PH Hosts the 21st ASEAN Senior Law Officials Meeting

07 October 2022

The Philippines, through the Department of Justice (DOJ), will host the 21* ASEAN Senior Law Officials Meeting (ASLOM) on 13-14 October 2022.

The ASLOM serves as a forum for senior law officials from ASEAN member states' respective Ministries of Justice, including Attorney General's Chambers, to discuss legal issues of common interest pertaining to legal cooperation with a view to promote ASEAN's objectives within the ASEAN Political-Security Community. These include instruments for international legal cooperation, harmonization of trade laws, and other areas calling for legal cooperation.

During the 11th ASEAN Law Ministers Meeting (ALAWMM), then Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra advocated for stronger legal cooperation within the ASEAN region, by offering to host a working group meeting for negotiations of the ASEAN Extradition Treaty, and by pushing the Philippine proposal to have ASEAN-wide Convention on Transfer of Sentenced Persons (TSP).

The Legal Staff of the DOJ, as the central authority for international legal cooperation, is set to continue with the goals of the DOJ to strengthen legal cooperation and contribute to further the objectives of ASLOM.

Secretary Jesus Crispin C. Remulla will deliver the opening remarks and welcome the delegates. Undersecretary Brigido J. Dulay shall chair the ASLOM meeting and Chief State Counsel George O. Ortha II shall head the Philippine delegation. A number of state counsels of the Legal Staff will form part of the Philippine delegation.

The 21st ASLOM also intends to further identify other specific areas of cooperation by discussing new proposals. ASLOM also welcomes discussions with Japan, in accordance with the proposed Japan - ASEAN Work Plan to promote the rule of law amongst these countries.

The 21st ASLOM is the first in-person ASLOM meeting since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world in 2020. This will be the second time since 1996 that the Philippines will host the annual meeting since ASLOM was established in 1985. The 5th ASLOM held in 1996 was chaired by former DOJ Undersecretary Ramon J. Liwag, and the Philippine delegation was headed by the late former Chief State Counsel Ricardo V. Paras Ill.

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