Joint Statement on Malawi

Statement in support of the Magistrates and Judges Association
of Malawi

The Commonwealth Lawyer Association (CLA), The Commonwealth Legal Education Association (CLEA) and The Commonwealth Magistrates’ and Judges’ Association (CMJA) are concerned that constitutional and legislative provisions relating to the terms and conditions of service of the Malawi judiciary and by extension, of court personnel have been ignored by the current government of Malawi. This has led to the strike by the Judiciary and Court staff thus denying access to Justice for the population.

The conditions of service have been laid down in Section 114 of the Constitution and in the Judicial Service (Conditions of Service) Regulations 1997.

The Commonwealth (Latimer House) Principles on the Accountability of and the Relationship between the Three Branches of Government (2003), have been breached. As a result the independence of the judiciary and the Rule of Law have been severely jeopardised. The Principles state in Article IV(b) that “Arrangements for appropriate security of tenure and protection of levels of remuneration must be in place” and in IV(c) that “Adequate resources should be provided for the judicial system to operate
effectively without any undue constraints which may hamper the independent sought.”
The disregard of the decisions of the National Assembly and the constitutional safeguards for the independence of the judiciary constitute clear breaches of the Commonwealth Principles to which the Government of the Malawi has subscribed.

The Associations urge the Government of the Malawi to respect the independence of the judiciary and to comply with the relevant constitutional provisions, Commonwealth Principles and other relevant international standards.

Commonwealth Magistrates’ and Judges’ Association (CMJA)
Commonwealth Lawyers Association (CLA)

On: Friday 19th December, 2014 Read more

Statement on Passing of the Bill on the Amendment tothe Judicature Act


The Commonwealth LawyersAssociation (CLA), the Commonwealth Legal Education Association (CLEA) and theCommonwealth Magistrates’ and Judges’ Association (CMJA) are concerned about thepassing of the Bill on the Amendment to the Judicature Act which reduced thenumber of Supreme Court Judges from 7 to 5. We are also extremely concerned that the Judicial Services Commission,as a consequence,  recommended theremoval of Chief Justice Ahmed Faiz, Justice Muthasim Adnan to the Presidentwhich is contrary to Article 154 of the Maldives Constitution which statesthat: 

“154 (b) A Judge may be removed from officeonly if the  Judicial Service Commissionfinds that the person is grossly incompetent, or that the Judge is guilty ofgross misconduct, and submits to the People’s Majlis a resolution supportingthe removal of the Judge, which is passed by a two-thirds majority of themembers of the People’s Majlis present and voting.”


In passing this Act and thesubsequent hasty removal of two senior judges, The Commonwealth (Latimer House) Principles on the Accountability of and the Relationshipbetween the Three Branches of Government (2003), have beenignored and that as a result the judiciary and the Rule of Law has beenseverely damaged.  The Principles statethat “Judges should be subject tosuspension or removal only for reasons of incapacity or misbehaviour thatclearly renders them unfit to discharge their duties

It further states that:  “Inaddition to providing the proper procedures for the removal of judges ongrounds of incapacity or misbehaviour that are required to support theprinciple of independence of the judiciary, any disciplinary procedures shouldbe fairly and objectively administered. Disciplinary proceedings which mightlead to the removal of a judicial officer should include appropriate safeguardsto ensure fairness”.


Due to the haste in which thislaw was passed and the subsequent immediate removal of Chie Justice Faiz andJustice Adnan, such procedures have not been followed. 


The Associations urge theGovernment and Parliament of the Maldives  to respect the independence of the judiciaryand in particular to comply with its constitutional safeguards and theCommonwealth Latimer House Principles and international standards.   


Commonwealth Lawyers Association (CLA)

Commonwealth Legal Education Association(CLEA)

Commonwealth Magistrates’ and Judges’Association (CMJA)


15 December 2014



TheCommonwealth Lawyers Association isan international non-profit organisation which exists to promote and maintainthe rule of law throughout the Commonwealth by ensuring that an independent andefficient legal profession, with the highest standards of ethics and integrity,serves the people of the Commonwealth.

