CLEA President makes two interactive presentations at a Clinical Legal Education Conference for 11 African Commonwealth countries in Zimbabwe

zimbabwe-conferenceProfessor David McQuoid-Mason, President of CLEA, gave two interactive presentations at a Clinical Legal Education Conference for 11 African countries in Harare, Zimbabwe on 4 August 2016. McQuoid-Mason was invited to present the Keynote address to delegates from Namibia, Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique, Lesotho, Swaziland, Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and South Africa at the Conference which was hosted by the Midlands State University in Zimbabwe. The other presenter at the Conference was Advocate Asha Ramgobin, a former Director of the UKZN Campus Clinic, and now Executive Director of the Human Rights Development Initiative in Pretoria.

McQuoid-Mason’s first interactive presentation was a Keynote dealing with ‘Establishing and managing law clinics’, during which he dealt with the different types of clinics; overcoming resistance to the establishment of law clinics; the skills, knowledge and experience required of law clinic staff; recruiting students for the clinic; obtaining credit for student work in the clinic; management of the clinic; and how law students, law staff,  the universities, clients and potential employers all benefit from a university law clinic and clinical legal education programme.

During the course of his presentation McQuoid-Mason used what he calls ‘The Violinist-technique’ he based on the award-winning movie in which the Director presents the cinema-viewers with a blank screen so that they can ponder what might happen before showing them the next scene.  In his presentation McQuoid-Mason exposed the delegates to a blank PowerPoint screen with just the topic heading, and invited them to reflect on their experiences of the topic in their own countries, before giving them his experience which was largely based on his founding of the UKZN law clinic. It was interesting to discover that even though the UKZN law clinic was established in 1973, many of the challenges experienced then were still relevant to the present experiences of most of the delegates from the countries outside of South Africa.

McQuoid-Mason’s second presentation was on ‘Community engagement through Street law’. This presentation included a definition of Street law; the objectives of Street law; the historical background to Street law; the teaching methods used in Street law; the teaching materials used in Street law; the types of work done by Street law students; how Street law can be integrated into the law curriculum; the community service component of Street law; Street law and social justice; and Street law beyond South Africa. Once again McQuoid-Mason used his ‘The Violinist-technique’ which evoked a lively discussion from the delegates and many of them indicated that they would like to introduce such programmes in their countries.


Posted in Events, Regional News | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Scotland welcomed in London as new Commonwealth Secretary-General

On the 4th April 2016, in London, Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC began her first day in office as Secretary-General of the Commonwealth of Nations. Nominated for the post by Dominica, she is the first woman to hold the post.

To the rhythm of a steel band, the sound of a gospel choir, and the flair of Quadrille dancers, hundreds of guests welcomed the new Secretary-General at Commonwealth headquarters in Marlborough House. They included well-known figures from the world of politics, sports and broadcasting. The event was hosted by Garth Crooks, the former English footballer, and included performances by singer Heather Small of M People, tenor Franz Hepburn and actor Hugh Quarshie.

“I am determined that we are going to work together on tackling violence against women and girls, deal with the existential threat of climate change, promote trade and good governance, champion the health, well-being and human rights of our citizens, and ensure young people have the opportunities they need for the future,” said the Secretary-General in her first official address in London.

Arriving straight from a visit to the Caribbean, she was escorted into Commonwealth Headquarters by the Caribbean High Commissioners and introduced by Dominica’s acting High Commissioner to the UK, Janet Charles.  The new Secretary-General shared her vision for the Commonwealth, stating “Working and acting as one people – one family – we can make a different future”.

In her speech, she described herself as “a classic child of the Commonwealth” – born in the Caribbean and brought up in London. She highlighted her journey of “firsts” – from the first black woman to join the Queen’s Counsel in the United Kingdom, the first woman to hold the position of UK Attorney General and the first woman Commonwealth Secretary-General. She said she had been “rather sad” at being first and looked forward to supporting new generations of female leaders.

She highlighted tackling domestic violence as one of her top priorities, a problem, she said, that is “literally stealing our futures”. She underscored that allowing women to be abused and disregarded would continue to hamper the health and wellbeing of societies.

Born in the small village of St Joseph in Dominica, she said she knew only too well about the threat of climate change. She urged members of the Commonwealth to work together and make good on commitments agreed at the global Paris Climate Conference last December. “We can show the world about building resilience and finding innovative solutions.”

