JOINT STATEMENT following the 14th Meeting of Supreme Court Chief Justices of the SCO Member States

Четырнадцатое Совещание Председателей Верховных судов государств-членов Шанхайской организации сотрудничества

JOINT STATEMENT
following the 14th Meeting of Supreme Court Chief Justices of the SCO Member States

The 14th Meeting of Supreme Court Chief Justices of the SCO Member States was held in Sochi on 17-19 June 2019. Its participants included Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Republic of India Ranjan Gogoi; Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Kazakhstan Zhakip Asanov; Chief Justice of the Supreme People's Court of China Zhou Qiang; Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Kyrgyz Republic Gulbara Kaliyeva; Justice of the Supreme Court of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Mansoor Ahmad; Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation Vyacheslav Lebedev; Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Tajikistan Shermuhammad Shohiyon; and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Uzbekistan Kozimjon Komilov.
Also attending were representatives of the Supreme Courts of countries that have observer or dialogue partner status with the SCO, as well as representatives of the SCO Secretariat and the Executive Committee of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure.
Russia chaired the meeting.
During the discussions held in a friendly, businesslike and constructive atmosphere, the participants discussed ways to reduce the deadline and number of pending cases, the experience of pre-trial settlement and mediation, the application of national and international legal acts to protect the family rights of children, reviewing court decisions and sentences that have entered into legal force, the specifics of the jurisdiction in administrative proceedings, as well as measures to strengthen the independence of the judiciary.
Noting the mutual understanding achieved, based on the shared views on the development of the judicial systems of the SCO Member States and on the generally accepted principles and norms of international law, the participants in the Meeting hereby state the following:
1. The judicial dialogue within the SCO contributes to the achievement of the organisation's goals. The development of cooperation between the Supreme Courts of the SCO Member States serves to strengthen mutual trust and neighbourly relations, and to maintain peace, security and stability in the region.
2. One of the priorities in improving the efficiency of justice is to reduce the deadline and number of pending cases. To reduce the burden on the courts and ensure people's right to trial within a reasonable timeframe, the Chief Justices of the Supreme Courts agreed to exchange best national practices in the application of conciliation procedures and other out-of-court settlement mechanisms.
3. The Meeting participants noted the importance of improving judicial practice in the application of national and international legal acts to protect the family rights of children, including those related to the protection of children's property rights.
4. The Chief Justices of the Supreme Courts noted the importance of improving the mechanisms for reviewing court decisions and sentences that have entered into legal force in criminal cases, also by more precisely defining the grounds for reviewing such judicial acts. In this regard, the meeting participants commended Russia's experience in creating cassation courts of general jurisdiction.
5. During the meeting, the participants discussed the problems and prospects of administrative proceedings and indicated mutual interest in the study of national mechanisms in the field of administrative justice.
6. The participants, within their authority, attach great importance to the discussion and adoption of appropriate policies to ensure the independence of the judiciary.
7. The meeting participants noted the importance of continuing the substantive dialogue between the Supreme Courts of the region and decided to further develop cooperation, organise mutual visits and training programmes to improve the qualifications of judges.
8. The next Meeting of Supreme Court Chief Justices of the SCO Member States will be held in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, in 2020.
Drawn up in the city of Sochi on 18 June 2019, in one original copy each in Russian and Chinese, both texts being equally valid.