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16 December 2014: CLA, CLEA, CMJA issue statement on the Amendment to the Judicature Act and subsequent removal of Chief Justice Faiz and Justice Adnan from the Supreme Court of the Maldives. See also report on the current judicial crisis in Malawi below.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

JUDICIAL VACANCIES
Turks and Caicos

Magistrate

Click here for further details
Closing Date 5 January 2015

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NEXT CMJA CONFERENCE
2015

"Independent Judiciaries, Diverse Societies"
Wellington, New Zealand

13-18 September 2015
Further details to follow shortly

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APPEAL FROM
WIDOWS RIGHTS INTERNATIONAL
(WRI)

WRI have received a small grant to enhance their networks of activist widows groups and lawyers dealing with cases related to harmful cultural mourning rites and the inhumane treatment of widows. It is gathering information with a view to sharing good practice in improving the rights of widows. If you are a lawyer or judicial officer working in this field in Sub-Saharan Africa or know of a widows group or law firm undertaking such work, , WRI would like to hear from you so that it can build up a repository of good pracice and lessons learned and case law. See WRI

If you can assist please contact:
administrator@widowsrights.org

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RECENT DEVELOPMENTS AROUND THE COMMONWEALTH

The following information has been updated from websites across the Commonwealth.

MALAWI

17 December 2014: Judges and Magistrates have joined the court staff and are currently on strike in Malawi following attempts by the Government to amend constitutional provisions on terms and conditions of service (including salaries) and increments already approved by the National Assembly The courts and Anti Corruption Bureau have been closed and and there is no end in sight at the moment. Their salaries have also been suspended. Please see further reports below.

http://www.nyasatimes.com/2014/12/18/mutharika-meets-malawi-law-society-over-judiciary-impasse/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

http://zodiakmalawi.com/top-stories/judiciary-snubs-salary-harmonisation
http://allafrica.com/stories/201412171422.html
http://allafrica.com/stories/201412160263.html

http://www.maravipost.com/201412027615/Law-and-Order/malawi-justice-minister-tembenu-s-statement-in-anticipation-of-the-on-going-judiciary-strike.html

http://www.nyasatimes.com/2014/12/01/malawi-rights-groups-hit-at-passive-mutharika-on-judicial-strike/

http://www.nyasatimes.com/2014/11/26/malawi-courts-strike-to-continue-salary-hike-proposal-rejected/

MALDIVES

On 17 December 2014, the International Commission of Jurists issued the following statement: http://www.icj.org/maldives-removal-of-supreme-court-judges-an-assault-on-independence-of-the-judiciary/

CLA, CLEA, CMJA issue statement on the Amendment to the Judicature Act and subsequent removal of Chief Justice Faiz and Justice Adnan from the Supreme Court of the Maldives

On 15 December 2014, the President appointed Justice Abdulla Saeed as the Chief Justice of Maldives http://minivannews.com/politics/abdulla-saeed-appointed-as-new-chief-justice-dismissed-justice-faiz-laments-black-day-91613

The Civil Court's papers on the action against the JSC's recommendations were seized by the Supreme Court: http://minivannews.com/politics/supreme-court-takes-control-of-mdp%E2%80%99s-civil-court-complaint-on-faiz-muthasim-dismissal-91618

On 14 December 2014, Chief Justice Ahmed Faiz and Justice Muthasim Adnan were removed from Office. See: http://minivannews.com/politics/majlis-removes-chief-justice-ahmed-faiz-justice-muthasim-adnan-from-supreme-court-91600

The Opposition lodged an action against the Judicial Services' Commission's actions in court on 14 December 2014 in the Civil Court. The ivil Court said the People’s Majlis had “forced” the JSC to deem Faiz and Adnan unfit for the Supreme Court bench without due process, through an “unconstitutional” amendment to the Judicature Act.: http://minivannews.com/politics/civil-court-condemns-move-to-dismiss-chief-justice-faiz-and-adnan-91593

On 11 December 2014, the Majilis adopted an amendment to the Judicature Act. The new legislation reduces the number of Supreme Court Judges from 7 to 5. Within 24hrs of the adoption he Bill into legislation, the Judicial Services Commisison, which is responsible for recommending appointments and removal of judges, recommended to the President that Chief Justice Ahmed Faiz and Justice Muthasim Adnan be removed. There have been recent tensions between the judicary and the government over.

See also: http://minivannews.com/politics/transparency-maldives-notes-grave-concern-over-undemocratic-trends-91603

 

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RECENT CMJA ACTIVITIES

December 2015
New Council Member for the Indian Ocean Region. On 1 December, the CMJA appointed a new Member of Council from Bangladesh Judge Shariff Reza Jaker.

