11 Chief Justices, 33 Countries Meet at Global Forum Today
Thirty-three countries, including the Philippines, and 11 Chief Justices, led by Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban, are convening starting today at the Shangri-la Hotel in Makati City for a three-day "Global Forum on Liberty and Prosperity."
Senior Justice Reynato S. Puno will declare the forum open at 2 p.m., while Chief Justice Panganiban will deliver the keynote address.
Participating countries are Albania, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Bahamas, Benin, Bhutan, Canada, China, Kazakhstan, Commonwealth of Mariana Islands, Egypt, France, Guam, Guatemala, India, Jordan, Korea, Malaysia, Namibia, Nepal, New Zealand, Romania, Russian Federation, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Slovak Republic, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, Ukraine, United States and the Philippines.
Aside from Panganiban, the other attending heads of judiciaries are Chairman Arman Mkrtumyan, Chambers of Civil Issues of the Court of Cassation; President Saliou Aboudou of the Supreme Court of Benin; Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, Supreme Court, Canada; Chief Justice Lance Sidney George Finch, Supreme Court of British Columbia, Canada; President Guy Canivet, Cour de Cassation, France;
Chief Justice F. Philip Carbullido, Supreme Court, Guam; Chief Justice Mr. Dilip Kumar Paudel, Supreme Court, Nepal; Chief Justice Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Lebedev, Supreme Court of the Russian Federation; Chief of Justice Anton Ivanov, Supreme Arbitration Court of Russia, President Milan Karabin, Supreme Court, Slovak Republic, and Chairman Gorodovenko Viktor, Supreme Court of Ukraine.
Upon his appointment as Chief Justice, Panganiban has been firm in his pronouncements 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 also said that 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 to the President and Congress to evaluate and decide," he said.
In various speeches and public pronouncements, Panganiban 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," he said.
The other foreign delegates attending the conference include Justice Fatos Lulo, Supreme Court, Albania; Judge Santiago Otamendi, City of Buenos Aires, Argentina; Chairman Arman Mkrtumyan, Chamber of Civil Issues, Court of Cassation, Republic of Armenia; Justice Susan Kenny, Federal Court of Australia; Mr. Peter D. Maynard, Peter D. Maynard Counsel & Attorneys, Bahamas;
Magistrat Adossou Victor Dassi, Supreme Court, Benin; Justice Tsghering Wangchuk, Royal Court of Justice, High Court of Bhutan; President Sandra E. …