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PIA Press Release

Global forum on liberty and prosperity set October 18 to 20

Koronadal, South Cotabato (3 October) -- Eleven Chief Justices and foreign delegates from courts in 35 countries across the globe are expected to gain from the Philippine experience the judicial philosophy of liberty and prosperity of Philippine Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban as a means toward poverty alleviation.

This as the Supreme Court is all set to host the Global Forum on Liberty and Prosperity on October 18 to 20 at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel, Makati City. The Forum's theme is "Safeguarding the Liberty and Nurturing Prosperity for the Peoples of the World."

Senior Associate Justice Reynato S. Puno will formally open this global assembly of jurists as Forum Chair.

Chief Justice Panganiban, who has been underscoring the necessity of upholding the twin goals of "liberty and prosperity" since he assumed his post as chief magistrate in December last year, will be the keynote speaker.

Upon his appointment, Chief Justice Panganiban laid down his vision for the Judiciary. He said that in cases involving liberty, the scales of justice should weigh heavily against the government and in favor of the poor, the oppressed, the marginalized, the dispossessed and the weak. He said laws and actions that restrict fundamental rights come to the courts "with a heavy presumption against the constitutional validity." In conflicts affecting policies on prosperity and development, deference must be accorded the political branches of government; namely, the Presidency and Congress. As a rule, courts will not pass upon the merits or wisdom of economic policies, for these matters have been left by the people t the President and Congress to evaluate and decide.

In various speeches, the Chief Justice has challenged the Judiciary to take an active role in purging Philippine society of economic deprivation and want. "Indeed, there can be no meaningful economic development without an effective rule of law in place," the Chief Justice had said.

"This call for action signifies the legal profession's unity with the common folk and their struggles against hunger and dispossession. This is a commitment to free our people not only from fear, but also from want; to liberate them not only from political tyranny, but also from economic deprivation," the Chief Justice said.

Confirmed guests and participants to the Global Forum are Chief Justice Saliou Aboudou, of the Supreme Court of Benin; Chief Justice Julian M. Nganunu, Supreme Court, Botswana; Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, Supreme Court, Canada; Chief Justice Guy Canivet, Supreme Court, France; Chief Justice F. Philip Carbullido, Supreme Court, Guam; Chief Justice Khammy Xayavong, Supreme Court, Lao PDR; President Dr. Virgilijus Valancius, Supreme Administrative Court, Lithuania; Chief Justice Andon L. Amaraich, Supreme Court, Micronesia; Chief Justice Mr. Dilip Kumar Paudel, Supreme Court, Nepal; Chief Justice V.M. Lebedev, Supreme Court, Russian Federation; and President Milan Karabin, Supreme Court, Slovak Republic.

Other foreign delegates include Justice Fatos Lulo, Supreme Court, Albania; Mr. Arman Mkrtumyan, Chairman of the Chamber of Civil Issues, Court of Cessation, Armenia; Madame Justice Susan Kenny, Federal Court of Australia, Australia; Mr. Peter Desmond Maynard, Peter D. Maynard Counsel & Attorneys, Bahamas;

Mr. Adossou Victor, General Secretary of the African Association of High French-Speaking Jurisdictions, Benin; Justice Tshering Wangchuk, High Court, Butan; Mr. Mircea-Petre Stanculescu, Vice President, Bucharest Bar Association;

Justice Li Ke, Supreme People's Court of China, China, together with Judge Li Jun and Mr. Zeng Zhaohui; Judge Zholdybayev J. Sabit, Economic Court, Commonwealth of Independent States; Deputy Chief Justice Dr. Adel Omar Sherif, Constitutional Court, Egypt; Mr. John Daniel Tydingco, Director of Policy and Planning, Guam;

Madhava Menon N.R., IOJT Board of Governor; Deputy Chief Justice Paulus Effendi Lotulong, Supreme Court, Indonesia, Ms. Hongxia Liu, International Development Law Organization, Italy; Justice Abdul Karim Mohd Pharaon, Supreme Court of Justice, Jordan, together with Judge Arar Najib Moh'd Khrais; Mr. Nak In Sung, Professor of Law/President of Korea Law Asociation, Seoul National University College of Law, Korea; Dr. Yeow-Choy Choong, Associate Professor, University of Malaya, Faculty of Law, Malaysia; Ms. Natasha Bassingthwaighte, Law Society of Namibia; Dr. Ram Krishna Timalsena, Mr. Shree Krisna Bahttarai, and Mr. Sudheer Man Shreshtha, Executive Committee Member, Nepalese Bar Association, Nepal;

Mr. Justice Edward Durie, New Zealand; Justice John A. Manglona, Supreme Court Northern Mariana Islands; Justice Han Teck Choo, Supreme Court, Singapore;

Mr. Fernando Pombo Garcia, International Bar Association, Spain; Mr. Tissa Jayaweera, Chair, ICC, Sri Lanka; Justice Sobchok Sukharomna, Supreme Court, Thailand, together with Justice Suthichok Theptrirat, Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal Region I, and Judge Voravuthi Dvadasin, Deputy Secretary General to the President of the Supreme Court; Justice Viktor Gorodovenko, Appellate Court of Zaporizhia Region, Ukraine; Mr. Raymond Wong, Chairperson, British Chinese Lawyers Association, United Kingdom; and Ms. Diana P. Kempe, Past IBA President and Co-Chair ABA Task Force on the Rule of Law, American Bar Association, United States of America.

Delegates from the International Bar Association (IBA), International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Asean Law Association (ALA), Asia Pacific Judicial Educators Forum, and International Organization for Judicial Training (IOJT) will also attend the event.

Local delegates include justices from the SC. Court of Appeals, Sandiganbayan, and Court of Tax Appeals; members of the Judicial and Bar Council; officials and personnel of the Office of the Court Administrator, of the Philippine Judicial Academy; the 2006 Judicial Excellence Awardees, and retired SC justices. Representatives from the Philippine Association of Law Schools, Foreign Chambers in the Philippines, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Makati Business Club, Integrated Bar of the Philippines, Philippine Bar Association, Asean Law Association (ALA Philippines), civil society, developmental partners, and 2006 Ramon Magsaysay awardees will also grace the event.

Representatives from the executive and legislative branches of the government were also invited to attend.

A video conference with the United States Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit Judge J. Clifford Wallace, International Court of Justice President Rosalyn Higgins, and World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz will also be held during the Forum.

Five plenary sessions will be held during the Forum to discuss best practices and experiences on "liberty and prosperity" in various countries as well as share lessons from law and judicial reform program experiences of the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, United Nations Development Programme, and the United States Agency for International Development. (DOJ/DTI 12-CWD/PIA 12) [top]

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