The Commonwealth Legal Education Associationis an international non-profit organisation which fosters and promotes high standards of legaleducation in the Commonwealth. Founded in 1971, it is a Commonwealth-wide bodywith regional Chapters and Committees in South Asia, Southern Africa, WestAfrica, the Caribbean and the

The Commonwealth Magistrates’ and Judges’ Association is a not forprofit organisation, registered in the UK, whose aims are to promote judicialindependence, advance education in the law, the administration of justice thetreatment of offenders and the prevention of crime in the Commonwealth. It bringstogether judicial officers of all ranks from all parts of Commonwealth andprovides a forum for the promotion of the highest judicial standards at alllevels.

On: 16 December 2014 Read more
Commnwealth Exhibition wins Magna Carta 800th Anniversary Committee Grant

2015 will mark the 800thanniversary of the Magna Carta which sets out the fundamental legal rights and freedoms of all citizens in Britain and is included in many Commonwealth constitutions.    

Lord Denning described Magna Carta as, "the greatest constitutional document of all times – the foundation of the freedom of the individual against the arbitrary authority of the despot".

The Commonwealth Lawyers Association (CLA), in partnership with the Commonwealth Magistrates’ and Judges’ Association (CMJA) and the Commonwealth Legal Education Association(CLEA) are pleased to announce that they have received a grant from the Magna Carta 800th Anniversary Committee. 

On: 17TH OCTOBER 2014 Read more

CLA is a pan-Commonwealth organisation which seeks to uphold the rule of lawin the Commonwealth by encouraging exchange of ideas between legalprofessionals, academics and students, through projects and bydriving improvements in legal education.  It holds a number of shortevents throughout the year and has a biennial conference the Commonwealth Lawconference which regularly attracts over 1,000 delegates including some ofthe finest legal professionals in the world today to discuss issues of interestto the profession over a four day period  In 2015 the 19th CommonwealthLaw Conference will be held in Glasgow 12-16 April  Our members receiveddiscounted rates to the event  For further information please go to theconference website 

We have moved to: 88 Kingsway, London, WC2B6AA.  

Please do not send any further correspondence to the old address at Russell Square.   We also have a new email address: 


Please note CLA does not accept conference registration payment to its account and any payment sent to us will be returned and may incur chargesPlease ensure that registration payments for the CLC2015 are only made via the conference organiser Happening NI (see the conference website


CLA and LexisNexis would like to congratulate the winner of the

2nd Commonwealth Law Conference Rule of Law Award

Upul Jayasuriya

We would like to thank all our members who nominated some outstanding candidates for this award. You made the judging panel's decision a difficult one.

A very special thanks to our judging panel (in alphabetical order): Justice Desiree Bernard, Chief Justice Robert French, Lord Igor Judge, Baroness Kennedy, and Justice Elsie Thompson who generously gave their time to consider all the nominations. We are grateful to you all. 

Those who attended CLC2013 will be familiar with our inaugural award and it winner Ms Robin Sully, a Canadian lawyer, whose very special career has led to an outstanding contribution to the rule of law both in Canada and across the Commonwealth. This will be our 2nd chance to honour an individual lawyer whose contribution has inspired and influenced others around Commonwealth over the last two years.

A beautiful engraved trophy awaits this year's winner at the conclusion of the 19th Commonwealth Law Conference in Glasgow (12-16 April) when all the delegates will have an opportunity to see the winner accept his award We look forward to seeing your there

How Much do You Know About the Commonwealth??
Commonwealth Leagal Information Institute
Contact Details

17 Russell Square,
London, WC1B 5DR,

UK Tel: +44 (0)207 862 8824      
Fax: +44 (0)207 862 8816

For membership or subscription enquiries please contact
Membership Services:
Copyright 2012 The Commonwealth Lawyers Association