Commonwealth Lawyers Association

The Commonwealth Lawyers Association ("CLA") was founded in 1983 to group professional and academic lawyers from Commonwealth countries. It exists to promote and maintain the rule of law throughout the Commonwealth by ensuring that an independent and efficient legal profession, with the highest standards of ethics and integrity, serves the people of the Commonwealth. It also organises the annual Commonwealth Law Conference.

The CLA was one of the organisations responsible for the promulgation of the Commonwealth (Latimer House) Principles on the Accountability of and the Relationship between the Three Branches of Government (known as the "Principles"). The Principles provide a framework for the implementation of the Commonwealth's fundamental values of democracy, good governance, human rights and the rule of law and became an integral part of these values following agreement by the Commonwealth Heads of Government at their meeting in 2005.

Membership of the CLA comprises individual legal practitioners from Commonwealth countries as well as the bars and law societies of Commonwealth jurisdictions. The policy making body of the CLA is its Council which consists of a President, Vice-President, Treasurer and representatives from the regions of the Commonwealth. The CLA's day-to-day affairs are run by a Secretariat based in London. The 2008 Secretary General of the CLA is Claire Martin.

The CLA holds Commonwealth Law Conferences every two years as well as regional conferences from time to time. The 14th Commonwealth Law Conference was held in London in September 2005 at which Graeme Mew of Canada was elected President of the CLA. The 15th Commonwealth Law Conference took place in Nairobi in September 2007 at which Ron Heinrich of Australia was elected President of the CLA. The 16th conference took place in Wan Chai North, Hong Kong in 2009.The 17th conference took place in Hyderabad, India ,on February 8,2011,which has theme as "Emerging Economies and the Rule of Law : changing as opportunities"


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