BEIJING, CHINA:  Top judges of BRICS countries held their first meeting on Saturday and called for equitable governance and inclusive growth while asking emerging economies to expand cooperation for sharing experience on judicial reforms.

The BRICS Justices Forum met at Sanya in Hainan Province on the side lines of Boao Forum for Asia, and said the Supreme Courts of the five countries have developed a consensus on achieving a more representative and equitable global governance.

This is the first time the top judges of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, (BRICS) met extending the cooperation among the emerging countries to the judiciary, despite varied justice systems.

The meeting is taking place in the backdrop of judicial reforms launched by China to grant more independence to judiciary and to promote rule based governance in order to reduce the interference of the ruling Communist Party of China officials.
In a joint statement, the judges called for a more inclusive global growth by promoting rule-based domestic and international governance.

Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar of India’s Supreme Court took part in the meeting.

“The Supreme Courts of BRICS are committed to expanding judicial cooperation and strengthening experience sharing on judicial reforms and system improvements and to deepen cooperation among BRICS countries,” the statement added.

“The Supreme Courts of BRICS are willing to conduct exchange programs for judges, including organising mutual visits, hosting training for visiting judges, and jointly holding workshops,” it said.

“The Supreme Courts of BRICS are willing to improve the mechanism for regular cooperation and wide-ranging exchanges under the framework of the Protocol of Intent among the BRICS Countries’ Supreme Courts to improve the level of justice and to better protect and serve the economic and social development of their countries,” it said.

“In this regard, the Supreme Courts of BRICS countries agreed to explore the possibility of institutionalising the BRICS Judicial Forum in the broader BRICS cooperation agenda.”

The Supreme Courts noted that information technology is changing the ways of life and production as well as judicial practices and models.

“Courts must value and follow this trend and reform themselves to ensure judicial fairness and the speedy settlement of legal disputes,” it said.

On Sunday the judges will attend the Sub-Forum on “Environmental Justice” at the Boao Forum for Asia.