Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘joint ASEAN visa system’

23rd August 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the Obama Administration’s Department of Justice has apparently filed a memorandum noting un-Constitutional discrimination imposed pursuant to the provisions of section 3 of the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA). In order to provide further insight this blogger is compelled to quote directly from the official website of Instinct Magazine,

President Obama’s Department of Justice filed a memo in support of Edie Windsor’s case against the “Defense of Marriage Act” on Friday, marking the second time the Administration has officially stated its opposition to the discriminatory law.

Windsor, who was subjected to unjust federal taxes after her partner of 44-years passed away in 2007, filed a lawuit challenging DOMA. Last week, the DOJ added its weight of support to her claims.

Written in the memo:

Section 3 of DOMA unconstitutionally discriminates. Section 3 treats same-sex couples who are legally married under their states’ laws differently than similarly situated opposite-sex couples, denying them the status, recognition, and significant federal benefits otherwise available to married persons. Under well-established factors set forth by the Supreme Court to guide the determination whether heightened scrutiny applies to a classification that singles out a particular group, discrimination based on sexual orientation merits heightened scrutiny. Under this standard of review, Section 3 of DOMA is unconstitutional.

But the DOJ states in the brief:

-DOMA is discriminatory

-Sexual orientation is an immutable characteristic

-Anti-gay discrimination on religious grounds is unconstitutional

-LGBTs make good parents

-DOMA is harmful to children…

The administration of this web log encourages readers to click upon the relevant hyperlinks above to learn more from this interesting article.

As DOMA is currently interpreted and enforced by the American government same sex married couples cannot obtain immigration and visa benefits such as a K-1 visa, a CR-1 visa, or an IR-1 visa. This current state of affairs may contravene notions of Full Faith and Credit as enshrined in the United States Constitution’s Full Faith and Credit Clause. However, as there has yet to be a final resolution in the US Courts on the matter and as the United States Congress has yet to pass legislation such as the Respect for Marriage Act or the Uniting American Families Act the ultimate fate of same sex bi-national couples in America remains to be seen.

In news related to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN which includes the following jurisdictions: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam), it recently came to this blogger’s attention that there are those noting the possibility of further ASEAN economic progress in the coming months and years. In order to provide further information on these issues it is necessary to quote directly from the website of the Bangkok Post,

CIMB Thai Bank is developing an infrastructure base to cope with greater business opportunities offered by the Asean Economic Community (AEC) in 2015, said chief finance executive Narongchai Wongthanavimok. Its major shareholder, CIMB Group, expects the AEC will increase deals in the region. The group has a strong network across Asean that can support CIMBT’s expansion in the region. The bank developed a core banking system and improved its financial support to cope with international transactions, he said. The Malaysia-based CIMB Group has the largest branch network in Asean with 1,105 subsidiaries across Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand. It also has plans for branches in Cambodia, India and Sri Lanka. The financial group is helmed by people from the region and it reaches 81% of the Asean population, representing 89% of the region’s gross domestic product…

This blogger asks readers to click upon the hyperlinks above to view this insightful article in detail.

One could infer from the information above that the increasing economic integration of ASEAN and the emergence of the Asean Economic Community (AEC) may result in further economic benefits for the jurisdictions which comprise the organization and region. As noted above, the ramifications of these developments could have implications for economies such as those of India and Sri Lanka since the increasing business and trade occurring in Southeast Asia could “spillover” into those nations. Meanwhile, discussion pertaining to an ASEAN visa have yet to result in the creation of a tangible unified ASEAN travel document. How all of the developments noted above will evolve over time and the ultimate fate of ASEAN’s economy remains to be seen, but there is clearly a trend of increasing optimism regarding the future of Southeast Asia’s economy.

For information related to legal services in Southeast Asia please see: Legal.

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15th July 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the upcoming ASEAN Ministerial meeting in Bali, Indonesia will discuss the notion of something akin to an ASEAN Schengen-like visa. In order to provide further insight into these matters it is probably best to quote directly from the official website of the Thai News Agency MCOT,

Jakarta, July 14 (ANTARA) – Indonesia is to bring up the issue of instituting a joint ASEAN visa system at an ASEAN ministerial meeting (AMM) next July 16-23, a minister said. “The idea to adopt a joint ASEAN visa system for visitors from outside the ASEAN region will be discussed during a ministerial meeting in Bali. The concept of a joint visa system will resemble the Schengen visa system adhered to by some European countries,” Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said here Thursday… Earlier, the ASEAN Tourism Association (ASEANTA) comprised of member tourism organization from the 10-member nations of ASEAN, is busy lobbying their respective governments to adopt a policy of a single visa valid for all ten countries as a critical step of turning ASEAN into a single tourism destination…

The administration of this web log strongly encourages readers to click upon the hyperlinks noted above to delve further into the details of these currently unfolding events.

Readers may recall that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is composed of the ten members nations Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam which are becoming increasingly vibrant in the overall spectrum of the global economy. Furthermore, there is an increasing amount of trade transpiring throughout Asia. Much of this trade occurs between ASEAN jurisdictions or between ASEAN countries and jurisdictions such as the United States of America, the so-called BRICS Nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa), or the Greater Asia-Pacific region. Therefore, it is not an overestimate to surmise that the ramifications of the creation of some type of pan-ASEAN visa or similar travel document would, at the least, be a step toward possible further streamlining of tourism and trade in the ASEAN region.

This news comes at a relatively contemporaneous moment with that of news that discussions in Bali may also revolve around recent discussions pertaining to the South China Sea. In order to provide further insight into these developments it may be best to quote directly from the official website of The Mainichi Daily News,

JAKARTA (Kyodo) — The 44th meeting of foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asia Nations in Bali next week is expected to bring the regional grouping and China closer step to finalizing of a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea, according to a draft of joint communique of the meeting seen Wednesday. The draft obtained by Kyodo News shows ASEAN and China, one of the group’s dialogue partners, have begun discussion on the Code of Conduct “by building upon the momentum of the 20th anniversary of ASEAN-China dialogue relations” which falls this year…In the same draft, both sides are also expected to repeat the calls on all parties to respect the freedom of navigation in and over-flight above the South China Sea as provided for by the principles of international law…

The reader is again asked to click upon the hyperlinks noted above to read further from this insightful article.

With this news coming upon the heels of a recent trip by the Chairman of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff to China and the announcement that United States President Barack Obama is scheduled to attend the upcoming meeting in Bali it is not a difficult inference to make the conclusion that discussions at the upcoming meeting could result in substantial economic, political, and legal benefits for all concerned.

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