The Commonwealth Law Ministers Meeting 2022 (CLMM) has kicked off in Mauritius to advance Commonwealth consensus and cooperation.
Hosted by the Attorney General’s Office Mauritius, this is the first in-person meeting of Commonwealth Law Ministers since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The meeting is taking place from 22 to 25 November, under the theme: ‘Strengthening international cooperation through the rule of law and the protection of human rights’.
Law Ministers are gathering to set clear directions on a range of legal, rule of law and justice issues.
A delegation led by the Commonwealth Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland, arrived in Mauritius on 22 November.
“We must transform our justice systems to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow,” said Scotland in her opening remarks.
“We face a huge task, and we have a huge responsibility, but this meeting is a real opportunity to craft a new legal settlement for the Commonwealth, which is fit for the times in which we live.
“We must enable the efficient delivery of swift, fair, effective and principled justice to strengthen the relationship between the work of Law Ministers and the full scope of the Commonwealth’s work across a range of national ministries.
A key focus of the CLMM 2022 is the Commonwealth Plan of Action on the Equal Access to Justice Declaration.
In 2019, Commonwealth Law Ministers adopted a Declaration on Equal Access to Justice, to prioritise access to justice across the Commonwealth.
The declaration urges Commonwealth member states to use people-friendly approaches to address the barriers to access to justice – such as the use of technology to provide access to legal services as well as enhanced delivery of justice services.
To ensure its implementation, the Commonwealth Secretariat developed toolkits and best practice guides for governments, alongside its action plan on equal access.
At this week’s meeting, Law ministers will hear presentations on the themes of people-centred justice and the future of our courts.
Ministers will adopt recommendations by the end of the meeting, which will inform justice work in their respective countries across the Commonwealth.