Commonwealth countries share a substantial common ground in their legal systems. The Commonwealth Lawyers Association (‘CLA’) is committed to the preservation of the highest standards of ethics and integrity and to the furtherance of the rule of law for the benefit of the citizens of the Commonwealth. The CLA’s objectives, as enshrined in its Constitution, are to maintain and promote the rule of law in the Commonwealth by ensuring that a common bond of Commonwealth is preserved and fostered; strengthening professional links between members of the legal profession; maintaining the honour and integrity of the profession; promoting uniformity in the standards of professional ethics; encouraging improved standards of education and promoting the administration of justice and protection of human rights.
On his election Judge Simmons stated “I am committed to working with the CLA to preserve and promote judicial independence across the Commonwealth. Judicial independence is an integral part of the concept of rule of law that is the foundation of our democratic societies. An independent judiciary is the final check upon the exercise – and potential abuse – of unbridled power. In many countries, there are threats to judicial independence. Those threats may be the result of a rise of populism or innate in the structure of society or the system of government. Even in countries that, for centuries, have nurtured democratic institutions and established robust systems that fully embrace the most sacred principles of justice and rule of law, threats exist. However, the biggest threat to judicial independence is complacency.”
His Honour Judge Malcolm Simmons is currently the resident judge in the Falkland Islands, Acting Supreme Court Judge and His Majesty’s Coroner for the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, the South Sandwich Islands and British Antarctica. He previously served as an international judge hearing war crime and serious organised crime cases. He was an international member of two judicial councils in developing countries. He is particularly well-known for his judicial reform work and has more that 20 years of experience training judges, prosecutors and lawyers. He has worked in judicial reform projects in Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kosovo, Serbia, Pakistan and Maldives. He was Team Leader on the successful flagship EU project ‘Supporting Justice Sector Reform and Anti-Corruption in the Republic of the Maldives’ following which he was invited by the European External Action Service to design the EU’s further engagement with justice institutions in the Maldives.