Boosting Commonwealth trade and creating better opportunities for young people, who make up 60% of the Commonwealth population, she commented, would also be at the top of her agenda.

“I am confident that we can change things for the better. I want the Commonwealth to be a voice for everyone who shares our common values and hopes,” she concluded.

Read the speech in full.

Posted in CLEA News | Leave a comment

Book Review: Sivakumar & Lukose

Sivakumar book_Page_1Prof. S Sivakumar and Dr. Lisa P. Lukose’s s work ; Broadcasting Reproduction Right in India: Copyright and Neighbouring Right Issues, is a ground breaking effort in legal literature on a subject of great importance in the contemporary world, but little written about in South Asia.

Sports and performing arts take up substantial amount of broadcasting and TV time, attracting much commercial advertising, which in turn, generates an enormous amount of revenue for the media industry. Hence, the competition among these broadcasters to outdo the rivals and include these events in their programmes is very high. Consequently, allegations of the infringement of intellectual property rights, exercising monopoly rights, issues relating to public right to information and legal disputes often emerge, involving knotty constitutional, statutory and international treaty issues. The problems have got confounded due to numerous regulations, obsolete colonial era legislation still in force, extensive borrowings from the British Copyright Act of 1956, the monopoly rights enjoyed by the state owned broadcasters and India’s obligations under international treaties related to intellectual property rights. The authors have ventured out to make an exposition of this difficult and complex area of Indian law for the benefit of practitioners, academics and media personnel..

The authors commence their exposition with a brief introduction to the nature and scope of Intellectual Property. It would prove to be a very useful guide for those not familiar with this area in law. The reader gets a basic knowledge of the characteristic features of Intellectual Property, Copyrights, Patents, Trademarks, Industrial Designs, Geographical Indications, Integrated Circuits, Confidential/Undisclosed Information and Plant Varieties. Within the space of a few pages, the authors cover the main areas of intellectual property, with an account that is generally applicable to any jurisdiction in the world.

In the proceeding chapters, an in-depth study has been made of Copyright law and Neighbouring rights in India. Emphasis has been placed on the salient features of the Copyright Amendment Act of 2012. Chapters V and VI are devoted to Broadcasting and Reproduction Rights, the main focus of this book. The authors are here engaged in an incisive discussion, based on constitutional provisions, statutory law, international treaty provisions and judicial decisions. It has been   highlighted that the monopoly of media institutions, whether by state or private institutions, is detrimental to the rights of the citizens’ free speech, as guaranteed by the Constitution. The authors have cited the case of the state owned broadcaster, Doordharshan, using their clout with the government to enact a special piece of legislation compelling private channels, that had purchased rights to broadcast live cricket matches, to share live feeds with them.

The book is written in plain and lucid language, making it comprehensible to layman and legal practitioner alike. It carries a Foreword by the Chief Justice of India, honourable Altamas Kabir, who, in no uncertain words, expresses his appreciation of this phenomenal research carried out by the authors, and presents the book as a ‘milestone’ among the publications of the Indian Law Institute.

The book contains an appendix of relevant documents such as The Copyright Act 1957, Sports Boadcasting Signals (Mandatory Sharing with Prasar Bharati) Act 2007, The Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act 1995, and International Treaties, which is an extremely useful source for any researcher who wishes to carry out further studies in this field.

The book is priced at US $15, and is available at the Indian Law Institute, New Delhi, 110 001, India.

Dr. H J F Silva
Vice President CLEA


Posted in Research | Tagged | Leave a comment

Visit to GIALS

Patricia_GhanaPatricia McKellar, Joint CLEA General Secretary, visited the Ghana Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (GIALS) in Accra, Ghana in February. GIALS was established in 2006 with the express purpose of furthering human development by widening access to quality legal education, training and research and through capacity building programmes. Part of its mission is to work with universities, the legal profession, industry, civil society organisations, and the community to develop programmes of research, consultancy and teaching with focus on social, economic and sustainable development. GIALS has also been working closely with the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies in London.

Patricia met with Director and Professor of Law & Legal Education Stephen Offei (pictured) as well as Victor Chimbwanda, Policy Dialogue & Projects Co-ordinator. CLEA is exploring ways in which we can support the development of learning & teaching practice in legal education in Ghana.

