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Seminar enhances judiciary relationship

Fadley Faisal

Brunei Darussalam Supreme Court Chief Justice Dato Seri Paduka Steven Chong underlined the importance of expert witnesses in his remarks at an online seminar between the Brunei Darussalam Supreme Court, the British High Commission in Brunei Darussalam and the Slynn Foundation on Monday.

“Expert witnesses have an overriding duty to the court and the provision of clear, unbiased and reliable expert evidence is paramount in any criminal justice system,” he said.

The Chief Justice further highlighted the Supreme Court’s regular engagement with the British High Commission in Brunei Darussalam and the Slynn Foundation and how “enhancing cooperation through seminars such as these not only reflects our Judiciary’s excellent relationship with our counterparts in England and Wales but also advances our common aspiration to promote the Rule of Law”.

Joining the Chief Justice at the seminar were British High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam John Virgoe and Slynn Foundation Chairman Stephen Irwin.

Participants included members of the Judiciary, the Attorney General’s Chambers, Law Society, Syariah Courts, Judge Advocate General’s Office, Prime Minister’s Office and Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA).

Honourable Justice Jeremy Baker spoke on the ‘The Use of Expert Witnesses in Criminal Cases’ and gave an overview of what constitutes expert evidence, how to regulate expert evidence and in what circumstances it may be deployed in the course of a criminal trial in England and Wales.

The online seminar in session. PHOTO: THE SUPREME COURT

He also expressed his appreciation to both the British High Commission in Brunei Darussalam and the Slynn Foundation for the continued support of the Judiciary.

The High Commissioner said he was delighted to continue the collaboration between the British High Commission, Brunei Supreme Court and the Slynn Foundation.

He shared that the United Kingdom (UK) and Brunei Darussalam share a common legal heritage and a strong commitment to the rule of law.

“This is a central part of our bilateral relationship and the UK is committed to strengthening judicial cooperation between our two countries,” said the High Commissioner.

The High Commissioner also said the Chief Justice’s visit to the UK in February was a great opportunity to explore how they can increase cooperation through training and capacity-building activities.

Stephen Irwin expressed his thanks to the Brunei Darussalam Supreme Court and the British High Commission for their support of the Slynn Foundation lectures.

The Slynn Foundation works with senior judges and justice institutions around the world to enhance the rule of law, and to improve professional understanding of human rights, mediation, and legal practice.

Through this series of lectures by leading legal experts the Foundation seeks to support the aims of the Brunei Darussalam Supreme Court to continue to share and exchange knowledge in the areas of common law strengthening the friendships established in 2021.

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