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  • Promoting the rule of law

    The Commonwealth has published compendium of guidelines to help enshrine the independence and impartiality of the judiciary and prevent abuses of power.

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Governance and law

Good governance, strong democracy, rule of law, protection of human rights and respect for diversity are Commonwealth values.

The Commonwealth Secretariat works with member countries to resolve conflicts or tensions. We help consolidate good governance and strengthen confidence in public institutions.

We work with governments and partners in civil society to strengthen the protection and promotion of human rights globally.

We assist governments to tackle systemic corruption by supporting the sharing of best practices, training and capacity-building. 

We support international and national strategies to counter violent extremism and to reduce the vulnerabilities of at-risk communities.

Blog: Commonwealth anti-corruption initiative pushes progress on SDGs Scales of Justice and coins

Tackling corruption has to be a priority of the highest order if we are earnest about achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As the world marks International Anti-Corruption Day - a day set aside to raise public awareness of anti-corruption actions - the International Monetary Fund estimates bribery costs the global economy roughly 1.5 to 2 trillion dollars a year.

Commonwealth law ministers resolve to take action on access to justice Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland at the Commonwealth Law Ministers Meeting in Sri Lanka

Commonwealth law ministers have unanimously resolved to remove barriers to access to justice in their respective countries, and to deliver Sustainable Development Goal 16 on peace, justice and strong institutions by 2030.

Blog: How a robust international arbitration framework can boost global trade and economic growth gavel and block

A robust framework for resolving cross-border commercial disputes can help unlock valuable trade and investment opportunities for Commonwealth countries.

Blog: Access to justice for all is not yet a reality – but there are ways forward Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland speaking at the Commonwealth Law Ministers Meeting in Sri Lanka

Access to justice for everyone in all communities is an important right and requirement for building fair and peaceful societies – yet this objective has been achieved in few if any nations, and the consequences are damaging for social, economic and political progress and stability.

Justice should not be confined to courtrooms, says Secretary-General Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland speaking at the Commonwealth Law Ministers Meeting in Sri Lanka

People must have faith in the justice system for the rule of law to work, according to the Commonwealth Secretary-General. Patricia Scotland spoke at the opening ceremony of Commonwealth Law Ministers Meeting in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Communities strengthen dispute resolution skills in Malawi Commonwealth panel on dispute resolution in Malawi

Community actors in Malawi are set to benefit from a special training programme aimed at enhancing local skills in dialogue and dispute resolution.