November 2015
We were very sad to learn of the passing of our Council Member for Nigeria, Mrs Nkiruka Franklin-Iguh who was elected in 2012 and who was also President of the Magistrates Association of Nigeria. Our thoughts and prayers go to the Association and her family at this sad time

October 2014
800th Magna Carta Foundation
award grant awarded to the CMJA, MJA, together with the Commonwealth Lawyers Association and the Commonwealth Legal Education Association for a Travelling Exhibition for the Magna Carta. Click here for the Press Release. For further information about the Commonwealth-wide Magna Carta Celebrations please see http://magnacarta800th.com

September 2014
The CMJA held its conference in Livingstone, Zambia from 7-11 September 2014. the Conference atttracted over 214 delegates and 44 accompanying persons from 35 jurisdictionis. The CMJA is grateful to the Zambian Judiciary and government for their support for the Conference. The Theme of the Conference was: "Judicial Independence: the Challenges of the Modern Era". A copy of the Keynote paper presented by the CMJA President on "Judicial Independence: The Role of the Chief Justice" is available here.

The CMJA also participated in the Commonwealth Secretariat's workshop on Judicial Services Commissions which took place in the wings of the CMJA Conference.

August 2014
New Council Member for the Caribbean. The CMJA appointed two new Council Members for the Caribbean Region. They are Mrs Pamela Beckles of Barbados and Mrs Nicola Stoneham of Bermuda.

July 2014
The CMJA Secretary General was invited to attend the launch of the Summer Exhibition at the UK Supreme Court in London: "A Court at the Crossroads of Empire: Stories from the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council" on 31 July 2014. This exhibition is open until 26 September 2014 and is well worth a visit for those of you coming to London in August/September. Click here for further details

June 2014
DATE AND THEME OF NEXT TRIENNIAL CONFERENCE AGREED
The CMJA and the Judiciary of New Zealand have agreed the Theme for the CMJA's Triennial Conference in Wellington, New Zealand: "Independent Judiciaries, Diverse Societies". The Conference will take place from 13-18 September 2015. Further details will follow in due course

Legal and Judicial Legacies of Empire - 17 June 2014
The CMJA together with the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, the Commonwealth Legal Education Association and the Overseas Services Pensioners Associatioin to organise a one day conference on the Legal and Judicial Legacies of Empire. Speakers included Lord Judge the former Chief Justice of England and Wales, Justice Desiree Bernard of the Caribbean Court of Justice, Dr Haji Mohd Na'im Mokhtar of the Syariah Court of Malaysia, former Chief Justice Mahapela Lehohla of Lesotho, as well as the CMJA Executive Vice President, Judge Tim Workman. Lord Judge spoke eloquently about the influence of the Magna Carta and other presenters spoke on the application of English law and other legal systems in the Empire, the evolution of the courts, the legacy of old laws as well as human rights and the new common law in the Commonwealth. This one day conference was attended by over 200 participants.

March 2014
The CMJA Director of Programmes, Judge Shamim Quresh, Regional Vice President, Jusice Margaret Ramsay-Halei and Mr Mark Guthrie (LCAD) Commonwealth Secretariat undertook a training of judicial officers in Guyana on domestic violence issues. We are grateful to the Commonwealth Secretariat for their support fo this training. Click here for further details of the training.

February 2014
CMJA launches Brochure for the CMJA Conference in Livingstone, Zambia. "Judicial Independence: The Challenges in the Modern Era" being held from 7-11 September 2014
Click here for details.

January 2014
Maldives
The CMJA Director of Programmes, Judge Shamim Qureshi and Mr Mark Guthrie (LCAD) Commonwealth Secretariat undertook a training of judicial officers in the Maldives on We are grateful to the Commonwealth Secretariat for their support fo this training.

Nauru
The CLA, CLEA and CMJA issued a statement following the forced removal and deportation of Magistrate Peter Law from Nauru, the disregard for the Chief Justice's injunction on the matter and the revocation of the Chief Justice's visa to enter Nauru. Click here to view the statement.

On 19 January 2014 Magistrate Peter Law was removed from his office as Resident Magistrate for Nauru and summarily deported without prior notice to the Chief Justice. The Chief Justice issued an injunction on the matter and was due to fly out to Nauru on Sunday 19 January 2014, the Chief Justice visa to enter Nauru was revoked.

Click here for initial Media Release from the Chief Justices of 19 January 2014
Click here for the Government's news release
click here for the response by the Chief Justice of 22 January 2014

LawAsia Statement: click here


Law Council of Australia and Bar Association of Australia Statement:
http://www.lawcouncil.asn.au/lawcouncil/images/LCA-PDF/mediastatements/1401-Joint-Media-Statement-Nauru-Government.pdf

See RECENT DEVELOPMENTS (BELOW) FOR FURTHER INFORMATION

Previous reports : Click here

 


The Commonwealth Legal
Information Institute

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