About us - Rule of Law Programme Asia
Freedom, justice and solidarity are the basic principles underlying the work of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS). The KAS is a political foundation, closely associated with the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU). As co-founder of the CDU and the first Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Konrad Adenauer (1876-1967) united Christian-social, conservative and liberal traditions. His name is synonymous with the democratic reconstruction of Germany, the firm alignment of foreign policy with the trans-Atlantic community of values, the vision of a unified Europe and an orientation towards the social market economy. His intellectual heritage continues to serve both as our aim as well as our obligation today.
In our European and international cooperation efforts we work for people to be able to live self-determined lives in freedom and dignity. We make a contribution underpinned by values to helping Germany meet its growing responsibilities throughout the world.
We encourage people to lend a hand in shaping the future along these lines. With more than 70 offices abroad and projects in over 120 countries, we make a unique contribution to the promotion of democracy, the rule of law and a social market economy. To foster peace and freedom we encourage a continuous dialog at the national and international levels as well as the exchange between cultures and religions.
Human beings in their distinctive dignity and with their rights and responsibilities are at the heart of our work. We are guided by the conviction that human beings are the starting point in the effort to bring about social justice and democratic freedom while promoting sustainable economic activity. By bringing people together who embrace their responsibilities in society, we develop active networks in the political and economic spheres as well as in society itself. The guidance we provide on the basis of our political know-how and knowledge helps to shape the globalization process along more socially equitable, ecologically sustainable and economically efficient lines.
We cooperate with governmental institutions, political parties, civil society organizations and handpicked elites, building strong partnerships along the way. In particular we seek to intensify political cooperation in the area of development cooperation at the national and international levels on the foundations of our objectives and values. Together with our partners we make a contribution to the creation of an international order that enables every country to develop in freedom and under its own responsibility.
In 2005 the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung started a regional programme to support the development of the Rule of Law in Asian countries. The Rule of Law Programme Asia is one of five regional rule of law programmes managed worldwide by the KAS. With this regional programme, the foundation's long-term goal is to contribute to the development and enhancement of an efficient legal system, based on the rule of law, as a core element of a democratic polity in the countries of Asia. It is important in this context to initiate or intensify the discussion process, in order to provide and extend respectively the constitutional foundations. This includes the establishment or stabilisation of those institutions or organisations which guarantee the constitutional order and the enforcement of citizens’ rights in accordance with the Rule of Law.
The heterogeneity of the Asian countries is particularly apparent in the arrangement of their systems of government and systems of law. Each respective conception of legal thinking was influenced by a wide range of different factors such as culture, religion, colonial influence, etc. However, the constitutional state is often rather understood as a “rule by law” instead of “rule of law”. Though the fundamental rights of citizens are laid down in many constitutions they are of limited significance in reality since the independent institutions needed for their enforcement are missing or not well-functioning. The improvement of the economic situation and the increasing interdependency give rise to further reaching reform processes. The Rule of Law Programme Asia seeks to support these.
The regional approach is considered a supplement to the KAS national programmes in this sector with the aim of creating broader networks to further improve the effectiveness of the work in individual countries. With the regional project KAS wishes to contribute towards the continual exchange of experience and information for the purposes of analysing deficits and determining the need for reform as far as conformity with the Rule of Law is concerned. Until now such contacts have been sporadic, even if the relevant parties were open to such contact.
The Rule of Law Programme Asia focuses on the following areas of interest, in which there is substantial need for reform and consultation within and among the countries of the region:
- Constitutional Law and the Promotion of Democracy
- Procedural Law
- Protection of Human and Minority Rights
- Good Governance and Corruption Prevention
- Independence of the Judiciary
The primary aim of activities of the programme in the above-mentioned areas of concentration is for development of the rule of law through regional seminars, dialogue, research and training activities. The following are some of the initiatives organized by the programme to facilitate the promotion of our activities:
- Conferences and publications concerning questions of constitutional reforms, environment law, access to justice, administrative procedures and independence of the judiciary;
- Roundtables for experts from various legal institutions such as the drafters of the ASEAN Charter, leading universities of the region, regional and global think-tanks and administrative officials;
- Support to the Association of Asian Constitutional Courts and Equivalent Institutions (AACC);
- Regular colloquia for representatives of human rights organizations and anti-corruption agencies.