For more information on the Institute, see their website

Posted in Events | Tagged | Leave a comment

CLA Finance and Banking Master Workshop 2016


This is a new concept in further education by the Commonwealth Lawyers Association in a series of small events bringing international expertise to your local jurisdiction.

The Workshop will cover a variety of topics such as the 4th EU Directive on money laundering, Virtual Currencies, Cybercrime, Commercial Dispute Resolution, Corporate Social Responsibility and a look at banking of the future in the Commonwealth and provide an opportunity to exchange information with professional from across the globe.

For further information about the workshop running on 19-20 May, 2016, in Limassol, Cyprus, we invite you to visit the website:

Posted in Events | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Ed O’Brien International Street Law Best Practices Conference 2016

SL-LOGO1A Conference to Honour Ed O’Brien and Celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the First International Street Law Programme established at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (formerly the University of Natal), South Africa

1-3 APRIL 2016

(to be preceded by a three day Ed O’Brien Memorial Safari (29-31 March 2016) to the world famous Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve where the white rhinoceros was saved from extinction)

The School of Law, University of KwaZulu-Natal invites law teachers, law clinicians and educators involved in Street Law and legal literacy programs from around the world submit abstracts of best practices lessons of not more than 300 words for an exciting International Ed O’Brien Street Law Best Practices Conference (1-3 April 2016) to honour Ed O’Brien and celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the First International Street Law Program established at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (formerly the University of Natal), South Africa in 1986. The Conference will enable participants to share their best practices lessons used in Street Law or law clinic outreach programs with colleagues from other countries. Information about accommodation, Safari bookings, local transport etc. will be available on the Conference website at a later date. The Conference will be preceded by a three day Ed O’Brien Memorial Safari (29-31 March 2016) to the world famous Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve where the white rhinoceros was saved from extinction.

The cut-off date for submission of abstracts is 30 November 2015, and acceptances will be indicated within three weeks of receipt.

As the Abstracts will be collected in a Conference Booklet they should reflect the Title and Presenter (name, designation and institution) in separate headings, followed by an Abstract of not more than 300 words.

Abstracts should be sent to Professor David McQuoid-Mason at:


The Conference provides a platform for Street Law-type programs from around the world to share their best practices lessons and projects. Colleagues involved in Street Law and legal literacy programs are invited to attend to share their lessons and interact with each other in an international conference that is devoted entirely to Street Law-type activities.
Likewise, individuals, law schools and NGOs interested in establishing or becoming involved in Street Law-type activities will benefit from attending the Conference. A selection of the lessons from the Conference will be published in a Street Law International Best Practices Manual.


The Conference is self-funding and has no travel or accommodation grants available but we have tried to keep costs to a minimum by securing sponsorships:

Registration fees for developed countries: US$100.
Registration fees for developing countries: US$50.
Electronic transfers payable

Potential participants should indicate their interest in the Conference and pre-conference Safari program by emailing Melanie Reddy on:


You may register using the attached Registration Form directly on the Conference Website once it is established by going to Conferences.


The Conference will comprise a series of workshops in which best practices lessons will be presented by law teachers, law clinicians and law educators running Street law, community outreach and legal literacy programs from different parts of the world. The best practices lessons may cover, but are not restricted to: (a) introduction to law and the legal system; (b) constitutional law, democracy and human rights; (c) criminal law and child justice; (d) civil wrongs – torts and delicts; (e) consumer law and contracts; (f) family law; (g) housing, health, social security and the environment; and (h) employment law.


Each paper should begin with a brief introduction to the country and the context within which the Street Law, community outreach or legal literacy program was or will be introduced, during which you (a) identify the problems the program was trying to solve; (b) the objectives of the program; (c) the target audience of the program; (d) the methodology used; (e) the challenges faced or to be faced in implementing the program; and (f) the results of the program in terms of its impact or how it will be evaluated if it is not yet operative (not more than 5 pages).

The introduction should be followed by the best practices lesson set out under the headings mentioned below (not more than 5 pages).

Each best practices lesson should be accompanied by a lesson plan consisting of (a) the topic taught; (b) the outcomes to be achieved in terms of knowledge, skills and values (eg. at the end of this lesson participants will be able to …); (c) the content required to teach the lesson; (d) the interactive learning activities used and their time frames; (e) the resources required to teach the lesson (eg. hand-outs, flip charts, PowerPoint etc.); and (f) the evaluation questions to check if the outcomes were achieved.

