Connect with us
CGIF-10th-Year-Anniversary

Law

ASEAN Adopts International Negotiating Procedures

Last week’s ASEAN Coordinating Council meeting of foreign ministers in Cambodia adopted “The Rule of Procedures for Conclusion of International Agreements by ASEAN” (ROP).

Avatar

Published

on

asean flags

Last week’s ASEAN Coordinating Council meeting of foreign ministers in Cambodia adopted “The Rule of Procedures for Conclusion of International Agreements by ASEAN” (ROP). 

As described by ASEAN Deputy Secretary General Bagas Hapsoro,

“The Rule prescribes the procedures for ASEAN as an inter-governmental organization to enter into agreement with countries, international, regional and sub-regional organizations and institutions in pursuing its external relations as provided for in Article 41.7 of the ASEAN Charter.”

As ASEAN has not yet published the ROP on its website, I provide a copy below.

I suspect that only international law aficionados will study the ROP in detail.  Yet I think that the ROP does provide some interesting points of relevance to the study of the ASEAN institutions and the AEC.

 

First, the ROP does not apply to agreements which are negotiated by the ASEAN member states collectively and create obligations for individual member states, namely the various free trade agreements (FTAs).  ASEAN FTAs are actually a collection of 10 bilateral FTAs which share common language and obligations, the product of collective negotiation by ASEAN member states, with the support of the ASEAN Secretariat.

Second, the ROP illustrates, once again, the determination by ASEAN member states not to create strong supranational institutions.  Under the ROP, the ASEAN Sectoral Ministerial Bodies coordinate with the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN (CPR) on proposals to commence negotiation.

Final approval of the proposals is up to the ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting, or the CPR acting for the foreign ministers. The ASEAN foreign ministers directly or indirectly through the CPR appoint the ASEAN representatives to the negotiation.   The ROP requires the ASEAN representatives to maintain close consultations with the CPR and ASEAN Sectoral Ministerial Bodies.  Finally, the ASEAN foreign ministers by themselves or through the CPR will specify the manner of concluding the agreement and by whom.

The ROP thus anticipates a case-by-case authorization by the ASEAN foreign ministers (representing the ASEAN member states) for international agreements.  Unlike what the EU does in trade matters, there is no standing delegation of authority by the member states to a central institution like the ASEAN Secretary General or the ASEAN Secretariat.  Rather, the ROP allows for the designation of the ASEAN Secretary General to act on behalf of ASEAN in specifically authorized circumstances.  The ROP also limits the role of the ASEAN Secretariat to that of assisting the designated ASEAN representatives.  The primacy of the ASEAN foreign ministers in the process is firmly set by the ROP.

Now, this tension between national sovereignty and regional institutions is always present in entities such as ASEAN and the EU.  The EU itself is still resolving such tension in other areas of the Community, such as in monetary affairs and foreign policy. So the factors that resulted in the ROP’s approach are not new.

In any event, perhaps this is all the “ASEAN” that the member states can accept at this time.  But it still marks another step in the implementation of the ASEAN Charter, the further commitment to rule of law in ASEAN’s operations.   For now, this should be celebrated.

Edmund Sim is a U.S. international trade lawyer at the Singapore office of Appleton Luff and adjunct associate professor of law at National University of Singapore. There, he teaches the first course developed on the law and policy of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). You can follow him via AEC Blog.

I am a U.S. international trade lawyer at the Singapore office of Appleton Luff and adjunct associate professor of law at National University of Singapore. There, I teach the first course developed on the law and policy of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). I have also advised the ASEAN Secretariat in an EU-funded assistance project on the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA), and represented companies in dealing with the ASEAN Industrial Cooperation (AICO) scheme, Common External Preferential Tariff (CEPT) program and other ASEAN economic integration

Comments

Companies

Thailand’s Amendments to Ease Doing Business

Thailand’s government approved new amendments to the country’s Civil and Commercial Code (CCC) aimed at improving the business climate.

Avatar

Published

on

In June 2020, Thailand’s government approved new amendments to the Civil and Commercial Code (CCC) to simplify the process of setting up and conducting business in the country. It is anticipated that the proposed amendments will become law towards the end of 2020 or the beginning of 2021.

(more…)
Continue Reading

Law

Thailand Vs Asia: Gambling Laws Comparison

Whereas Singapore and The Philippines have lax gambling laws, Thailand has some of the strictest gambling laws in Southeast Asia. Betting on horse racing and the government-sponsored lottery are the only two forms of legal gambling in the country.

Pr News

Published

on

By

With the continual development of new technologies improving gambling services, the gambling market is growing rapidly across the globe.

(more…)
Continue Reading

Law

Thailand’s illegal gambling market

Police in Thailand are tasked with monitoring illegal gambling. Raids regularly take place that result in fines and or jail time for people found to be hosting or playing in illegal gambling events.

Pr News

Published

on

By

Almost every form of gambling is illegal in Thailand and has been since 1935. But while the neon flashing world of online gambling was still the stuff of science fiction in the prelude to World War Two – when Thailand’s gambling laws were made – the remote sector is still banned in the country.

(more…)
Continue Reading
Advertisement

Latest

Most Viewed

Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 13,454 other subscribers

Trending