PRESS RELEASE
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
 
Maldives

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

 

NOTE TO EDITORS:

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. www.commonwealthlawyers.com

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 UK.www.clea-web.com

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. www.cmja.org


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
 
WELCOME

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 www.clc2015.co.uk If you are interested in becoming a member of CLA please use the membership tababove to see more details  Membership enquiries should be address to thededicated membership address: commonwealthlawyers@gmail.com 

Office closing dates for Christmas

Our office and membership services will be closed from Friday 19th December and will reopen on the 5th January 2015. 

Our new location is:  Room 213, 88 Kingsway, London, WC2B6AA.   Please do not send any further correspondence to the oldaddress at Russell Square.   We will also havea new email address:   cla.general.enquiries@gmail.com 

PLEASE NOTE THE cla@sas.ac.uk will not longer function after the 12th December, 2014

For Membership services the email will remain unchanged: commonwealthlawyers@gmail.com   If your enquiry relates to membership please use this email address to contact us in the New Year.


    

     

NOMINATIONS FOR THE2ND COMMONWEALTH LAW CONFERENCE RULE OF LAW AWARD ARE NOW CLOSED. 

Good luck to all our nominees. The winner will be notified in January2015          


2nd COMMONWEALTH Law Conference Rule of Law Award 2015
 
 
Applications are now open for this prestigious Commonwealth award kindly sponsored by LexisNexis.
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 our 2nd award will be your chance to honour another firm or individual lawyer whose contribution has influenced others around Commonwealth over the last two years.
This beautiful engraved trophy awaits our winner together with travel and accommodation* from your home country to the CLC2015 and conference entry for the full four days (*subject to maximum see terms and conditions) Nominations forms are available at commonwealthlawyers@gmail.com
Closing date for applications is November 30, 2014
 
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Contact Details

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UK Tel: +44 (0)207 862 8824      
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Email: cla@sas.ac.uk
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