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Supreme Court of India to organise 18th meeting of Chief Justices of SCO Member States from March 10

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In order to develop judicial cooperation among the Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), the Supreme Court of India will host the 18th meeting of Chief Justices of the Supreme Courts of SCO Member States from March 10.

A statement issued by the Public Relations Office of the Supreme Court of India said that Chief Justices/ Chairpersons of the Supreme Courts of SCO Member States have been invited to attend the three-day event, which is likely to witness discussions on smart courts and the future of judiciary; facilitating access to justice; institutional challenges facing the judiciary: delays, infrastructure, representation, and transparency.

It said the meeting will involve a Joint interaction with the Chief Justices/Chairpersons/Judges from Member/Observer States, along with representatives from SCO Secretariat and SCO RATS. The event will conclude with the signing of a joint statement, it added.

As per the statement, in the active and constantly expanding activities of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the interaction of the highest judicial instances was becoming more and more popular.

Meeting of the Presidents of the Supreme Courts allows for a constant dialogue on a wide range of issues, giving a new impetus to the development of relations and allowing the development of mechanisms for further improving the work of the judiciary, it added.

The statement further mentioned the history of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, saying that it was created in 2001 on the basis of ‘Shanghai Five,’ formed after the signing by Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Russia and Tajikistan. 

The main goal of SCO was to strengthen mutual trust, friendship and good neighbourliness, besides encouraging effective cooperation in several areas among the member states. 

China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are the members of SCO, while Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia constitute the SCO observers. Besides,  Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia and Nepal are the SCO dialogue partners, it added.

By way of the Samarkand declaration, India assumed the rotational presidency of SCO for a year in September, 2022. Chief Justice of India (CJI) D.Y. Chandrachud, along with the Judges of the Supreme Court of India, among others, will participate in the event, said the statement.

CJI Chandrachud will be speaking on “Smart Courts” and the future of the Judiciary. Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul will speak on facilitating “Access to Justice” (Justice should not be limited to privileged): Issues, Initiative, and Prospects; and Justice K M Joseph will speak on “Institutional Challenges facing Judiciary: Delays, Infrastructure, Representation and Transparency”.

SCO held its first meeting on September 22, 2006 in Shanghai (People’s Republic of China).  Since then, the Institute of interaction between the Chief Justices of the Supreme Courts has occupied a special place in the organisation, significantly complementing an established unique practice of cooperation. The 17th meeting of the Presidents of the Supreme Courts of the Member States of the SCO was held in Dushanbe, it added.

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