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Don't forget to Register Now for the CMJA's
17th Triennial Conference in Wellington, New Zealand
13-18 September 2015- click here for details


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"Independent Judiciaries, Diverse Societies"
Wellington, New Zealand

13-18 September 2015
Click here for details



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 practice and lessons learned and case law. See www.widowsrights.org

If you can assist please contact:

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


On 20 Marhc 2014, President Lungu dissolved the Chipoka Tribunal and re-instated Justices Nigel Mutuna and Charles Kajimanga.

On the 23 December 2014, Justice Siavwapa found in favour of Justice Nigel Mutuna and Justice Charles Kajimanga in their judicial review of the legality of the tribunal set up by late President Sata.. It will be recalled that both judges were suspended in 2012 for alleged misconduct. A tribunal was set up under the chairmanship of Justice Chipoka of Malawi. However Justices Mutuna and Kajimanga had called into question the legality of the setting up of the tribunal and challenged this decision under judicial review. Justice Saavwapa found in that the tribunal had no authority to set its own rules and regulations and therefore its decisions were null and void. He recommended the dissolution of the Tribunal and the re-instatment of the two suspended judges.


22 December 2014. CLA, CLEA, CMJA issue joint statement on the strike.

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.


On 23 December 2014, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyershas expressed serious concern about the removal of Supreme Court Chief Justice Ahmed Faiz and Judge Muthasim Adnan.

“This decision seriously undermines the independence of the judiciary in the country and will have a chilling effect on the work of the judiciary at all levels,” said Knaul.

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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April 2015
On 23 April 2015, LA, CLEA, CMJA issue a statement on the arrests of the Chief Justice of Swaziland and Justice Simelane and Justice Annadale.

The CMJA Secretary General also participated in the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation Cybersecurity Forum held in London on " Securing Cyberspace for Economic and Social Development". She participated as one of the panellists on the Commonwealth's response to Cybercrime.

The CMJA Secretary General participated in the Commonwealth Law Conference held in Glasgow from 12-16 April 2015. She spoke in the session on Model Form of Judicial Appointments. A copy of her speech is available from the CMJA secretariat.

February 2015
We were very sad to learn of the passing of the Chairperson of the Gender Section and Hon. Life Vice President, Mrs Clover Thompson Gordon who was a dedicated member of Council for many years. She will be sadly missed by all of us.

December 2014
22 December 2014: CLA, CLEA, CMJA issue a statement on the Strike of Judicial Officers and Staff in Malawi.

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.

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 2014
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.



Previous reports : Click here




The Commonwealth Legal
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