September 1998 CJEI Report cover story

CJEI goes to sub-continent and
Sri Lanka

Judge Sandra E. Oxner and Pakistani JE officials outside Federal Judicial Academy, Islamabad, June 1998
(click image to see larger view)

CJEI undertakes judicial education initiatives in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka

By Judge Sandra E. Oxner

Lahore's Shalimar Gardens, Deli's red fort, tea on the verandah of a colonial hotel in Kandy, the rickshaws and motor traffic in the streets of Dhaka, - all these legends and more came into view during my recent journey to the subcontinent and Sri Lanka. The visit was consistent with our long range plan to initiate contact with this area of the Commonwealth in 1998.

I was kindly received by our Patron Chief Justices of Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India and Pakistan. All generously renewed their valued patronage and expressed their interest and support in our work. Our programmes will be much enhanced by the participation of our colleagues from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, as was this year's Intensive Study Programme where we had the pleasure of receiving six judges from this region. Plans are underway for national and regional collaborative efforts. It was a particular pleasure to meet old friends like Mr. Justice Ahmed in Bangladesh (you will remember him for his excellent address to us in Zimbabwe), Mr. Kitulgoda in Sri Lanka, Vice President of CMJA and Mr. Fakar Hayat of the Federal Judicial Academy in Islamabad Pakistan. All went to great efforts to facilitate the visit and we are most appreciative of their goodwill and support.

A recent graduating class of the Federal Judicial Academy, Islamabad
(click image to see larger view)

A highlight of the visit was a tour of the Federal Judicial Academy in Pakistan, the world class facilities of which include an auditorium, breakout rooms, a computer lab, an audiovisual lab, and a model courtroom. In the picture at above right, Judge Fakar Hyat, a leading member of the Academy faculty, and Judge Raja Akhlaq Hussain, section officer, legal and judicial reform, MOJ, are standing with me in front of the Academy.

In May, women judges from Commonwealth countries attending the International Association of Women Judges' Association Meeting in Ottawa attended a CJEI reception held in a Parliament Reception Room. We were delighted with the turnout and with the number of Commonwealth judges who signed our Registry of women judges interested in participating in CJEI work. The Honourable Madam Justice Khalida Rashid of Peshawar, Pakistan is the overall coordinator of this programme. Judge Pamela Thomson of Toronto is coordinating further communication among the Registry members. CJEI gladly assisted our longtime friend and supporter the Honourable Justice Jane Ansah of Malawi to attend the Ottawa Meetings.

CJEI provided a background paper on behalf of CMJA for the Latimer House Joint Colloquium . We were also pleased to see Chief Justice Byron as keynote speaker at the CMJA Caribbean education programme for magistrates, ably chaired by CMJA Vice President Clover Thompson. A committee was established there to draft a model Bench Book for Caribbean Lay Magistrates and CJEI is providing some funding for the support of this committee. We look forward to further opportunities to strengthen the work of our founding parent.


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