The Asian Human Rights Court Simulation (AHRCS) was founded on 8 October 2018, through the collaborative efforts of Asian civil society members, who have aspired to build a human rights court of the peoples, by the peoples, and for the peoples via our own initiatives, to ensure that human rights principles and values are safeguarded through transparent legal proceedings.
Q:Asia is the sole continent without a regional human rights court. Yet, there is no shortage of human rights grievances and cases in desperate need to be heard. Grave human rights violations including torture, enforced disappearance, extra-judicial executions have time and again occurred. For this reason, it is of paramount importance for Asia to create a regional human rights court or to institutionalize a transnational human rights mechanism to safeguard human rights protections in and across Asia.
At present, the AHRCS has thirteen judges appointed from ten jurisdictions including Bangladesh, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and Thailand. In addition to these appointed judges, the AHRCS has two advisors: András Sajó, a former judge of the European Court of Human Rights, and Yu-Hsiu Hsu, a former justice of Taiwan’s Constitutional Court. Alongside the judges and advisors, the Secretariat, based in Taiwan, is joined by staff members from Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan. In July 2019, the first chamber of the AHRCS will hear its first case, Mr. Chiou Ho-shun v Taiwan Government, and to hold a plenary meeting to finalize the Rules and Statute of the AHRCS.
Although Asian governments have yet to embark on the creation of a human rights court, civil societies need not wait and can build such a human rights protection mechanism through their own initiatives. It is on the basis such collective efforts of human rights activists, lawyers, scholars and organizations that we aspire to establish a civil society-based Asian Human Right Court Simulation, where we are to safeguard human rights principles and values through transparent legal proceedings in a human rights court of the peoples, by the peoples, and for the peoples.
Mr. Chiou Ho-shun, accused of being the head of a 12-member criminal gang responsible for murdering and dismembering a female in Nov. 1987, and for kidnapping a 10-year-old boy in Dec. 1987, was first sentenced to death in Nov. 1989. Mr. Chiou and the other 11 so-called “criminal gang” members were co-defendants in his case’s criminal procedure. After 22 years of repeated appeal hearings, his death sentence was finalized in 2011. According to the application Mr. Chiou submitted to the Court, Mr. Chiou claims that his conviction was based on confessions made by Mr. Chiou and other co-defendants, part of which was proved to have been extracted by torture and coercion by prosecutors and police officers who have since been convicted of using torture during the initial investigation in 1994. He further claims that there was no material evidence in the two cases indicating that all 12 defendants were involved in the case. Mr. Chiou has been imprisoned for the past 30 years since he was arrested in Sep. 1988.