31 Oct Policy Brief: Reviewing the ASEAN Charter – An Opportunity to Reform ASEAN Processes
The promulgation of the ASEAN Charter in 2008 was described as ASEAN’s constitutional moment. Negotiated during the course of 2007 by the High-Level Task Force (HLTF), the ASEAN Charter came into force in December 2008. It gave ASEAN a legal personality, and sought to establish ASEAN’s values and norms, including the rule of law, democracy and good governance.
The ASEAN Charter is currently slated for a review. However, ASEAN leaders are divided on the very topic of whether the Charter needs review; and, if so, what the priority areas are. This Policy Brief seeks to stimulate discussion among Track II experts and officials on reviewing the ASEAN Charter, to reform ASEAN institutions and processes.
It begins by highlighting the underlying tension behind ASEAN’s legal framework and finds there is no broad consensus on the scope and priorities for a review. The Brief then seeks to identify four more limited themes on the review of the ASEAN Charter, to outline recommendations.