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Commonwealth Law Ministers to hold triennial meeting in Australia

4 July 2011
Meeting provides a periodic opportunity, every three years, for ministers and senior officials to come together to stock take and look ahead

Law Ministers and Attorneys-General from the 54-member Commonwealth will hold their triennial meeting in Sydney, Australia, 11-14 July 2011, to discuss important legal issues affecting Commonwealth citizens.

Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma and Deputy Secretary-General Mmasekgoa Masire-Mwamba will join host Attorney-General Robert McClelland for the Commonwealth Law Ministers Meeting (CLMM 2011) under the theme “Fostering a Just and Secure Commonwealth”.

 “CLMM 2011 will be an excellent opportunity for law ministers from across the Commonwealth to work together to advance a broad range of initiatives aimed at achieving this year’s theme of fostering a just and secure Commonwealth,” Mr McClelland, Australia’s Attorney-General, said.


“There will be a special thematic session on cyber crime and further discussion on the development of a Commonwealth plan of action to combat human trafficking. Concrete solutions in these areas really matter to Commonwealth citizens in order to foster a just and secure Commonwealth for all,” said Mr Sharma said.

 “The Commonwealth Law Ministers Meeting is unique in the legal calendar. It is the only high level event on the international stage that facilitates information sharing, best practice and collaboration among law ministers and Attorneys-General from both developing and developed countries from every continent in the world who share a common legal tradition,” Mr Sharma added.

Akbar Khan, Director of the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Division at the Commonwealth Secretariat, offered more details on the conference.

“We are talking about those global threats for which collectively we need to find solutions. Today many of the legal threats don’t have borders. We’re talking about human trafficking, we’re talking about cyber crime, and we’re talking about forced marriages,” Mr Khan said.

“These issues need to be dealt with on a collective basis and ministers have that experience in providing the protection and security and respect for human rights that need to come to bear to decide these issues,” added Mr Khan.

A special feature of CLMM 2011 will be its focus also on youth, marked with an event for young lawyers from the Pacific region to promote youth mainstreaming within the Commonwealth and to discuss the challenges they face in the legal profession.

Another special event will focus on access to justice for women, under the Commonwealth’s theme for 2011, “Women as Agents of Change”.

The women’s event will hear about the challenges that women in the Commonwealth face in accessing their rights through judicial mechanisms and legal systems.

The CLMM is the summit meeting of First Law Officers of the Commonwealth and is held every three years.  This is the first time Australia has hosted the meeting which will take place in Sydney from 11 to 14 July 2011. The meeting is a precursor to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth in October 2011.

To access further information regarding CLMM, go to www.clmm2011.org