The Commonwealth Magistrates’ and Judges’ Association (CMJA) receives no regular financial support from governments. The CMJA’s influence is constrained by the lack of resources available to fund its activities, which historically have come from membership subscriptions and occasional minor grant-aid. However, membership income can be a challenge especially when members are unable to pay even the lowest level of annual subscriptions. For over 50 years, the CMJA has played a vital role in developing judicial standards and strengthening judicial independence and enhancing the rule of law, thereby touching the lives of millions of people. The income from investments made by the CMJA Endowment Trust will enable it to give practical support wherever in the Commonwealth the independence of the judiciary is under threat. The ability to respond quickly to challenges to the rule of law can sometimes be vital, but such responses need resources.
“We are not, as we are sometimes seen, mere custodians of a body of arid prescriptive rules but are, with others, the guardians of an all but sacred flame which animates and enlightens the society in which we live.”
The Rt Hon. Lord Bingham of Cornhill
The CMJA Endowment Trust, was set up in 2010, as a separate charitable organisation (Charity Registration No: 1145708), at the instigation of former Executive Vice President, Sir Philip Bailhache, with the aim of providing a degree of financial security for the CMJA so that the CMJA can sustain its important work The CMJA receives the income from the invested capital fund (from donations received to date – see below).
Customary Court, Ghana
The Endowment Trust will therefore assist the CMJA to:
- support the magistracy and the judiciary by providing moral and practical support to judicial officers facing improper challenges to their independence.
- o give advice and training and to provide judicial mentoring so that judiciaries across the Commonwealth can improve standards.
- Strengthen its ability to fulfil its functions of upholding the Rule of Law throughout the Commonwealth.
A strong and independent judiciary is necessary not only to protect the rights of the individual but also to provide a secure and reliable background against which business can flourish for the economic benefit of the community.
Without the rule of law….it is obvious that equality before the law does not exist…. .A judge without independence is a charade wrapped in a farce inside an oppression.”
Justice Michael Kirby, Australia
Some court rooms lack capacity due to the most minimal of resources
How the CMJA Endowment Trust has made a Difference to date:
Since 2010, the Trust has provided funding for:
- The Dorothy Winton Bursary Fund which assists judicial officers from the lower courts in the Commonwealth to attend the CMJA’s education conferences;
Her Worship Naume Sikhoya, Ugandan Magistrate, who received funding from the Dorothy Winton Bursary Fund to attend the CMJA’s Educational Conference in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea in 2019
- The CMJA Training Development Fund which was set up to respond to requests for training across the Commonwealth;
Pacific Gender and Human Rights Workshop, Fiji
- The publication and updating of the Guide for the Magistrate in the Commonwealth: Fundamental Principles and Recommended Practices;
- Core funding to the CMJA so that it can fulfil its advocacy role in supporting judiciaries around the Commonwealth to uphold the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary and the good administration of justice.
How Can you Make A Difference?
The Endowment Trust is seeking contributions across the Commonwealth from those individuals and organisations willing to support the work of the CMJA.
TO MAKE A DONATION by credit/debit card/Paypal, please CLICK HERE and choose CMJA ENDOWMENT FUND from the dropdown menu.
Patron and Trustees
Lady Brenda Hale
Sir William Bailhache, Chairman
Jurat Charles Blampied, Treasurer
HHJ Richard Foster
Bailiff Richard McMahon
Hon. John Vertes, CMJA Council Member
Mr Tim Workman CBE, CMJA Executive Vice President
Donations and Enquiries to:
Dr Karen Brewer,
CMJA Endowment Fund
Uganda House, 58-59 Trafalgar Square
London WC2N 5DX United Kingdom
Tel: + 44 207 976 1007
Charity Registration No: 1145708