Posted in Events | Tagged , | Leave a comment

SA Government fail to arrest President Omar al-Bashir, President of Sudan for crimes against humanity

The Commonwealth Legal Education Association (CLEA), the Commonwealth Lawyers Association (CLA) and the Commonwealth Magistrates’ and Judges’ Association (CMJA) are concerned that the South African Government ignored a North Gauteng High Court interim order preventing President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan who is wanted for crimes against humanity from leaving the country with the result that awarrant for his arrest issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) could not be executed.

Download a PDF of the statement from

The South African Government has signed and ratified the Rome Statute creating the ICC and has domesticated the Rome Statute into its national legislation as required by the Constitution. The Government was therefore legally bound to execute the arrest warrant for President al-Bashir issued by the ICC as held by the High Court of South Africa in its judgement of 23 June 2015.
By virtue of its membership of the Commonwealth, South Africa is committed to the shared fundamental values and principles of the Commonwealth, at the core of which is a shared belief in, and adherence to, democratic principles including respect for the authority of an independent and impartial judiciary. Any measure on the part of the Executive which is capable of being seen as eroding the authority and independence of the judiciary, is a matter of serious concern. As the High Court Judgement of 23 June 2015 provides: “…. there are clear indications that the order of Sunday 14 June 2015 was not complied with. It is in this reason that we are moved to state that:

A democratic State based on the rule of law cannot exist or function, if the government ignores its constitutional obligations and fails to abide by Court orders. A Court is the guardian of justice, the corner-stone of a democratic system based on the rule of law. If the State, an organ of State or State official does not abide by Court orders, the democratic edifice will crumble stone-by-stone until it collapses and chaos ensues”.

The Commonwealth (Latimer House) Principles on the Accountability of and the Relationship between the Three Branches of Government (2003) state: ‘Judges are accountable to the Constitution and to the law which they must apply honestly, independently and with integrity.

The principles of judicial accountability and independence underpin public confidence in the judicial system and the importance of the judiciary as one of the three pillars upon which a responsible government relies.’
The CLEA, the CLA and the CMJA urge the Government of South Africa to respect the Constitution regarding its constitutional and international obligations and to desist from undermining the authority of the judiciary and the courts whose decisions are binding on all persons and organs of the state.

Commonwealth Legal Education Association (CLEA)
Commonwealth Lawyers Association (CLA)
Commonwealth Magistrates’ and Judges’ Association (CMJA)

Posted in Statements | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Commonwealth Law Lecture: Ghana 2015

In March 2015 the West Africa Chapter of CLEA held their first Commonwealth Law lecture. This is part of a series of such lectures held in our Chapters around the Commonwealth and was organised by the CLEA representative Israel Ackah. The Lecture was held in the British Council in Accra and was given by Professor Justice Date Bah. The topic of the lecture was Judicial Independence and the Rule of Law: a Microcosm of West African Jurisdictions. It was attended by Members of Parliament, High Court Judges, Supreme Court Judges, other members of the Judiciary, the Deans of several Law Schools, leaders and members of the Bar, law students and many other interested delegates. Patricia McKellar, Joint General Secretary of CLEA, also attended the lecture. The talk was wide ranging and challenged the audience to consider many aspects of the judicial process in Ghana. A full version of the talk can be found here. Professor Justice Date Bah is the Chairman of the University of Ghana Council. He was also a Justice of the Supreme Court of Ghana, responsible for many leading judgments. He is currently the Chairman, Ghana Law Reform Commission and Chairman, Council of the University of Ghana, Legon. Prof. Justice Date-Bah has held academic positions at the University of Ghana, University of Nairobi, University of Calabar as well as visiting positions at Lincoln College, Oxford University, Yale Law School and at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland.

Professor Justice Date-Bah’s Lecture is available to download.

Delegates were welcomed to the event by traditional dances and entertained by local singers. There was an opportunity for questions which led to some lively discussion. This was continued afterwards over some refreshments. It is hoped that there will be another lecture next year to build on the success of this event.

Posted in Regional News | Tagged | Leave a comment

Moot Report from Glasgow 2015

Moot FinalThe fourteenth Commonwealth Moot was held in Glasgow, United Kingdom, from 12th April to 15th April 2015 in conjunction with the 19th Commonwealth Law Conference (CLC). The winners of the 2015 Moot were the Canadian Team, Samuel Greene (Senior Counsel), Ada Chidichimo Keon (Junior Counsel) and Joseph Bricker (Reserve) representing University of Toronto.

