International workshop to be held for jurists

February 26th, 2008 - 5:38 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, Feb 26 (IANS) An international two-day workshop on “Strengthening the Advisory Council of Jurists (ACJ)” will be held here beginning Wednesday. The workshop will be organised by the National Human Rights Commission and the Asia Pacific Forum (APF) of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs).

“The purpose of this workshop is to bring together a representative group of forum councillors and jurists to consider the most effective ways to utilise the expertise of the ACJ, to improve procedures for the selection and development of references and the implementation and monitoring of their recommendations,” an official statement of the NHRC said Tuesday.

Participants from Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand and Korea, besides India, will attend the workshop.

The two-day workshop would open with a presentation on the results of the questionnaire, which was circulated among the members earlier. It also consists discussion sessions on a number of topics including legal references, membership and the role of experts, raising the profile of ACJ, selection criteria and roles and responsibilities of Jurists and changes to terms of reference.

The proposal to establish the ACJ has first come up at the second regional workshop of the APF of NHRIs in New Delhi in September 1997. At the meeting, the forum councillors had agreed to establish an “International Human Rights Law Advisory Panel”

The terms of reference for the establishment and operation of the Advisory Council of Jurists were approved at the third annual meeting in Jakarta in September 1998.

Since its inaugural meeting in 2000, the ACJ has considered six references from the APF’s Forum Council- the regulation of child pornography on the internet (2000), death penalty (2000), trafficking of women and children (2002), anti-terrorism legislation and the rule of law (2004), torture (2005) and education (2006).

At the 12th APF, the Forum Council agreed to conduct a review of the role and functions of the Advisory Council of Jurists. The purpose of the review is to strengthen the operations of the ACJ and to align its activities with the APF’s strategic goals.

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