Combating Corruption in the Commonwealth
The CMJA acts as the Repository, under the Commonwealth (Latimer House) Guidelines of 1998 (see Judicial Independence) of the Codes/Guidelines of Judicial Conduct/Ethics of the Commonwealth. These are used to assist jurisdictions who are developing or reviewing their own codes.
Combating Corruption in the Judiciary has been a priority of the CMJA. The CMJA cooperated with the Commonwealth Secretariat in a Colloquium on Combating Corruption in the Judiciary in 2002 which led to the Limassol Conclusions on Combating Corruption in the Judiciary The CMJA’s former Director of Studies, Hon. Keith Hollis has been involved in the work the CMJA has undertaken on fighting corruption since 2002.
It contributed to the work undertaken in the drafting of the Bangalore Principles of Judicial Conduct of 2002 as well as Transparency International’s Global Corruption Report 2007 on Corruption in the Judicial Systems.
Combating Corruption in the Judiciary has been a topic discussed at CMJA Conferences.
In 2011 it contributed to the UNODC’s Resource Guide on Strengthening Judicial Integrity and Capacity It has worked as a partner organisation of UNODC on the Global Judicial Integrity Network set up under the auspices of the Doha Declaration of 2015 (which re-affirms Member States commitments to “prevent and counter corruption, and to implement measures aimed at enhancing in public administration and promoting the integrity and accountability of our criminal systems, in accordance with the United Nations Convention against Corruption”) and is represented on its Advisory Board.
The CMJA was consulted by the Commonwealth Secretariat on the formulation of the Commonwealth Anti-Corruption Benchmarks, in particular in relation to the section on the administration of justice. These Benchmarks having been endorsed by Commonwealth Law Ministers in Sri Lanka in November 2019, will be submitted to the CHOGM when it is re-scheduled to meet in 2021.
The CMJA, together with the Judicial Office of England and Wales has been assisting the Gambian Judiciary with the development of Sentencing Guidelines since January 2019. Two Guidelines on theft and assault were drafted with the assistance of HH Judge Martin Picton, Mr Justice Robin Knowles and Grace Karrass from the Judicial Office of England and Wales, pending the approval by Parliament of the new Criminal Justice Bill. A Sentencing Council has now been established by the Chief Justice and the CMJA and Judicial Office of England and Wales have been invited to continue to assist the judiciary in developing a further guideline.
UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
In July 2021, the CMJA together with SIFoCC (The Standing International Forum of Commercial Courts) organised a one – day webinar for Judges from the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and High Court of Rwanda on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.