, the SCO Charter and international treaties accepted within the organisation, and the Shanghai Spirit characterised by mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, mutual consultations, respect for the diversity of cultures, and a striving for joint development.
3. The Supreme Courts of the SCO member states will exchange experience, including the establishment of a working expert group on introducing in-court activities for a number of information technologies such as big data, cloud computing, Internet of Things, and artificial intelligence in order to keep abreast of global digitalisation trends and to raise the informatisation level of court activities.
4. The Supreme Courts of the SCO member states express their readiness to strengthen cooperation in the fight against threats and challenges such as terrorism, extremism and separatism, drug trafficking, human trafficking and money laundering, in order to make a positive contribution to the strengthening of peace in the region and the ensuring of global security and stability.
5. The exclusion of inadmissible evidence is a generally accepted international legal rule, which is of much importance in preventing coercion in gaining evidence, protecting fundamental human rights and freedoms, and guaranteeing judicial fairness. The Supreme Courts of the SCO member states are ready to pursue a comprehensive exchange of opinions and experience in this area as well as to increase mutual information exchanges on typical court cases, improve the legal mechanism for excluding inadmissible evidence, constantly improve crime prevention methods by decreasing coercion of confession through torture, and jointly promote justice in a fairer, more effective, civilised and regulated manner.
6. Facilitating the harmonisation of legal standards regulating international purchase and sale of goods is of much importance for stabilising business transactions, removing trade barriers, raising the level of liberalisation, and simplifying trading procedures. The Supreme Courts of the SCO member states note the importance of intensifying cooperation in the area of court justice aimed at harmonising the legal standards that regulate the international purchase and sale of goods.
7. The Supreme Courts of the SCO member states agree to implement mutual exchanges of judges' visits and improve their training and skills.
Done in the city of Beijing, PRC, on 25 May 2018 in one original copy in Chinese and Russian, with both texts being equally valid and binding.