ROLC Senior Rule of Law Expert Delivers Presentation on Specialized Courts to ASEAN Judicial Colloquium in Manila, Philippines






South Asia

The Association of South-East Asian States, in collaboration with the United States Patent and Trade office and the United States Judicial Conference Committee on International Relations held a 3-day gathering of judges across the ASEAN region to discuss developments in intellectual property law and enforcement issues. ROLC Senior Rule of Law Expert Scott Ciment was invited to serve on a panel to discuss judicial integrity and independence, and used this opportunity to discuss the benefits and risks of establishing too many specialized courts in countries whose regular courts are already struggling with huge caseloads and underfunded mandates.

Mr. Ciment explained how devoting resource to an Intellectual Property court could also contribute to public perception that the courts exist primarily to serve business interests and the elite, and that specialized courts should serve as innovation incubators to explore techniques that can benefit the whole judiciary. Mr. Ciment also described an even greater concern of establishing specialized courts for niche commercial litigation, such as intellectual property law: “the Intellectual Property law community is fairly insular, so the judges will likely see the same set of lawyers and experts over and over; this familiarity risks judicial independence. “

The event was held in Manila, Philippines from June 4 -6, and the panel was moderated by the Honorable David Campbell, Senior Judge, United States District Court for the District of Arizona.