Our aims and objectives are:
to advance the administration of the law by promoting the independence of
to advance education in the law, the administration of justice, the treatment
of offenders and the prevention of crime within the Commonwealth;
[The Rule of Law can only be observed if there is a strong and independent judiciary which
is sufficiently equipped and prepared to apply such laws. Victoria Falls Proclamation,
to disseminate information and literature on all matters of interest concerning
the legal process within the various countries comprising the Commonwealth;
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The Association was founded in 1970
as the Commonwealth Magistrates' Association and the
current name was adopted in 1988. The Association is
registered as a charitable organisation in the United
Kingdom. It is a Company Limited by Guarantee and not
having a Share Capital.
The Association has a staff of two:
Executive and Admin Officer
The Association is governed by a General Assembly of its Members which meets not
less frequently than every fourth year.
It has been the normal practice of the Association for the General Assembly of
Members to be held during the week of the Triennial Conference. There is an elected Council upon
which sit three representatives from each of six regions:
East, Central and Southern Africa
Atlantic and Mediterranean
plus the President, the Executive Vice-President, the Treasurer.
Council also includes Life Vice Presidents and the
Immediate Past President. The Council meets at least
once a year. (See CMJA
The CMJA also has a Director of Programmes, a full time judge, who provides voluntary
assistance to organise the CMJA's educational programme. Our current Director of Programmes is District
Judge Shamim Qureshi (England and Wales).
The CMJA also has an Executive
Committee which meet four times a year.
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- In July 2017, the Commonwealth (Latimer House) Principles
Toolkit was launced by the Commonwealth Secretariat.
Drafted by Dr Karen Brewr, Hon. Keith Hollis, Prof. Dr Peter
Slinn with the assistance of representatives from the CLA,
CLEA, CPA and CMJA, the organisations who are all members
of the Latimer House Working Group was commissioned
o to put together a Dialogue Toolkit with a view to enhancing
between the three pillars of democracy (namely the Executive,
the Legislature and the Judiciary) in the Commonwealth.
The Toolkit is in two parts: A
Practionners Handbook and a Facilitators
- In January 2017, the CMJA published "Guide for
Magistrates in the
Commonwealth: Fundamental Principles and Recommended Practices
(available in the CMJA Membership area) providing a valuable
resource for on the key concepts and principles underpinning
of the judiciary as one of the pillars of democracy and
the important part that the magistracy (lower judiciary)
play in promoting the rule of law and good governance
- The CLA, CLEA and CMJA produced a report on
"Judicial Appointments Commissions: A Clause for Constitutions"
in May 2013 which sets out good practice for the establishment,
composition and running of Judicial appointment commissions
The Association prodcued a report on
in February 2013 which provides a Guideline
to ensuring the independence and integrity of judicial
officers of limited jurisdiction.
The CMJA has been the repository of
the Codes of Conduct/Ethics of judiciaries around the
Commonwealth since 1998. Fighting Corruption in the Judiciary
is a priority area and the Association has been promoting
agreed in 2002.
The re-launch of the Judicial Education
Programme under the auspices of a Director of Studies
in 1999; The CMJA has organised training courses, seminars,
workshops and Conferences to assist in the development
and maintenance of good standards in the judiciary, human
rights, judicial independence and the fight against corruption.
The establishment of CMJA's Gender
and the subsequent involvement of the Association
in four Regional Judicial Colloquia on Women's Rights
in conjunction with the Gender and Youth Affairs Division
of the Commonwealth Secretariat, held in Zimbabwe (1994),
the UN Women's Conference in Beijing (1995), Hong Kong
(1996) and Guyana (1996); and the Gender Section conferences
held in St Lucia (1999), the Bahamas (2000) and Barbados
(2001); London (2002) and Bermuda (2008).
The contribution to the April 1996
Commonwealth Law Ministers Meeting which established a
new Ministerial Working Group on the Independence of the
Judiciary in the Commonwealth and to the subsequent Commonwealth
Law Ministers Meetings and the continued liaison with
the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Division of the Commonwealth
Victoria Falls Proclamation 1994
approved by the General
Assembly of the CMJA reaffirming the principles of the
Independence of the Judiciary and the Rule of Law as a
reaffirmation of Members' commitment to the objectives
of the Association.
The participation, as a accredited
Commonwealth Association in the activities surrounding
the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in New Zealand,
1995 and Scotland, 1997, Durban 1999; Abuja 2003; Malta
The granting of Royal Patronage to
the CMJA by Her Majesty The Queen, Head of the Commonwealth.
The CMJA has recognised the following persons as
Hon. Life Members of the Association for their contribution to the
development of the Association.
His Hon.Justice El Hadji Danladi Halilu (Nigeria)
- Hon. Life Member since 2003
Mrs Sybil McLaughlin MBE. JP(Cayman Islands) - Hon. Life
Member since 2003
His Hon. Justice Richard Banda (Malawi)- Hon.Life Member
His Hon.Judge Keith Hollis (England and Wales)- Hon.Life
Member since 2009
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