Commonwealth Law Ministers mobilise to deliver justice
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A section of the Commonwealth Law Ministers Meeting on Friday concluded with a set of proposed actions to be taken at the national and Commonwealth level to realise equal access to justice and justice transformation for all by 2030.
A section of the Commonwealth Law Ministers Meeting on Friday concluded with a set of proposed actions to be taken at the national and Commonwealth level to realise equal access to justice and justice transformation for all by 2030.

AFTER three days of deliberations, the Commonwealth Law Ministers Meeting 2022 concluded Friday with a set of proposed actions to be taken at the national and Commonwealth levels to realise equal access to justice and justice transformation for all by 2030.

Commonwealth Law Ministers endorsed the programmes proposed by the Commonwealth Secretariat in the Commonwealth Plan of Action on Equal Access to Justice.

The Plan of Action that Commonwealth Heads of Government endorsed in Kigali in June, 2022, includes the development of an access-to-justice toolkit and a small-claims court app, the Commonwealth legal knowledge exchange portal, the implementation of people-centred justice projects, the development of the 100-day toolkit for Justice Ministers, an integrated family court project and model contracts in investment, energy and extractives.

Speaking about the work of the Secretariat, the Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland said:

“The resources developed by the Secretariat and its partners are useful weapons in every law minister’s arsenal, shortening the journey towards the development of solutions for legal problems. I encourage every justice minister to take advantage of the toolkits and resources which were shared during this meeting.

If we approach our task with the energy, unity and purpose which is the hallmark of the Commonwealth at its best, then we will succeed.”

Law Ministers recognised the urgent need to deliver justice to as many people as possible in a sustainable manner, requiring a shift to more evidence-based, data-driven justice solutions.

Some resources provided to Law Ministers during the meeting include: Environmental, Social and Economic Development provisions in Investment contracts; the Law and Climate Change toolkit; the Commonwealth’s Anticorruption Benchmarks; Commonwealth Elections Cybersecurity Best Practice Guide, amongst others.

Senator Renuka Sagramsingh-Sooklal, Minister in the Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Legal Affairs, Trinidad and Tobago, said:

“This meeting is very important to Trinidad and Tobago because a meeting such as this is a platform that allows us the opportunity to lap up a vast amount of information and resources provided to a Small State and Member States by the Commonwealth Secretariat on key critical areas of law. Trinidad and Tobago have benefited from the toolkits that have been provided, the vast amount of resources and research data and guidance that are critical to the development of the country.”

Another key development during this week’s meeting was the unanimous agreement of Law Ministers to recommend the ‘Commonwealth Principles on Freedom of Expression and the Role of the Media in Good Governance’ to Commonwealth Leaders to consider at the next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).

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