Official Newsletter of the Commonwealth Judicial Education Institute 

CJEI Report

 Volume 3 Issue 1

June 1997

CMJA Triennial meeting to be held in Cape Town

CJEI will be responsible for judicial education component.

Preparations are being finalized for the Eleventh CMJA Triennial Conference to be held at Karos Arthur's Seat Conference Centre in Cape Town, South Africa from October 25th to November 1st, 1997. CJEI will be responsible for the judicial education component of the conference. The overall theme will be "The Judiciary and Human Rights" with specific topics addressing Judicial Activism vs. Parliamentary Sovereignty, Human Rights and Judicial Accountability, and Human Rights and Judicial Independence.

Prior to the CMJA general meeting, CJEI will hold its annual Patrons' Roundtable meeting on judicial education and judicial reform. The number of Chief Justices who have indicated that they will be attending the Roundtable discussion is most encouraging, and CJEI is particularly delighted with the representation of African Chief Justices.

The great social changes now under way in the host country promise to invigorate the proceedings. Conference attendance is expected to be the largest ever so early registration is strongly recommended.

Comings and Goings

There have been some staff changes since our last CJEI Report. Sandra Hutchings continues to provide exemplary service in our office as administrative assistant. Financial administrator David Lacusta has decided to seek fresh challenges and we wish him all the best in his future endeavours. Mr. Harvey Matthews, a former director of the Nova Scotia Department of Finance and staff member of the provincial Department of the Auditor General will be joining CJEI as Director of Finance effective August 1, 1997.

Meanwhile, Dr. Jay White, our director of research has been working in Washington, D.C. and Ottawa on CJEI's behalf. Since coming on board last November, he has prepared funding applications for judicial education programs in the Caribbean region, and completed our Annual Report for 1995-96. Dr. White will be assisting us through the summer in writing reports, preparing survey instruments, and redesigning our web page in order to strengthen CJEI's online presence.

CJEI announces new, expanded Web page

CJEI staff are presently updating and expanding the information provided on our Worldwide Web page and we encourage all you "internauts" out there to drop in for a visit. The new address is: (Don't forget to include the tilde before "cjei"!) Its primary purpose is to deliver information electronically about the Institute and its parent organization, the Commonwealth Magistrates' and Judges' Association. Current plans are to enhance the text and graphical content of the page by including online versions of our Annual Report, past CJEI programs, seminars and background material of interest to judicial educators. For example, we will soon be publishing electronically a CJEI paper entitled "The Media and the Judiciary in the Democratic Process" written by Professor H. Archibald Kaiser and funded by CIDA. The full text of this essay and others will soon be accessible from our web page. In the longer term, we will be adding more links to other sites with a view toward the creation of an international clearinghouse for the latest online resources relating to judicial education.

We Need Your Help

CJEI is presently implementing two research projects for which we seek your cooperation:

    • The first is a comparative study of judicial independence in the Commonwealth.
    • The second is a comparative study of codes of judicial ethics and conduct which will include a draft model code.

To complete these research projects we need accurate and up-to-date information from your jurisdiction. Survey forms will be circulated shortly and we humbly beg your support in arranging for their prompt completion. We will be distributing the results to you and presenting them at the CMJA Triennial meeting in Cape Town. Thank you for your assistance.

The President Reports

I am pleased to advise you that I will be returning home in August after completing my assignment as Judicial Reform Specialist with the World Bank in Washington, D.C. While the responsibilities of the position and requirements for frequent travel were often demanding, I have benefited enormously from the experience. I believe that the work of CJEI will be strengthened by all that I have learned at the World Bank. At a time in history when social and economic changes can have such immediate and far-reaching impact, there is a pressing need to provide resources, of both a technical and pedagogical nature, to jurists in developing nations, particularly in those with fragile democracies.