The CLEA are grateful to The Hon. Madam Justice Desiree Barnard, the first female judge of the Caribbean Court of Justice, The Hon. The Chief Justice Mr Ivor Archie of the Supreme Court of Trinidad and Tobago and Hon. Justice Rohini Marasinghe of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka for juding the Moot Final.

The Commonwealth Moot is an initiative of the Commonwealth Legal Education Association (CLEA) and the Commonwealth Lawyers Association (CLA). It is an ‘invitation-only’ Moot, being limited to representative teams from regions of the Commonwealth only. The regions, for the this purpose, are; North America, United Kingdom, the Caribbean, South Asia (India), South Asia (Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka), South East Asia, Western Africa , Eastern Africa, Southern Africa, Australasia (Australia and New Zealand send separate teams), and the South Pacific.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.





South Africa








The Moot Problem can be found on our 2015 Moot page, along with details of previous winners in past competitions.

The scores for each team entering into the 2015 Moot for the General Rounds, were as follows:

Senior CounselA + R = Total Junior CounselA + R = Total
1. United Kingdom 421 425 846 6
2. India(South Asia) 434 463 897 3
3. Australia 500 425 925 2
4. Canada 491 444 935 1
5. South Africa 434 447 881 4
6. Kenya(East Africa) 450 427 877 5
Posted in Moot | Leave a comment

Conference Report from Glasgow 2015

Lord Hope keynoteThe 2015 conference was organised by Michael Bromby (CLEA General Secretary, Glasgow Caledonian University) and was hosted by Glasgow Caledonian University in Glasgow, Scotland.  It ran from Wednesday 8th – Friday 10th April 2015, attended by keynote speakers Prof Justice Date-Bah (retired Justice of the Supreme Court of Ghana) and Lord Hope of Craighead (retired Justice of the UK Supreme Court).

Conference delegates also included Lady Justice Arach-Amoko, Justice of the Supreme Court of Uganda, the Vice-Chancellor of the National Open University of Nigeria, Prof Vincent Tenebe and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Prof John Mubangizi.  A total of 48 delegates attended from around the Commonwealth representing the following countries: Bangladesh, Ghana, India, Jamaica, Malaysia, Nigeria, South Africa, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Uganda, and UK.

IMG_7400.JPGThe conference was preceded by a workshop on interactive teaching methods organised by Prof David McQuoid-Mason (CLEA president, University of KwaZulu-Natal), Patricia McKellar (CLEA General Secretary, University of London) and Helena Whalen-Bridge (National University of Singapore) held within the GCU LEAD (Learning Enhancement and Academic Development) centre, and was also attended by some LEAD staff.  In particular, the workshop focussed on teaching large groups, methods for interactive teaching and explored other methods for engaging law students.

imageA Welcome Reception hosted by the Glasgow City Chambers took place on Wednesday evening, with the kind generosity of the Glasgow City Council.  The Lord Dean of Guild and a Baillie represented the Lord Provost, with a welcome address to the conference delegates.

The conference opened with plenary papers followed by a keynote from Prof Justice Date-Bah entitled “Legal education in Ghana. International and local dimensions”.  The afternoon had parallel papers in the following sessions: pedagogical approaches, intellectual property, comparative education and embedding skills.  An evening drinks reception was held in the Museum of Piping followed by the conference dinner in the National Piping Centre which was followed by a ceilidh dance with traditional, live Scottish music.

Conference DelegatesThe second day started with plenary papers and a keynote from Lord Hope entitled “The Roles of the Court in the Development of Society” followed by the association’s AGM.  Executive Committee members were either re-elected or elected and on-going projects such as the various model curricula were discussed.  The afternoon saw further parallel sessions on clinical legal education, curriculum design, equality & diversity and human rights.  Abstracts from all the papers can be found on the conference website.

Moot FinalThe Commonwealth Moot took place Monday 13th – Thursday 16th April, and the semi-finalists were teams from Canada, who won the competition, Australia in second place, and India and South Africa.  The next conference and moot will take place in 2017, the location is not yet known and hoped to be announced in the next few months.

Posted in CLEA Conference, Moot | Leave a comment