Co-operation With Partner Organisations - Reports From Partner Organisations

AuthorCommonwealth Secretariat

Page 455

  1. The Commonwealth High Level Group, which met in Coolum, Australia, 2-5 March 2002, called upon Commonwealth professionals to join with Commonwealth officials to help improve Commonwealth fundamental values. The Secretariat was asked to form stronger links and better two-way communication and co-ordination between officials and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to give their activities greater impact and to produce lasting benefits. At the 2003 meeting in Abuja, Nigeria, Commonwealth Heads of Government expressed their appreciation for the positive contribution of civil society in advocacy and capacity building for democracy and sustainable development in member countries. The activities of our partner organisations in the promotion of Commonwealth fundamental values are detailed below.

Commonwealth legal education association (CLEA)
  1. Founded in 1971 CLEA has as its broad objectives:

    * fostering and promoting high standards of legal education in the Commonwealth;

    * strengthening links between legal educators;

    * disseminating information and literature concerning legal education and research;

    * publishing and supporting the publishing of legal materials, particularly for the benefit of law schools in developing Commonwealth countries.

  2. It is a Commonwealth-wide body with regional and national Chapters in South Asia, Southern Africa, West Africa, the Caribbean, India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom. Membership is open to individuals, law schools and other institutions concerned with legal education and research.

  3. The Association has developed a six point Programme of Action designed to achieve sustainable improvement in legal education throughout the Commonwealth:

A Developing human resources

* Training of law teachers

* Development of and support for research

B Developing non-human resources

* Improving library facilities

* Developing the use of electronically produced information

C Curriculum Development

* Developing new courses in areas relevant to Commonwealth countries

* Exchanging information and experiences on the development of courses incorporating a comparative legal approach

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D Professional training

* Strengthening links between law school and vocational training institutions

* Addressing the needs of vocational training institutions

E. Strengthening links between Commonwealth law schools

  1. In carrying out this Programme of Action, the Association undertakes a wide range of activities.

Programmes 2003-5
  1. The Association publishes a wide range of books and periodicals. These include three regular publications:

    * Commonwealth Legal Education: is published three times a year and contains news and articles about law and legal education developments in the Commonwealth. It is sent free of charge to all known law school and law libraries in the Commonwealth and is also available on-line from the CLEA web site;

    * Journal of Commonwealth Law and Legal Education: launched in 2002 and published twice a year, this is the CLEA's own fully refereed journal;

    * Directory of Commonwealth Law Schools: is a biennial publication that contains details of Commonwealth law schools and research institutions as well as the texts of all major Commonwealth declarations.

  2. The Association also has an e-book programme. This is designed to disseminate books and other materials produced on CD-ROMS quickly and cheaply to Commonwealth law schools. There are currently two books in this series: (i) Legal Education and the Administration of Justice in West Africa; and (ii) Curriculum Development for the 21st Century.

  3. The Association has also commenced a print on demand project. This enables it to have law books produced quickly, cheaply and in whatever numbers are required at the time. Further copies can be produced equally swiftly and cheaply. This is aimed especially at supporting small jurisdictions and/or publications on specialist subjects that might not otherwise attract the interest of other law publishers.

  1. The new CLEA website hosted by the Queensland University of Technology, is being developed to include a wide range of legal materials and information relating to the Commonwealth.

  1. The Association organises/co-sponsors a wide range of conferences and seminars. These cover topics such as Administrative Law and Justice; Law and Development; Human Rights and Just and Honest Government; and Reparations as well as a range of legal education issues.

  2. Recognising that legal education needs and interests vary around the Commonwealth, the Association has launched a series of regional conferences/meetings designed to enable academics and practitioners from a particular region to meet regularly to discuss matters of common concern. In South Asia, for example, there are now regular regional meetings, the first two taking place in India and Pakistan.

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