Providing funding for the Commonwealth Magistrates’ and Judges’ Association’s (CMJA) activities and supporting judicial officers around the Commonwealth

For over 40 years, the CMJA has been working towards achieving respect for the rule of law, fundamental values and the respect for human and peoples rights across the Commonwealth.

The CMJA Endowment Trust aims to assemble a fund of

at least £1,000,000 - ONE MILLION POUNDS STERLING


£97,539 (June 2019)

For Donations and Enquiries
Please contact:
Dr Karen Brewer, Secretary
CMJA Endowment Fund
Uganda House, 58-59 Trafalgar Square
London WC2N 5DX United Kingdom
Tel: + 44 207 976 1007

TO MAKE A DONATION by credit/debit card/paypal,please CLICK HERE
and choose CMJA ENDOWMENT FUND on the drop down menu.



The Commonwealth is home to a quarter of the world’s population. Its strength lies in the diversity of its membership, bound together not only by shared history and traditions but also by f respect for shared values and principles.

These principles include:

  • Respect for the independence and integrity of the judiciary, and for the protection of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights for all without discrimination;
  • A commitment to access to justice and an independent judiciary which are fundamental to the rule of law.

Customary Court, Ghana

For over 40 years the Commonwealth Magistrates’ and Judges’ Association (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.

“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 acts as a watchdog when there are threats to judicial independence and cooperates with other organizations in promoting the Commonwealth fundamental values;

The CMJA organises conferences, seminars and training courses to improve the standards of administration of justice across the Commonwealth;

The CMJA provides support to its members by disseminating information about judicial developments across the Commonwealth.



  • Burden of Responsibility - The nature of judicial systems requires judges and magistrates to make decisions independently without fear or favour.
  • Executive Abuse of Power - Without a transparent, merit based appointment system with limited involvement by the Government there is a risk of interference by the Executive arm of government.
  • Lack of Understanding of the Judiciary - Language exhorting the judiciary to pay attention to the ‘court of public opinion’ or ‘bear the consequences’ betrays an ignorance of and disregard for the appropriate relationship between government and the judiciary.
  • Political upheavals - the independence and integrity of the judiciary is put on the line during times of political upheaval or crisis.

“It is only an independent judiciary and one that enjoys public confidence which can assure society that it will have equal treatment under the law and that its equality before the law will be protected”
Justice Richard Banda, Malawi


The CMJA receives no support from governments. Its income comes from membership subscriptions and occasional minor grant-aid. The Endowment Trust will give the CMJA, for the first time, the financial stability to sustain its important work. The capital of the fund will be conserved for so long as the CMJA exists. The income from the fund will help to meet the core commitments of the Association at its headquarters in Trafalgar Square, and 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. The Endowment Fund will help to provide those funds .

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.

Pacific Gender and Human Rights Workshop, Fiji

The Endowment Trust will therefore assist the CMJA to:

  • Enable the CMJA to support the magistracy and the judiciary by providing moral and practical support to judicial officers facing improper challenges to their independence.
  • Help the CMJA to give advice and training and to provide judicial mentoring so that judiciaries across the Commonwealth can improve standards.
  • Strengthen the ability of the CMJA 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




The Endowment Trust is seeking contributions across the Commonwealth from those individuals and organisations willing to support the work of the Commonwealth Magistrates’ and Judges’ Association in seeking to uphold the Rule of Law.

Some court rooms lack capacity due to the most minimal of resources


Patron: Lady Brenda Hale


Bailiff William Bailhache,Chairman
Jurat Charles Blampied, Treasurer
Mr Patrick Latham, CMJA Treasurer
Deputy Bailiff Richard McMahon
Mr Tim Workman CBE, CMJA Executive Vice President

Trustees Report and Accounts
(to 30 December 2018)





Charity Registration No: 1145708