The work of the Institute has continued during my absence thanks to the efforts of our excellent staff and volunteers. The early months of 1997 marked an ambitious period in CJEI's history. In February, the first ever Joint Workshop for Judges and Magistrates of Zambia and Malawi was held at Manchinchi Bay Lodge, Siavonga, Zambia. A collaborative endeavour on the part of the Malawian and Zambian judiciaries, this workshop was chaired by the Hon. Mr. Justice Sakala Of Zambia. We are very pleased indeed to welcome Mr. Justice Sakala to the CJEI Board of Directors.

Close on the heels of Siavonga came the CJEI program delivered in collaboration with the Mauritian judiciary. Held in Belle Mare from February 20 to 23, this program was attended by 120 jurists from Mauritius and the Seychelles, including ten judges, 25 magistrates, and over 80 attorneys, barristers and state counsel. The inclusion of the latter, although departing from usual CJEI policy of limiting participants to judicial officers, was done at the behest of Chief Justice A.G. Pillay. The candid and free discussion which resulted illustrates the unity of purpose which exists in Mauritius to initiate judicial reform. The CJEI program served as a threshold meeting foreshadowing the upcoming Mauritian Judicial Reform Commission. The program organizing committee was chaired by CJEI director Dr. Booshan Domah.

March 1997 opened with another milestone for CJEI: the East African Magistrates' Workshop held at the Novotel Mount Meru, Arusha, Tanzania. The first such regional meeting of magistrates in this area, the program was organized with the East African Judicial Education Committee, and was attended by Magistrates from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. We are indebted to Chief Magistrate Lawrence Gidudu for his efforts in laying the groundwork for the program, which was initiated with a proposal made to the Honourable Chief Justice Nyalali in Dar es Salaam, a well known judicial education advocate. The keynote address was delivered by the Hon. John Mroso, Judge of the Tanzanian High Court, and external speakers included the Honorable Mr. Justice Ian Farlam, South Africa and Mr. Edward Adams, Lord Chancellor's Department, United Kingdom. It was gratifying to see that the program participants-mostly young, reform-minded magistrates with enormous responsibilities and weighty problems-were overwhelmingly enthusiastic about the workshop. CJEI is very proud of the initiative taken by the judiciaries of East Africa in establishing a regional judicial education committee, which was organized at the CJEI-sponsored Uganda program for East African judges.

From March 10th to the 14th, the Second Joint Workshop for Judges and Magistrates in Malawi and Zambia was held at Nkopola Lodge, Mangochi, Malawi. It was chaired by the Hon. Justice Duncan Tambala of the High Court of Malawi. Thirty-five judges and professional magistrates received training in competency, impartiality and efficiency skills aimed at creating a more effective justice system. External speakers included the Honourable Enoch Dumbutshena (former Chief Justice of Zimbabwe), Professor Alfred Cockrell, South Africa, the Honourable Mr. Justice Fritz Brand, South Africa, and Dr. Judith Fingard, CJEI's pedagogical consultant.

The beneficial social outcomes of workshops such as these include 1) increased public confidence in the justice system; and 2) the favourable climate for foreign and national investment that an impartial and well-functioning judiciary helps to create. One of the most important outcomes in professional terms is improved judicial morale which, in turn, strengthens the judiciary by attracting-and keeping-better quality judges.

All of the programs outlined above were funded through the generous assistance of the Canadian International Development Agency, without whose ongoing support our work in East Africa could not continue. We are hopeful of building on our accomplishments in the region by maintaining our links with the East African Judicial Education Committee and submitting proposals for judicial education programs in Mozambique. Similar initiatives are presently under way for the Caribbean region. Following the Triennial CMJA Conference in Cape Town this October, a CJEI delegation is planning to venture eastward to investigate the potential for collaborating with judiciaries and judicial educators on the Indian sub-continent. As you can see, there is much to do in the months ahead!

-The Hon. Judge Sandra E. Oxner



Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada 13 September to 3 October, 1997

Your nominations are now being invited - Space is limited

Please contact Sandra Hutchings at the CJEI office.
Ph: +1 902 494 1031 Fax: +1 902 494 1316 E-mail: