SYDNEY - Ministers in charge of Justice and Attorneys-General from the 54-member states of the Commonwealth will hold their triennial meeting in Sydney, Australia, next week, to discuss important legal issues affecting the alliance.
They will meet under the auspices of Commonwealth Law Ministers Meeting (CLMM 2011)
The meeting provides a periodic opportunity every three years for the ministers and government officials to come together and share common knowledge on how to deal with legal issues.
According to the statement from the Commonwealth Secretariat, the bloc’s Secretary-General, Kamalesh Sharma, and Deputy Secretary-General Mmasekgoa Masire-Mwamba will share knowledge with the ministers under the theme 'Fostering a Just and Secure Commonwealth'.
Frank Mwine Mugisha, the Rwandan principal State Attorney, who is among the participants, noted that Rwanda has been hosting different Commonwealth conferences through which the country has benefited, adding that in participating in the conference, they will share experiences and see what is good for Rwandans.
“We just hosted parliamentarians from African commonwealth member states; we organised a workshop on alternative sentencing for commonwealth member states in East Africa and beyond, and we have benefited enormously from these,” he said in an interview.
Akbar Khan, Director of the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Division at the Commonwealth Secretariat acknowledged that it was so important for the Law Minister to share experiences on providing protection and security for nationals in member states.
"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," 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," Khan added.
A special feature of CLMM 2011 will be its focus on youth, marked with an event for young lawyers from the Pacific Region to promote youth mainstreaming within the Commonwealth and to discuss challenges they face in the legal profession.
The Rwandan delegation will be led by Justice Minister Tharcisse Karugarama