Three arms of government discuss Latimer House Principles in Barbados

22 May 2024

In order to foster greater dialogue and collaboration between the three arms of Government, the Commonwealth Secretariat recently hosted a three-day meeting on the Latimer House Principles with members of the judiciary, the executive and the legislature of Barbados. 

The Commonwealth comes together 

The event, the second of a series of Latimer House Dialogues, intended to encourage a greater understanding of the principle of separation of powers in Commonwealth member countries. 

The event was organised by the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Rule of Law Section in partnership with the Commonwealth Judicial Education Institute (CJEI) and the Judicial College of England and Wales. The President of the Commonwealth Lawyers Association, Dr Peter Maynard, was also in attendance. 

Three eminent judges expertly led the 45 delegates through the material and facilitated discussions.  Justice Peter Jamadar, a judge at the Caribbean Court of Justice and a member of the Commonwealth Judicial Education Institute; Justice Annah Tawana of the Botswana Judiciary and a member of the Commonwealth Judicial Education Institute; and Justice Maura McGowan of the Judiciary of England and Wales facilitated the dialogue.  

The importance of collaboration  

Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Chief Justice of Barbados, Sir Patterson Cheltenham, recognised the importance of the rule of law. He welcomed the opportunity for members of each arm to deepen their understanding of the separation of powers between the three arms of government. 

The Speaker of the House of Assembly, the Hon Arthur Holder, and the President of the Senate, the Hon Reginald Farley attended the symposium. Also in attendance were the President of the Democratic Labour Party, Dr Ronnie Yearwood; Deputy Chairman of the Constitutional Reform Commission, Gregory Nicholls, and the President of the Barbados Bar Association, Kaye Williams.  

Dr Elizabeth Macharia, Acting Head of the Rule of Law Section at the Commonwealth Secretariat, thanked the Chief Justice of Barbados for his leadership and commitment to the rule of law. She said: 

“The Commonwealth Secretariat is honoured that Barbados has welcomed this dialogue. The Secretariat is aware that this young republic is mapping its way into the future and is proud to make this journey with Barbados.” 

Attendees expressed the hope that members of the three arms of government would embrace and utilise opportunities for collaboration. They appreciated the frank exchange of views in a constructive atmosphere.


Moving forward together 

The Latimer House Dialogues enable all three arms of government to: 

  • engage in dialogue, raise awareness and build consensus on the roles played by each arm of government to ensure adequate checks and balances and the rule of law;  

  • sustain a culture of mutual respect and understanding their respective mandates; 

  • sustain mutual trust and confidence through maintaining transparency and accountability for actions and decisions; and 

  • affirm that the predominance of one arm of government in disregard of the power and independence of the other is an affront to the rule of law. 

As a key outcome, the participants adopted a set of recommendations as a road map for strengthening the rule of law and separation of powers in Barbados.  

You can read the recommendations below: 


Media contact

  • Snober Abbasi Senior Communications Officer, Media and Public Affairs, Commonwealth Secretariat

  • +44 20 7747 6168 |  E-mail